I AM...

I am whatever YOU think I am until YOU get to KNOW me. This is true for everyone else too, of course.. so don't make assumptions about anyone or pass judgment; ask questions. You might just make a new friend.


Saturday, December 4, 2010


"Waterfalls" is a 1995 single by American musical trio TLC from their second album CrazySexyCool and arguably the group's signature song. The song was produced by Organized Noize and written by Marqueze Etheridge, TLC member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, and Organized Noize.
The song stayed at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks from July 8, 1995 - August 19, 1995 and is TLC's second number one single and sixth top 10 single. The background vocals on the recording were performed by all three members of TLC, as well as Debra Killings and Cee-Lo.
It was the 2nd biggest Hot 100 single of 1995, according to Billboard's Year End Chart. In 2010, Billboard awarded the song the top position of summer songs in 1995.
The song was listed as #8 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 1990s.
The song was parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic as "Phony Calls", a reference to prank calls, on the 1996 album Bad Hair Day.
TLC performed this song on MTV's 20th Anniversary in August 2001. The occasion marked Left Eye's final performance with the group before her death.
TLC performed the song at the 2008 BET Awards along with Alicia Keys.
"Waterfalls" was listed 5th on The Village Voice's 1995 Pazz & Jop critics' poll. It was also ranked 13th in VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years and 8th on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s.
In 1996 the song was nominated for two Grammy AwardsRecord of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal while the song's accompanying music video was included on Channel Max's Top 100 Sexy Women.


There is a lot of negativity and heaviness when talking about HIV. People rarely get to hear the positivity and the beauty of living with this disease. So I chose to post this article t to provide a different side of the dialogue around the epidemic and talk about the benefits of living with HIV. As crazy as that notion sounds, I think HIV + folks can get to a place where they can feel lucky to be living with HIV.

Benefit No. 1: Clarity.

Every day since my diagnosis, I have gained more clarity. Who I am. What I want in life. What is most important to me. Who is most important to me. What I want in a friend. What I want in a life partner. My goals. My dreams. My present. My future. All of it continues to become so clear. Suddenly that cliché of living every day like it is your last is resonating with me. If I really had just this one day to live, I would want to live it with purpose, with stability, and with passion.The small stuff -- the daily drama and the bullshit -- does not get to me like it used to. It is a breath of fresh air to have more of this inner peace.

Benefit No. 2: What I Stand For.

What is interesting about living with HIV is that it impacts you in different ways as you change and as your life changes. HIV has a tendency to blindside me when I thought I had a part of my process figured out. Lo and behold, it comes back -- incarnated -- with a bigger bite than before. Each time I get that bite, I tackle it and the parts of my life that it affects. In doing so, I become more grounded, more planted into the earth, more rooted, and more confident in what I stand for and why. I am extremely thankful and blessed to have supportive people who foster a safe space where I can explore and develop myself.

Benefit No. 3: Spirituality.

In the past two years I have really looked to the Higher Powers. In my healing process, I've come to terms with mortality. It is a fact that I am living with a chronic disease and it is a fact that my body will decay and return to the earth no matter how well I take care of myself. Reacting to these facts, I am in such awe of each human being's role in the grand scheme of things. It is a dose of humility. I am a fleeting blink of an eye in this universe, I don't have all the answers, and I am OK with that. I am OK with surrendering.

Benefit No. 4: The Perfect Filter.

Thank you HIV for being the PERFECT filter. Because of you I refuse to invest in people who do not love and appreciate me for me. Because of you I have been introduced to phenomenal people and everyday heroes I would not have met otherwise. Because of you I know that I have rights to knowledge, rights to speak out and be heard, rights to be respected, rights to have love, rights to have hot sex, and rights to have as many children as I want. Because of you I continue to develop true and real human relationships with my family and my friends. Because of you I have found a beautiful support system. Because of you my definition of "success" has become more robust. Because of you I cut down on spending time and energy on the shit that life can hand you. Because of you I know I have no limits.
For me, HIV is one of the best things that ever happened to me. My process continues to be difficult as I make choices and life decisions as an HIV-positive Asian woman in her very early 20s. However, through my diagnosis I have become empowered. I have found a voice and a blissful urge to live.



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