As the end of the year approaches I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one glad to be getting off this twelve month roller-coaster ride. Full of ups, downs and side to sides the year certainly wasn’t boring.
Whilst colossal tremors shook political landscapes around the world my own little earthquakes have been no less eventful.
After six and a half years I decided to end my relationship with my partner and I’ve spent the autumn and winter reflecting on that decision. The challenges of HIV dating which I’ve not had to deal with since early 2010 are no doubt on the horizon for the year ahead but I’ve been enjoying much needed ‘me time’ since August – and thinking about what I want in my life.
The anniversary of my diagnosis came at a time when I was feeling worn out and fatigued – my relationship with the virus is always going to be a long-term one and as I hit seven years this really hit home. To some extent it had felt like I had plateaued in what I could achieve or in how I could make a difference. Sometimes it’s easy to distract yourself with other people’s problems in order to ignore your own. It can also be difficult to let go – of our own impatience, anger and vexation.
I’ve enjoyed ending the year with my family over Christmas, especially as it was our newest arrival’s first Christmas. My niece is only nine months old and I’m already in such awe of her. The polarizing events of 2016 have been a reminder that no matter what happens we have to continue to strive to make the world a better place for the next generation. I think following 2016 it’s going to be that little bit harder but that shouldn’t dishearten us or give us a reason to give up.
We like to package our lives in these little 52 week boxes but the reality is we have our entire lifetimes to make a difference. We never know when they’re going to end so let’s make each and every day count.
This article previously appeared on Alex's own blog, HIV and Me, here.