What's the one thing that would change everything?

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    Aug 15, 2008 8:17 PM GMT
    Ok, so I've been giving a lot of thought lately to peak living. Living at the pinnacle of what's possible for us in life, some would call it living the dream. I am curious as to how others see this.

    What is the one thing that if you changed would drastically improve the quality of your life and get you closer to living the life of your dreams?

    If you are already there, what is the most important factor that got you there?

    If you aren't there yet what is it that's keeping you from living at the peak of your potential?

    Please guys your thoughts on this?
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    Aug 15, 2008 8:25 PM GMT
    Interesting topic. icon_smile.gif

    I may not be living at the pinnacle of what's possible in my life, but I'm on my way there. And already, there are a few challenges that set me back.

    A lot of those challenges are based on fear.

    It's easy to say "let go of your fears," but it's all circumstantial. To reach the peak of all that one can become, there has to be a lot of sacrifices. Trade-offs. Perhaps even casualties.

    And the biggest sacrifices sometimes involve those who are dear to you.

    At this point, I can conceivably go full throttle and achieve my goal, but I realize that there are a few things I need to settle or fix. Stuff I need to put in order before I make the big leap. "Managing the fear," as they say.

    That's what I'm working on now. If you're in a similar situation, I wish you the best. icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 15, 2008 8:51 PM GMT
    Come out. icon_sad.gif

    Soon...
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    Aug 15, 2008 10:07 PM GMT
    This will be extremely non PC but here goes. Go back in Time and stop ACT UP from giving Civil Rights to the HIV Virus. Treat the people with the Virus as people but no rights of Privacy to the Virus.

    All other STD's have to be reported to the Health Dept of the State you are living in, many of the bacterial ones are more a pain in the butt, but most are curable. If you got a case of the clap tomorrow they would ask for a list of all persons you had sexual contact with, so they could notify them and stop the spread. Not the case with HIV.

    Before the room erupts I am not talking Tatoos, or scarlet letters from Hawthorne, or pretty colored Triangles, but some common curtsey and sense. Have the person tell anybody with honesty at the right time their Sero Status.

    HIV/AIDS is not a killer anymore, but only the most warped person, who is POS would say "I LOVE HAVING IT." Some of the meds can reek havoc with you.

    Short of that always practice safe sex
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    Aug 16, 2008 12:43 AM GMT

    Everyone, all at once, truly reaching out to one another and helping one another, from cutting grass to shopping to a shoulder massage to everyone pooling money to help the deprived.

    My god the world would change overnight.
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    Aug 16, 2008 2:47 AM GMT
    GNOME08 saidThis will be extremely non PC but here goes. Go back in Time and stop ACT UP from giving Civil Rights to the HIV Virus. Treat the people with the Virus as people but no rights of Privacy to the Virus.
    This is very off-topic, but I think the reason for giving privacy to people with HIV was that for a long time you could be denied employment, housing, etc. if it was found out you had HIV. I'm not sure if someone would refuse to rent you an apartment because you once had gonorrhea.
    I worked at a big law firm in Chicago in the 80's and I found out I was positive in 1986. There was a story about how a lawyer at another firm had been fired when the firm found out he had HIV. At the time, there was no law against that. So, I kept my mouth shut.
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    Aug 16, 2008 2:50 AM GMT
    Back on topic:
    I don't know if achieving your dreams is an ideal to shoot for. I think the journey is more important that the destination. And, remember this: if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.
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    Aug 16, 2008 2:54 AM GMT
    I wouldn't change anything. We go through trials and tribulations for a reason, and we wouldn't be the people we are today if we didn't. Have faith in yourself and you can achieve anything.
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    Aug 16, 2008 3:01 AM GMT
    For me, and I know this is totally materialistic, but it's MONEY! Everything else in my life goes well, I have great family and friends, great support system, can't complain about my social life, I'm healthy, have food on the table and a roof over my head but that's about all. If I had any kind of health emergency, car breakdown, or other major expense I'd be screwed and it always seems to be that way. I get a little ahead and something happens to pull me down financially. With my current job hunt I am hoping that this part of my life will turn a corner but through it all I remain pretty happy and try not to worry too much.
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    Aug 16, 2008 3:28 AM GMT
    I'll agree with the guy above. My life is mostly good. But I have a lot of extreme stress and worry over my finances. Or course.. I'm a 21 year old who struck out on his own on the other side of the country from everybody he knows... on top of waiting tables, and being a full time student.

