If you were to ask a room full of children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” most of them would probably blurt out some immense, prestigious type of profession. You know, like a lawyer, doctor, police officer and the alike. (Whew, chile! The innocence! 🙇🏾‍♀️)

Unless you have a child like mine, of course. I asked him this same question and his response was, “I want to have super powers!”

Alright now Super-Spider-Turtle-Panther-Man! 😒

But for real though, I don’t know when it happened but it did.

I’M now the adult in the room.

I’M now the one that’s supposed to have it all figured out.

And I don’t.

Ciarra, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I don’t know what I WANT to be but I sure as hell can tell you what I CAN’T be …

Well see, I can’t be an attendant to a quadriplegic. You remember. We tried that already (see previous post).

And I can’t be a daycare teacherIf this company or these parents knew that I was HIV positive, they would not approve of me picking their babies up to place them at the sink to wash their hands. Then BOOM! I’m unemployed.

Stripper? 😑 Now bitch you know good and damned well!

Well it was this one time that I tried to be a teacher that taught English in another country. You know, through one of those programs right out of college. The jawn was official! I felt all important and accomplished as I drove my ragedy car into this commercial business complex located in one of those rich ass suburbs of Atlanta.

The buildings were tall. But my head was held so high, that I appeared taller than them. At least that is how I felt.

So bam! I get in this office all early for my interview, just knowing I’m about to kill it! Passport stamps all day! I don’t know where imma get this airfare from but I’m outta this piece. U.S. of kiss my ASS! 

The secretary acknowledges my presence and directs me to one of those big conference rooms I had only seen on TV before. The table was all shiny and smooth; a dark, pretty wood. One of those BIG round tables that indicate the people around it were talking about BIG things.

In front of me there was this stapled document that seemed to levitate above the table. It was the application. My ticket out of this place!!! 

So I begin to fill it out. Name? Check! Educational History? Check! Wait til they see what school I went to. I’m in there booiiiiii!

At this point, I probably did one of those confident licks of my forefinger so I could persuade the pages to separate as I continued to fill out my freedom papers. The page finally turns and then here comes the bullshit:

Do you have any communicable diseases?

Ummm. Yes. Yes, I do. 😳

Now what?

I gave up on the application. I gave up on the position. I pulled the lady to the side – the one that was going to hold my interview and gave her the 411. In response she gave me the whole damn directory. Guys, it’s really one. Look: Keep your HIV+ ass wherever the hell you are.

There is literally a whole site dedicated to advising people like me all across the world where they can and can’t go. Where they can and can’t visit. Who would’ve thunk it?

Tip: In moments of passion, you would never think that the decision to protect yourself (or not) could ultimately get you banned from a whole other country.

I left that fancy ass building and headed back to my ragedy ass car, with the weight of HIV on my shoulders.

Ask me now: Ciarra, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Shiiiiid. I want super powers. I want to be able to be strong and not get knocked down. I want to speak and people to listen. I want to help people heal who are too scared to start the process themselves.


What not to do: Don’t put out your flame because you are at the wrong cookout.

Hey y’all! Allow me to reintroduce myself.

I am Ciarra. Also known as: Super-Resilient-Courageous-Wonder-Woman, the mother of Super-Spider-Turtle-Panther-Man.

+ Ci Ci +