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My Scars Become Me

My story has many chapters thus far, and I’m hoping for many more despite the costs. Real living is not easy. It takes risks. It takes suffering. It takes pain. However, the pain is fleeting. The story, on the other hand, will last a life-time.

5I was recently talking with a man who, while still being in my life as a friend, is no longer the potential love interest that I made of him. In our conversations working towards an understanding of each other in a romantic sense, he sends this text:

“So you’re a little bit broken, huh?”

It was a non-judgemental statement. I never took it as a judgement, but rather a statement of understanding that he had made of me. This didn’t anger me, or upset me as maybe it should have. I do appreciate candid conversation and straight-forwardness. My reply was, “Yes, I do believe I am.”

That being said, I have realized that the scars I bear, the ones this particular man spotted on me, are in fact, the evidence of the life that I have lived. I wouldn’t use all the bio-oil in the world to be able to remove them.

“My scars become me.” This is what I said to him further in our conversation. I’ve earned them. And despite the haunting pain of their receiving, they are mine and their accumulation makes up who I am.

We are who we are not only based on genetic make-up, but also through the experiences we have. Each person I meet has a set of experiences, maybe some I share, and most likely several I don’t.

I cannot claim that I carry more scars than anyone else. However, life has been leading me down a little bit of a histrionic corridor; more specifically, reintroducing me to my one and only long-term-relationship.

I ran into him twice in the past week and both times I couldn’t help but think that he looked like he just escaped from gay-jail: as in a big flaming, make-up wearing, twinky (but too old to be twinky), fake teeth, fake hair, fake personality, but rough around the edges, sac of shit.

I was 19 when I dated him and I’m 24 today, and this exchange with a man from my past life has shaken me up more than perhaps I’m even aware. It suddenly dawned on me that my every romantic exchange has been tainted by my experience with this man. It’s alarming and it’s normal. And I am normal despite my insecurities and my brokenness.

I am broken. I know that. I’m ok with that and the people that come into my life quickly learn that this is the case. Those who stick around to see past the frayed edges are the people I treasure most.

It’s a little like the Antiques Roadshow. The cracks, the discolouration, the peeling, it all tells a story from where that antique came from, and while it may lower the price, it heightens the story.

My story has many chapters thus far, and I’m hoping for many more despite the costs. Real living is not easy. It takes risks. It takes suffering. It takes pain. However, the pain is fleeting.

The story, on the other hand, will last a life-time.


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Caleb McMullen

Written by Caleb McMullen

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheatreisforSuckers.com

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