    .. I'm not sure there are many in my position who DON'T have issues with money.

    Say.. if I won the lottery or something? .. that would take so much stress off of everything else in my life. I wouldn't be a total bum or anything.. but it'd be nice not to have to scramble to put rent together every month.
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    Aug 16, 2008 3:33 AM GMT
    chicago_barry saidBack on topic:
    I don't know if achieving your dreams is an ideal to shoot for. I think the journey is more important that the destination. And, remember this: if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.


    The journey is definitely more important than the destination, well said.

    What stops me from living my dream life at the moment would be my bond with my scholarship provider. I have 5 years more to serve under them.

    My dream life is a nomad life, sort of. Working at one place, understand the culture their, then move to other place. Of course I would need to sacrifice being around my family.
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    Aug 16, 2008 3:46 AM GMT
    money
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    Aug 16, 2008 3:51 AM GMT
    I'm not going to list off the ways in which I am blessed, all I will say it that I am, and that the one thing that I find to be the most important is to trust your instincts and to not let people interfere with them.
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    Aug 16, 2008 3:53 AM GMT
    Was the question about being blessed or was it what would change everything? Am I missing something?
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    Aug 16, 2008 3:53 AM GMT
    The quality of life improved for me when I realized how little is really necessary. Desiring lots of things, can create misery the more tightly you are bound to those desires.

    Simplicity and compassion for others makes my life more enjoyable and meaningful.
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    Aug 16, 2008 5:06 AM GMT
    I'll say, cautiously and with the freedom to take it back pronto, the change I would make would be to become more singleminded and less jumping around from this interest to that interest to this interest.

    At the same time, it's probably the jumping around that has kept me from some serious self-damage.

    But still, it would be nice to make some steady progress on some personal goals.
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    Aug 16, 2008 7:33 AM GMT
    Hey guys for those who gave an answer; a big thanks and I hope others will continue to answer. For me money is a factor, but it seems like one I should have the ability to overcome. The biggest factor for me is overcoming a self-sabatoge condition, where just when everything is going great I find a way to fuck it up. I think a lot of it stems from the fact that I feel like my life here in this place is a waste of time. I need to relocate. I feel suffocated here, like I need to be in another place to really express and build on who it is that I am. I need a change of scenery almost as much as I need air. When you feel suffocated and restrained, limited and held back from everything that you know you really are, then surely things like self sabotage will arise. So what is the one thing keeping me from changing it?

    I need to be able to save enough money to move and survive for a month or two while I find a job in a new place. After having just been fired for being seen in a gay bar, I am all the more certain that this is not the place for me, but at the same time this is a major financial set back and now once again I have to worry about the basic survival issues of having a place to live and utilities. Once that's covered then I can think about saving the money again. It's hard to hit the pinnacle of what's possible when you're focused on the most base elements of survival. The only good thing in all of this is that I know that eventually I will make it. I still have hope and hope will keep the spirit alive long after the mind has resigned itself. In my personal opinion, its sickeness or alienation from our spirit that is the single largest contributing factor to everything that isnt working in our lives and our society as a whole/

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    Aug 16, 2008 7:46 AM GMT
    Dear Gnome,

    I was right there marching with ACT UP and with Queer Nation, and I am extremely proud of having done so.

    Neither do I believe that the conditions underlying bias against people living with HIV have changed on iota. The only difference is that the disease being manageable makes it less obvious, and those who would gladly kill, quarantine, mark, or otherwise neutralize US (we are all HIV positive - or so I believe) feel less of an urgency to do so.

    G-d forbid that sero-conversion should really spike again in the U.S. and you would see the same kind of insanity that led us to march in the first place. The time lapse would be about one second.

    Obviously, responsible people don't have unprotected sex. People who have lived on this planet for more than ten-seconds ought to know that men who want sex lie (or fail to disclose). Therefore, protection is a matter of self preservation.

