Someone said to me once (after seeing one of my tattoos) why would you choose to scar your body? I’ve got enough scars and marks on me already, why would you go and add them on purpose?
I don’t normally say anything in response because I’ve found this topic is one of those great conversational divides. People usually either love tattoos, or hate them and I figure that sometimes it’s easier to shrug, smile and walk away.
The reason I decided to write this was because I was thinking some of those sad, deep thoughts about life. About the journey people travel and what makes them the person they are. It got me thinking about my own journey and how scars can sometimes remind us about parts of that journey. The good and the bad, the fair and the foul.
I have scars on my legs from growing too tall, too quickly as a teenager that remind me of how much I hated high school swimming carnivals…but loved sitting in the sunshine, talking endlessly with my friends. I have a big squarish scar on my knee that came as a result of a fantastic primary school game of rounders and scars on my belly as a result of pregnancies. They remind me I have three wonderful children and that I probably shouldn’t wear bikinis anymore. I have a little, dinted, scar on my forehead that my Mum tells me I got from an accidental bump on a door frame as a baby. There is a 1cm long scar on the back of my left hand that I got because I was scared of the dark…reminding me of the many shenanigans my brother and I got up to growing up.
I have metaphorical scars on my heart from losing friends and loved ones. Sometimes they hurt so badly I feel like I can’t breathe. I get terrified, I cry, I wish with all my being that I could talk to them one more time. Tell them about my day, my problems, my triumphs. Tell them how much I love them, just in case they didn’t know already. Tell them about everything they’ve missed and about how much I’ve missed them.
Then there are the scars I put there myself…a butterfly on my ankle to remind me that even though lots of awful, sad, unfair things happen in life, there are lots of unexpected, beautiful, happy things too. And lastly the swallow on my left wrist which reminds me that my heart will always have a home with the man I love and I’ll never be truly lost with him in my life.
So as I continue on my journey, I carry these all these scars and memories with me and I feel blessed that I get to travel with so many wonderful people along the way.