Wednesday, January 28, 2015


We all have them.

Some you can see, some we keep hidden inside. 

There are ads upon ads for scar removal creams, "removing the blemish."

Here's my question. Why hide them?

I love my physical scars. Half of them I don't even know how I got them.

I have one on my forehead that I've had as long as I can remember. Nobody knows how I got it, it's just always been there. I love that little mystery just above my right eyebrow. It makes it easy to show my hairstylist where my hair naturally parts. It adds a little extra something to my rather plain features. 

I have two very small white scars under my bottom lip. It appears as though I bit myself extremely hard - again, nobody remembers for sure. Can you blame them? I was the third child, and all three of us played rough - just ask my oldest sister about the scars on her arms from my fingernails. You probably wouldn't notice the scars when you talk to me, unless you pay incredibly close attention. 

I have many, many physical scars from years of sports, as well as just plain being a klutz. All of those remind me that I can be athletic, that I have been fit and can get there again. They motivate me to get moving.

My emotional scars?

Well, I don't really keep those hidden either. They can't stay hidden - they have shaped the woman I am today. They are a part of who I am. All of my quirks come from those "secrets." I believe in talking about anything and everything, as long as an honest dialogue stays open.

Some scars have a more obvious effect than others. For example, I didn't have many friends growing up. My parents are divorced. When you are sent to your mom's house in another town every weekend and summer, nobody invites you to do anything because you always have to say no. This has lead to my love of reading. Book characters have been the best friends I could ask for, leading me on wild adventures all over the world from the comfort of my own home.

This lack of friends has also lead to me making an effort to be overly social in college, leading to a wide range of friendships and all types of people in my life. The hardest part was learning to cultivate only a few solid friendships. I've learned that there are those special few that really deserve my time and energy, whereas there are others that can come and go, but I shouldn't put too much of myself into it. I've also got the scars of the toxic relationships guiding me. I've learned the hard way that not every relationship is meant to last, and some are much better off being avoided if at all possible.

Scars make us who we are. We can try to deny them, hide them with creams and crafted social media posts. However, how can we deny the lasting effects? Creams can only lessen the coloring, not undo the lesion entirely. Facebook and Instagram can fake an appearance of perfection, but how can you hide from reality on a daily basis? Eventually, the scars reveal themselves, so why not embrace them?

Learn from them.

Love them.

They are, after all, a part of the best person you could ever know and love - yourself.

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