We all have them. They tell stories about us. What were you doing when you got your scars? Where had you been? Do you ever forget that you have them? Are you proud of them? Do they scare you?
I have a lot of scars. I still have some on my left shin from accidents on the playground in elementary school. I have one on my forehead from an idiot move I made in my early twenties. There’s one on the back of my right hand from a brush with a safe at work a couple of years ago. Most of the time I don’t even notice those. But the ones in the crooks of my arms (pictured above), well, I often find myself examining those when my mind wanders. They’re scars from blood donations. I don’t often use my right arm, the veins are a bit wonky, that’s why the scars are less prominent on the right side.
There’s actually a joke within the donor center about the “divot” you get when you habitually donate platelets. One individual scar can get so large due to the position of your vein, that it begins to look like a pothole constructed of scar tissue. My divot is still small, but it grows just a little every few months. That’s the scar I focus on the most when I feel contemplative. It exists because of repeated good decisions. It exists because of all the times when I tried to help another person.
Every scar I have, I earned, whether it was a bad decision, an accident, or even a good decision. I like to use them as a road map of my life. You know those little moments that come where you find yourself thinking, “How did I get here?” That’s when those scars come in handy. They’re grounding. They remind me of my own mortality in a way that makes me think more about what I’m doing with my time here and whether or not I’m living the best life I can. They also do a damn fine job of reminding me of the things I tried that just didn’t work out well.
What do your scars say to you? Do you ever take the time to just sit and look at them and remember how you got them?