I am known for having wonderfully random ideas now and then; some I see through, some I don’t.

I’ve always enjoyed reading blogs by others. I don’t know why I’m fascinated at the similarities I have with people I will probably never know or meet. I guess reading about the experiences of others and the fact that some people can relate and take comfort from it is the main driving point. It is a strange notion I guess. I’m sure there are therapeutic qualities to it all.

One thing I am good at it is rambling on. So this is an aspect of my so called life; sort of.

I’m a friendly, open-minded, honest 30-something who tends to treat people how I would like to be treated in return.  I can be somewhat indecisive and hate being asked to make decisions, but this could be the Gemini in me? I have a million and one things going through my head, however struggle at times to just say one thing.

I’m a natural born worrier. I thank my mother for this genetic gift. I’ll worry about things even when there is no real need to worry. People often comment that I don’t shut up (in a nice way!), but when I do they soon start to worry whether I’m okay. I found that in August 2009 I didn’t speak for a very long time. Some people noticed that for a small period of time I just shut down and shut myself off. Tried to disappear completely. I guess whatever works really.

I can laugh for hours at nothing, have a current love for 80’s pop music and tend to daydream in law class. I have an unhealthy addiction to sun-dried tomatoes and chocolate cheesecake equally, but not at the same time. I adore the sunshine and can think of nothing better than spending days lounging around in it, but don’t take well to sitting out drinking in it.

I originally trained as a Graphic Artist, but soon after discovered the dynamics around study and work are not really the same thing. I have a bit of an ‘artistic temperament’. I love discussing the ‘arts’, however not with an employer who insists Red should be seen with Green, regardless of what the rhyme warns us. Law is certainly different. It fulfils my need for a world that operates in Black and White. Grey is good; I love wearing it, I just don’t like it when my life falls into it.

I can be clumsy at times and have the attention span of a 5-year old. Ill-mannered people seriously annoy me as do people who think splashing a canvas with paint is ‘art’ and chavs, but that goes without saying really.

I’ve recently started to suffer two day hangovers but I’m not sure if this is just a sign of old age or the fact HIV is doing a good job of ensuring I suffer for as long as I possibly can. I am just about coming to terms with the prospect of growing old and realise it is inevitable; one day I will probably swap socialising at the latest bar for the bingo halls drinking G&Ts with friends who smell of must and no longer possess all of their own original limbs… but for now, I hang out with friends where thankfully only one of the above applies.

I always find it funny how people go on about hating being pigeonholed, but then go on and proceed to play up to even the most obvious of stereotypes. I love fashion, shopping and socialising. Sadly, bar ‘Confide In Me’, I can confirm I have no overwhelming desire to start worshiping Kylie as the icon she is. However when I see her in Berlin next year she better be no less than fabulous.

It’s now just over 12 months on and my counts are still good. I have become more and more aware of the impact it’s having on me as time goes by. I find myself exhausted a hell of a lot of the time, to the point I sometimes struggle to spend a whole day awake without an overwhelming need to sleep. At first I put this down to me being lazy, very lazy but it has gradually started to get worse. My consultant is of the opinion it is nothing I really need to worry about.  I do worry a lot about what impact meds will have on me. Weird I guess, as I don’t think I’m scared at the prospect of starting meds; it is now as inevitable a part of my life just as much as it is inevitable that the sun will set and the moon will rise. I think I’ve managed to come to terms more with the diagnosis quickly because the prospect of meds was not immediate.

I love spending days people watching whilst wondering what they are thinking about and wondering whether they know just by looking at me. Well, when the weather lends itself for such activities. I always wanted to play the piano. I used to play the flute and violin and can shatter eardrums with my vocal range. Being let down irritates me. Yet when I look at life retrospectively I always seem to, for the most part, surround myself with people who do nothing but that. Not everyone. I guess the saying is true; when the shit does hit the fan you know who your true friends really are. And I do have some wonderful friends.

It is strange how being told you have an incurable, but manageable illness makes you look at things differently. Nothing really can ever prepare you for being told that you now have something that you always hear about affecting others. Telling my parents I was HIV was difficult but necessary. Telling my close friends was also hard. I ‘came out’ very young and figured I’d never have to do anything like that ever again.

I’ve never been one of those who can bottle things up, at least not for long. I’m artistic. I have emotions and I show them, no matter how hard I try not to. I find myself being as concerned by people who are constantly depressed as I am by people who are constantly happy. I’m quite contradictory at times and prone to going off on a tangent, which sometimes leads to what I’m saying appearing chaotic but usually makes perfect sense – I hope?

It is a strange feeling to look back at a year and be able to say that this is/was the first 12 months of the rest of my life. How I took things for granted before and assumed, to some degree, I was untouchable. HIV has changed me, I acknowledge this, whether I wish to accept that or not yet is debatable. I’ve become more aware of my body, how it works and when it is not working how it used too. I’m aware that my mother, regardless of the reassurances she gives me, worries more now than she ever has and I hate the fact I’m powerless to change this. My mother tries to dismiss it and just says that this is what mothers do, but I know this isn’t the case. I know people will view me differently, judge me purely on the basis of a virus I happen to have, regardless of whether they like me for being me. It hasn’t happened yet, but it is merely a matter of time. I seem to discover new ways in which the virus affects me, not only physically or mentally. I guess what doesn’t kill you eventually makes you stronger. I do feel stronger, mentally, now that the world has started to slow down. I’ve come a long way in 12 months. That initial isolating feeling of being so alone is no longer there. I’ve started to open up more to people close to me – friends, true friends – letting them in instead of keeping them at arm’s length. It is just the beginning but it’s a start. I’m in no rush. I have the rest of my life in front of me.