Chapter (s) With Cedric Gum

“It all gets better with time.”

Cliche, right? But things really do get better with time. Upon being diagnosed with HIV in December 2012, I kept hearing “it's not the end of the world.” As much as I hate that phrase, I had to approach it from a different perspective. Each visit to my doctor and hearing her utter the phrase “It's not the end of the world”, made me flip my imaginary hair, roll my neck, and give her a Nene Leakes to pretty much everyone, “Girl gone. You can't talk to me!” with the most sincere and heartfelt delivery.

However, what was initially viewed as the end of a world for me later became just another chapter in my personal book of life. Thankfully, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I saw the endless array of possibilities. I saw myself living, happily.

Writing was the most therapeutic journey that I've taken after being diagnosed. I'd sing every now and then, working on being the “second lead vocalist of the group” (i.e. Kelly Rowland), but that didn't quite work out. Witnessing my thoughts and feelings bleeding onto page after page exposed a real truth: Life, no matter how it's presented, is what you make of it. Initially, writing started as just words with no true meaning or significance. I couldn't find the power within my words. Then one day after writing “hope”, “believe”, “love”, and “faith”, it finally dawned on me.

(1) I'm fabulous. (2) I'm strong. (3) I have a purpose. (4) I'm still scared to move forward.

However, I conditioned myself to believe that everything happens for a reason. If you allow each obstacle or challenge that you encounter in life to break you or prevent you from connecting to your sole purpose in life, you are doing yourself a great injustice. Allowing yourself to be free, vulnerable, and to have those cathartic moments will allow the healing process to truly begin.


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