    That said, I would love to have unprotected sex (by the time I started having sex the revolution was over and raw sex just wasn't done anymore). Frankly, I am most angry that this disease put a rubber glove on something I would have liked to have experienced. BTW I know that HIV is not the only STD that a condom will protect me from, but face it, HIV is the one we are worried about when we roll that condom on.

    If you get your time-machine wish then I hope that I am around, because I will go back and start marching all over again, and I won't stop marching until we are really-and-truly free (and that doesn't mean free to be responsible, free to behave, etc. - I mean free to be what we want to be naturally).

    Terry


    GNOME08 saidThis will be extremely non PC but here goes. Go back in Time and stop ACT UP from giving Civil Rights to the HIV Virus. Treat the people with the Virus as people but no rights of Privacy to the Virus.

    All other STD's have to be reported to the Health Dept of the State you are living in, many of the bacterial ones are more a pain in the butt, but most are curable. If you got a case of the clap tomorrow they would ask for a list of all persons you had sexual contact with, so they could notify them and stop the spread. Not the case with HIV.

    Before the room erupts I am not talking Tatoos, or scarlet letters from Hawthorne, or pretty colored Triangles, but some common curtsey and sense. Have the person tell anybody with honesty at the right time their Sero Status.

    HIV/AIDS is not a killer anymore, but only the most warped person, who is POS would say "I LOVE HAVING IT." Some of the meds can reek havoc with you.

    Short of that always practice safe sex
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    Aug 16, 2008 7:57 AM GMT
    God I feel awful saying this but the whole gay thing is a big obstacle. I guess it'd be a lot easier if I could say definitively what my sexuality actually is. With some of the shit that's happened in my life, it's hard for me to charge forward, figure out who I am, and confront my personal issues.

    The reason sexuality is such a big obstacle is that I want to be a politician and red flags get thrown up all over the place when sexuality is questioned (Larry Craig, Elliot Spitzer, need I say more?) I'm a lot more principled than that to lie about it and betray everyone who trusts me. But what can I say? I'm a public policy major, a zealous and hopeful optimist, who wants to change the world. My favorite quote comes from Margaret Mead. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only that ever has".

    To bring this full circle, I just fear that my sexuality (whatever it is) will hold me back and prevent me from what I most desire, which is bettering the everyday lives of everyday people.
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    Aug 16, 2008 8:10 AM GMT
    ursamajor saidDear Gnome,

    I was right there marching with ACT UP and with Queer Nation, and I am extremely proud of having done so.

    Neither do I believe that the conditions underlying bias against people living with HIV have changed on iota. The only difference is that the disease being manageable makes it less obvious, and those who would gladly kill, quarantine, mark, or otherwise neutralize US (we are all HIV positive - or so I believe) feel less of an urgency to do so.

    G-d forbid that sero-conversion should really spike again in the U.S. and you would see the same kind of insanity that led us to march in the first place. The time lapse would be about one second.

    Obviously, responsible people don't have unprotected sex. People who have lived on this planet for more than ten-seconds ought to know that men who want sex lie (or fail to disclose). Therefore, protection is a matter of self preservation.

    That said, I would love to have unprotected sex (by the time I started having sex the revolution was over and raw sex just wasn't done anymore). Frankly, I am most angry that this disease put a rubber glove on something I would have liked to have experienced. BTW I know that HIV is not the only STD that a condom will protect me from, but face it, HIV is the one we are worried about when we roll that condom on.

    If you get your time-machine wish then I hope that I am around, because I will go back and start marching all over again, and I won't stop marching until we are really-and-truly free (and that doesn't mean free to be responsible, free to behave, etc. - I mean free to be what we want to be naturally).

    Terry


    GNOME08 saidThis will be extremely non PC but here goes. Go back in Time and stop ACT UP from giving Civil Rights to the HIV Virus. Treat the people with the Virus as people but no rights of Privacy to the Virus.

    All other STD's have to be reported to the Health Dept of the State you are living in, many of the bacterial ones are more a pain in the butt, but most are curable. If you got a case of the clap tomorrow they would ask for a list of all persons you had sexual contact with, so they could notify them and stop the spread. Not the case with HIV.

