"I remember being young and so brave
I knew what I needed
I was spending all my nights and days laid back day dreaming
Look at me—I'm a big girl now, said I'm gon' do something
Told the world I would paint this town
Now betcha I run news"
This is one of my favourite songs of all times...simply because its lyrics resonate with so many events that occurred in my young life. Four years ago I came to Cape Town to pursue a dream and unknowingly I had a huge obstacle standing in my way – an HIV diagnosis. When I learned about my diagnosis, I really thought my life was over. I became depressed and hit rock bottom for at least two years if I remember correctly...Slowly I regained my will to live and took my diagnosis as another bump standing in my way of pursuing my dream. Four years later I reflect back and realise I have grown in so many ways. I am proud of the woman I have become because I fought to be her.
I am leaving Cape Town, a place I considered a home, a place that moulded me when I was at my wit's end...Typing this blog, my eyes are filled with tears and so many emotions. I am proud of myself for having the will to relentlessly keep on even though I sometimes did not know where I was heading. I made friends whom I will forever cherish for being in my life but the highlight for me in my HIV journey was being able to become a light for two young women who were diagnosed with HIV just like me at varsity and seeing them not letting this virus stand in their way and continuing with their lives as normal.
I do not know what the future holds but I am optimistic the best is yet to come. I may not be publicly vocal about my HIV advocacy but deep down I am an advocate and I wish in the near future my job will channel me towards the HIV advocacy field in communities hit by the epidemic in my country.
Lastly I would love to thank God I stumbled on The Well Project's website after my diagnosis. This website did so much for me...no words can describe my appreciation and I hope it continues being a light to so many women finding themselves in similar situations...Sisters, it does get better with time. Pray...live and learn!