…okay I’m not really sure if that’s true, but it’s a good title. I don’t know if this could be considered an extension of the post before last, I guess it’s just another one of my philosophies for my life along the same lines. Can’t quite recall how we got on the subject the other night, but somehow a lady friend and I got on the topic of scars, and it really got me thinking. Apparently, she’s not as big of a fan of scars as I thought girls were. I, on the other hand, think they are absolutely vital if you want to fully experience life. The whole conversation made me recall a great quote I once read:
"Scars are tattoos with better stories" – Unknown
I saw this quote in a magazine advertisement for Toyota (or some other truck manufacturer, can’t quite recall), and loved it. It is so true. I have pondered the prospect of adding a little ink to my body for a long time, but have always come to the same conclusion. I simply cannot find a something that means enough to me personally that I would want it etched on my skin permanently. I see so many people who get tattoos just for the sake of having one, with no real meaning behind them, something completely insignificant to their life. A sun here, a butterfly there… with no real meaning, and most of the time, far less originality. Yet another problem with tattoos. You can strive to be as creative as you want, but there still might be someone else walking around with your same tattoo one day. Scars, on the other hand, are always completely unique… AND come with a built in story!
I don’t care who you are or where you have been, EVERYONE has a scar and a story. As you could probably imagine, my lifestyle left me with plenty of stories to tell. There are the wrestling scars from wounds that may or may not have needed stitches, but were super glued shut in order to continue competition. Some of the scars don’t come with as thrilling of anecdotes as those, but they are stories nonetheless. For every tale I have about getting stitches from wakeboards smacking me in the face or gouging my stomach on a broken beer bottle while diving into a shallow lake (apparently the water had come up over an old fire pit), I have the truly embarrassing scars from hitting my myself in the face with a pickle ball paddle. And of course the accident gave me some really crazy stories about metal objects being screwed into my bones!
Most people keep journals and diaries to keep track of memories without ever realizing they are a walking tribute to the things they’ve experienced. Every mark on our bodies is a reminder of where we have been, and what we have been through. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a tattoo with a meaningful story behind it, but scars remind us of pain we endured, and ultimately overcame. They show us that our bodies aren’t as fragile as we think, and we really are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. I have plenty of scars, and I wouldn’t change a single one of them because they have made me the person I am today. They are physical proof that without pain, I would never truly know what it means to be alive.
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Hell, yeah. I’ve used a similar quote all my life. Scars mean you showed up, you were in the melee. All a tattoo means is that your wallet did battle with an artist. Unless the tat covers up a scar.
You got me thinking about it, tallying things up for fun:
1. (Right knee) From holding my feet behind me and walking on my knees in the shallow surf as a child in Florida. Until the patch of razor-sharp, flesh-eating coral. Ever see a wound widen over the course of an hour? Kinda cool, but itchy.
2. (Right leg) From 10-foot-long band of heavy steel I had bought from Home Depot to pound into the ground as garden edging. Saw all the layers of my skin down to the fatty tissue that day. Duct tape is a handy thing.
3. (Bridge of nose, under right eye, under lip on left, above chin on right) Scared dog, stupid owners, me with a canine’s teeth wrapped around my face and blood flowing like a faucet into the grass. Climbed Mount Missouri the very next day. Never said I was patient. Not so into dogs, anymore, though.
4. (Above left knee) A nervous acupuncturist burst a blood vessel and tore the skin. I screamed, he jumped four feet, I laughed my ass off. I still smile whenever I look at that spot.
5. (Heel of left hand) Nine-years-old and can’t undo a monster knot in my tree-swingin’ rope, so I go get a utility knife with a fresh blade. Use your imagination. For years, I tell people it’s a suicide attempt to see their eyes.
6. (Just below the bikini line) I was born with 2 1/2 kidneys, which wouldn’t be so bad except the mutant one had bad plumbing and tried to kill me. I kept it, just had some stuff moved around. Oh, how hospital food sucks.
7. (?) Frightful TBI from doing a somersault over the handlebars of my mountain bike going 25 mph on an asphalt trail. If it left any dain bramage, no one can tell–one of the benefits of being a known nutball on a day to day basis. When the bike mechanics saw all the pieces of my helmet, they fixed my bike for free.
8. (Under left eye) Ran a landscaping company, did battle with a small, sharp branch, lost. Decided not to mention it on the business cards.
9. (Lower back) Had an LP (lumbar puncture/spinal tap) to investigate a meningitis scare. The hole didn’t reseal itself as promised and spinal fluid emptied from my brain into my abdomen for days. The resulting headache was crazy-making.
10. The rest are emotional. They magically heal when I don’t look at them, reopen when I do.
That was fun, thanks. Have a great Friday.