I woke up earlier than usual this morning, to find age 34 hovering over me at bedside.  I said, “Is this how it’s going to be, mid-30’s?”  It didn’t answer.  “OK, well, if you have any questions, just ask AIDS what it’s like having ol’ Decker kicking your ass.”

I rolled out of bed and didn’t look back.  Though I’ve only made it to the kitchen for a glass of water and the computer to type this.  birthdaytome.jpg
If you want to follow my birthday journey, pop on over to my Twitter page.   I’ve already secured a Decker’s Daily coffee sponsorship (Thanks Scott Kramer!) for myself and Gwenn, so you can see me drink coffee.  In true positoid fashion, I have an appointment with Dr. Greg today, just to make sure the long goodbye of my wispy cough isn’t something to be worried about.

But overall, I feel great.  I’m so thankful to be officially mid-thirty.  I have no hang-up about aging; none whatsoever.  The fact that I’m excited that Gwenn and I painted the kitchen- and it looks good!- is nice.  Pride in home doesn’t mean just the aesthetics, it’s about everything we’ve been through individually and as a couple that has made this place a home.

I like birthdays that have a round number attached to them.  For instance, a friend rang in his 50th two days ago- he’s in great shape, is happy and is one of the kindest people I know.  Being HIV positive, and deciding to speak about that at 20, had the great effect of bringing many people of vastly different ages and life experiences into my life.  I learned quickly that living with HIV for over a decade was not uncommon, and that being in your 40’s wasn’t “old”.

Not by a long shot.

In my recent column, there was an editorial mistake that mentioned that I’d lived 1/3 of my life as a positoid.  This b-day actually pushes me over the 2/3 mark, since my HIV diagnosis was at age 11.  On top of that, this birthday is special because it marks 10 years since the AIDS diagnosis; a moment that, in my earlier years, I suspected would be the end.

In reality, that was just the beginning.  I’d just moved to Charlottesville, gotten this townhome and met Gwenn.  And now I’m up earlier than usual, and I’m hungry, so I’m going to go get something to eat and enjoy this day.  In the wideview, I’m thankful to still be living, still be blogging, and that so many people have stopped by on Facebook and Twitter to wish me a happy birthday. 

Life is good.  And I owe my good fortune to love, friendship, good timing and luck.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

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