It’s not a stretch to say that our bodies are a map of our lives: the stretch marks after that growth spurt in junior high, the highlights you got during last winter’s doldrums, the chewed off finger nails that mean you’ve met someone new. These ‘flaws’ help mark us as the fascinating, storied people that we are, don’t they?A story: when I was living in Taiwan, I briefly entertained the idea of getting a tattoo to represent my time there. I was particularly intrigued by the huge, traditional black tattoos
favored by the constantly shirtless construction workers who tore up the street outside my flat. I’m not sure that I would have ever had the guts to get something that epic and intense drilled permanently into my body, but the point became mute six months before I left. While wearing a tiny half helmet, a dress and flip flops, I crashed my scooter, ripped myself up and created several scars that I will have for the rest of my life
. Who needs a tattoo to help you remember an experience when you’ve got a wee slash across your chin and a discolored knee?
I was initially quite unhappy with these new additions to my body: I spent a lot of time blending concealer over the inch in my chin that had been stitched closed and dabbing whitening cream over the oddly darkened road-rash scar. But eventually, I came to see them a badges of my adventures. If I was ever feeling like a simpering wall-flower, I remembered that thread of scar tissue that crossed my chin and the fact that I was the sort of girl who was tough enough to drive fast through the streets of foreign countries. My scars remind me of who I am when I’m feeling adrift and unsure. The other ones I have?
The Mountain Biking Scar
Wait. Don’t be impressed. I hate
mountain biking. It’s hard to go up and it’s scary going down. Eff that. I actually got this scar because I saw a baby horse in a field next to the bike trail, got off my bike to go talk to him and then fell into a bunch of thistles. The baby horse did not care. Jerk.The ‘Cigarette Burn’ Scar
This scar is not actually a cigarette burn. It’s actually the scar from getting a large mole removed. A mole that people constantly mistook for a wood tick. Hawt. Inexplicably, during college I took to telling people that this scar was from someone accidentally burning me with a cigarette at a party. So which is lamer? A woodtick-esque mole or a totally trashy cigarette scar? You be the judge.
The Former Piercing ScarsDidn’t we all pierce our belly buttons and noses at some point? Because they are the cutest and least painful? Like every other girl who ever liked Gwen Stefani or tried to rock man-pants, I at one point pierced my belly button and my nose. The belly button piercing met a bad end when I attempted to rock a belly chain, and then accidentally pulled out said chain when I went to pull up my sagging man pants. The nose ring was met with raised eyebrows from my first ‘real’ boss, so it became weekend-only wear and then, eventually, never-wear.These scars remind me of the camaraderie I felt with my friend as we stood in the vault of the hair salon where we worked, working up the nerve to pull the trigger on the peircing gun. We swore each other to secrecy and dabbed each other’s bellies with rubbing alcohol. We were like blood brothers. Except we had studs in our tummies.
What are the stories behind your scars? How do you feel about them?