    Before the room erupts I am not talking Tatoos, or scarlet letters from Hawthorne, or pretty colored Triangles, but some common curtsey and sense. Have the person tell anybody with honesty at the right time their Sero Status.

    HIV/AIDS is not a killer anymore, but only the most warped person, who is POS would say "I LOVE HAVING IT." Some of the meds can reek havoc with you.

    Short of that always practice safe sex


    I'd have to agree with gnome. HIV should be reported like any other STD. I understand the laws because of the discrimination in the past, they should keep those, but they can make an exception with the areas dealing with the direct spread of the disease. They can still deal with that confidentially. STD's are not the threat that HIV is. HIV costs in our community billions in dollars and countless measures in lives. And that's serious enough.




    Back to topic, money, money, money that's my issue in life.
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    Aug 16, 2008 8:57 AM GMT
    Maverick75 said


    I'd have to agree with gnome. HIV should be reported like any other STD. I understand the laws because of the discrimination in the past, they should keep those, but they can make an exception with the areas dealing with the direct spread of the disease. They can still deal with that confidentially. STD's are not the threat that HIV is. HIV costs in our community billions in dollars and countless measures in lives. And that's serious enough.


    Dear Maverick,

    The laws that you refer to, against "discrimination in the past" are precisely those laws which were enacted to protect the privacy of people living with HIV.

    The areas dealing with the direct spread of the disease means that people who are diagnosed with HIV would be obliged to list their sexual partners and those partners would be advised of having had sex with an HIV+ person.

    Sorry to say, but you were ten years old when this whole debate was raging and you cannot possibly imagine what it was like to have lived through it.

    This information, by the way, would not be used statistically (statistical data is already collected). That data amounts to profiling an entire population (or very nearly so).

    It is incredible that it was possible to stop this happening at the time.

    Now that most of us have conveniently forgotten, are already dead, weren't even born, or were too young to remember it all just looks like some actuarial table regarding social costs and healthcare.

    Well, no it isn't like that. I lost more than 40 friends to HIV. I cannot think of a single one who did not vigorously oppose this kind of tactic.

    Sincerely,
    Terry

    p.s. Money won't solve anyone's problems. You can be Elizabeth Taylor or a Drag Queen in Alabama and you are still going to have the same number of problems, they are just different problems.

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    Aug 16, 2008 9:05 AM GMT
    Dear Musclelover529,

    There is nothing in the world more necessary than people like you.

    If you live with doubts and worries then that tells me that you are a thinking person, conscious of what can go wrong.

    You are twenty. It is not possible for a man of your generation to simply accept that your sexual orientation CAN BE ALLOWED to be an obstacle to a life of public service. It is up to you to prevent that from happening if it is really true that you wish to follow the example of Margaret Mead, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, etc.

    Larry Craig and Elliot Spitzer are the poster children for what happens when people try to live a lie. They are the negative result of wrong decisions taken at crossroads in their very-ambitious lives.

    Certainly I don't know what the "shit that's happening" in your life is. However, whatever your sexuality turns out to be, it is who you are. If your politics aren't informed by who you are then they aren't really your politics, they are just ambition and lust disguised as belief and purpose.

    You personify what this world needs, thinking young men whose minds will NEVER be totally made up, who are able to grow and change, who have the courage to be honest from day one and never stop. Those are the men who have always changed the world.

    Sincerely,
    Terry


    musclelover529 saidGod I feel awful saying this but the whole gay thing is a big obstacle. I guess it'd be a lot easier if I could say definitively what my sexuality actually is. With some of the shit that's happened in my life, it's hard for me to charge forward, figure out who I am, and confront my personal issues.

    The reason sexuality is such a big obstacle is that I want to be a politician and red flags get thrown up all over the place when sexuality is questioned (Larry Craig, Elliot Spitzer, need I say more?) I'm a lot more principled than that to lie about it and betray everyone who trusts me. But what can I say? I'm a public policy major, a zealous and hopeful optimist, who wants to change the world. My favorite quote comes from Margaret Mead. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only that ever has".

