That's right another year has passed and I am still here. Not for my lack of trying you understand. Life has also been playing havoc with me this year, as most of you know. But, as a person who thought I would never get here I am happy and blessed to still be alive. I mean that with sincerity, I look back across the year and I am amazed at what I have seen and what I have been through. Yet, I am saddened by the loss of some very important people. Along the way as I was growing and learning to live, I lost some very important people too me. I never once thought that I would live the life that I have, prince, pauper and scholar. But here I am. I miss you Mike a lot sometimes, but it was you who opened my eyes to a world outside of Orlando and gave me the champagne taste that I have. If it wasn't for you I wouldn't have met Chris or John, let alone learned how to run a business and survive. All those years ago running around the Parliament House in Orlando I never thought I would be here without you. But, as I so dearly know HIV and AIDS doesn't care who you are or how much money you have, it strikes where it wills and we are left to pick up the pieces.
Glenn my dear friend and bowling partner, how unexpected your departure from my life was, if it wasn't for you I don't know if I would have had the courage or the strength to leave Joe. But, watching how you dealt with a nearly similar situation with Kevin and helping you extricate yourself from him gave me the strength and the courage to go out and meet other people. You were so kind and loving and too young to die, and it was hard cleaning out your stuff from your condo and dealing with your parents. Not to mention Kevin trying to bully me around and take the last things you had given me. I am truly sorry my friend that I lost your class ring. Though it was my honor to be able to plan, host and bring together everyone you knew to remember you. I gave Miss MacIntyre your Scooby Doo bowling ball and for 4 years I had a memorial put up for you at the bowling alley.
There are so many others that have come through my life and they are no longer with me, either by choice of their own or not. But, I have to tell you that each and everyone helped mold me, groom me, temper me and eventually inspired me to be the person I am today. Mike, Joe, Matt, Shawn, Polo, Mike, Glenn, Shane. But,say I also want to thank you to those that are still in my life, whether full time or part time you too have contributed greatly Dawn, Emily, John, Chris, Sterling, V.J., Kerry, Mike, Bobby, Kodi, Johnathan, and the other Bobby, Andy (AJ) when we dated. Plus, all my friends from high school and the navy that I have reconnected again using social media like Facebook. Each and everyone of you helped me develop in someway, you all helped put my feet on the path that I am on. Believe it or not, for good or bad I have stormed the beach, walked the shore lost at first, saw the light and made it through. Thank you for coming along on the journey with me. Though as I was doing my walk, I know you were doing your and yet I am so glad for the interactions that we have had.
This year is a big year, 30 was nothing I didn't even really feel it. Life didn't change up until 40 and then all hell broke loose and everything went south, health-wise that is. But this year I have finally left youth behind and have crossed that line into middle age. I wonder what is in-store for me, but not that eager to peak, this isn't like Christmas or birthday presents, I would look for when younger. No, I have no interest to peal back the edge and peek. I want to be surprised and marvel in the wonder. A new chapter is starting for me and I am eager to meet the supporting cast and meet new characters. I am almost positive that this one is going to have a happy ending. I have made many wrong choices if you ask my mom or dad, but they don't see that I am not seeing things from their perspective. Choices made, consequences faced, a life less boring and a story worth repeating. What can you say to the man who has done it all?
If you have been reading my blog and hanging with me you have to admit there are some colorful characters, beautiful scenery, great imagery, lots of mishaps and adventures to boot, my life has been anything but boring. Maybe not as glamorous as a Pop star or A-list movie star but I have made my mark on where it counts on people, places and friends. Those who truly know me, will never forget me. Everybody likes to tell me that I am a great guy, smart, funny, attractive and wonderful to be around. They will tell you that I am always upbeat, positive and downright perky. To a certain extent I can see it because nothing ever holds me down for long, and thanks to the two mention at the beginning Mike and Glenn I absolutely learned how to get what I want and to work hard and achieve my desires. I forgot that for a few years, but my best friend of over 25 years, John G, reminded me recently that the strong, motivated, outgoing person, the leader, achiever, was missing. He wanted to know desperately where I had gone, how had I lost myself and was that person coming back?
I honestly didn't know when he asked me those things. I had lost myself somewhere along the journey and I was consumed and devoted to someone else and I had no inkling of self left. But, then I realized that I wasn't happy that way, that I needed to free myself from these things, I needed to stop merely existing and I needed to start living again. So, I left a 12 year relationship behind and I started on a journey of self rediscovery, introspection and growth. But, without even realizing it a few years later I allowed myself to get wrapped up in another person, and submerge myself into him, dedicate all I did and wanted to do into his happiness and well being, unfortunately it wasn't returned. As I said I didn't even realize it until Kerry left me and it became all too clear I had allowed myself to disappear again. Yet, what is worse of all is that he was gone and I still was lost, I was clinging to the hope that he would return and until the day before my birthday I was still wrapped up in the man.. As fate would have it that all changed in a blink of an eye. Larry a new found friend, someone that Kerry knew came into my life and I began to see that there was more to me. I was emerging and really being seen. I wasn't invisible anymore or a part of Kerry, I was me, I had an identity, worth and believe it or not value.
As the veil was lifted from my sight and I saw how little Kerry had valued not only my friendship but our relationship I knew I had made the right choice finally, that it was over and I was truly free. I was liberated in that moment and I felt so good and happiness came back into my life, I was able to sing again and the words returned to my mind that wouldn't stop and my writing began again. I was no longer an emotional prisoner of Kerry's and I was free, and you know what broke me out of the hold that I was under, finding out that yet once again Kerry had lied to another person or persons claiming to have never been in a relationship with me. As soon as I realized that he didn't love me, probably never did, it became very easy to see that person standing in the mirror looking back at me. I was taken aback a little bit by my reflection, never once before did I notice the deathly pallor of my skin, the terrible amount of weight I had lost, or the new amount of gray that had seeped into my hair.
Healer, spiritualist and mystics claim that all illness is is an imbalance in our bodies or lives, that if we find the cause life will begin to turn around for us, the sickness will go away and our health will return. I have to tell you something there really truly might be something to all of that. Because the day that the light bulb came on for me so to speak, I have seen some very stark, dramatic and even drastic changes in my appearance. For one thing I am not pale anymore, I have even gained a pound, I feel full of energy and life and honestly the pain seems to be getting more bearable. Who would have thought that burying oneself in a relationship and devoting themselves to a partner could or would have such a dramatic impact on our health, wealth and happiness? Not me surely, but I am living proof that it can and does.
So why is 46 such a blessing other than I have gotten my true self back as well as my own individuality, but I have been truly and remarkably touch and healed through faith, pray and God. I have had an awesome journey up till this point with some truly terrific characters and supporting cast come in and out of my life. Whose touch and inspiration has greatly impacted me and made me truly favored. I miss a lot of them, and I can't wait to see who is up next. Life is short my friends and we never know how or when it is going to end. Let me tell you I will probably be singing and writing when it happens.
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,