    To bring this full circle, I just fear that my sexuality (whatever it is) will hold me back and prevent me from what I most desire, which is bettering the everyday lives of everyday people.
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    Aug 16, 2008 9:15 AM GMT
    ursamajor said
    Maverick75 said


    I'd have to agree with gnome. HIV should be reported like any other STD. I understand the laws because of the discrimination in the past, they should keep those, but they can make an exception with the areas dealing with the direct spread of the disease. They can still deal with that confidentially. STD's are not the threat that HIV is. HIV costs in our community billions in dollars and countless measures in lives. And that's serious enough.


    Dear Maverick,

    The laws that you refer to, against "discrimination in the past" are precisely those laws which were enacted to protect the privacy of people living with HIV.

    The areas dealing with the direct spread of the disease means that people who are diagnosed with HIV would be obliged to list their sexual partners and those partners would be advised of having had sex with an HIV+ person.

    Sorry to say, but you were ten years old when this whole debate was raging and you cannot possibly imagine what it was like to have lived through it.

    This information, by the way, would not be used statistically (statistical data is already collected). That data amounts to profiling an entire population (or very nearly so).

    It is incredible that it was possible to stop this happening at the time.

    Now that most of us have conveniently forgotten, are already dead, weren't even born, or were too young to remember it all just looks like some actuarial table regarding social costs and healthcare.

    Well, no it isn't like that. I lost more than 40 friends to HIV. I cannot think of a single one who did not vigorously oppose this kind of tactic.

    Sincerely,
    Terry

    p.s. Money won't solve anyone's problems. You can be Elizabeth Taylor or a Drag Queen in Alabama and you are still going to have the same number of problems, they are just different problems.

    Once again you miss my point in my post. I never said we should rid the laws that protect people with HIV from housing, job or any other discrimination. Just one clause needs to change, that it be allowed to be treated like any other STD. HIV is and has been on the rise again, maybe you should wake up to that fact. So you lost 40 friends to HIV back in the 80's! I get that! Guess what? People are still losing friends, lovers, brothers, etc. to HIV in the 21st century! I say its time for a change in the right direction! You can tell everyone to use a condom to protect themselves, that doesn't cover the ones doing the spreading. Its time to treat HIV like any other STD.
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    Aug 16, 2008 10:26 AM GMT
    Maverick said "Once again you miss my point in my post. I never said we should rid the laws that protect people with HIV from housing, job or any other discrimination. Just one clause needs to change, that it be allowed to be treated like any other STD."

    Dear Maverick,

    Actually, I didn't miss the point of your post. It is precisely in the fact that those laws were enacted to prevent HIV from being treated just like any other STD that their value still lies. Changing those clauses (for which people fought and, literally, died) I reckon to be an extremely-bad idea.

    Excuse me, but no one ever called the clap "Gay Cancer" nor was it ever called "GRID = Gay Related Immuno Deficiency".

    It isn't just any STD, it is still GAY CANCER in the mind of MILLIONS of people who think the world would be a better place without people like you and me in it.

    It is precisely because this is still a crisis (a health and social crisis of gargantuan proportions) that it is no time to remove what few civil protections have EVER been won on behalf of people living with HIV.

    Maverick said - "So you lost 40 friends to HIV back in the 80's! I get that!"

    You say that like your are talking about shoes or pencils. Sorry, but you don't get it at all. Frankly, I am grateful for the fact that things have progressed to the point that you can say something so spectacularly ignorant without giving it a second thought - that shows me that this doesn't touch your life in the way that it might have.

    Believe me when I say that I do not live in the past. There is no one on this Earth with less desire to relive the past than I. There is no one on this Earth with a greater desire to see a better future for people like you, than me.

    If you want to protect people living with HIV and AIDS in the 21st century then you owe it to US (We are all HIV+) to protect OUR liberties, to work to find a cure (and I mean work, not blather on about abstract political constructs), and to protect yourself and those you love.

    I can read the English language. Your point is clear and it is not misunderstood. I don't agree with your point, nor the point of the original poster; and that is an entirely different matter than misunderstanding.

    Sincerely
    Terry


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    Aug 16, 2008 1:34 PM GMT
    Perception of circumstances.