scars, bruises, beauty

i have a four inch scar along the length of my neck, from where the cancer was removed two years ago.

i have a deep scar from an outburst last summer that ended with broken glass and a foot that bled for a week.

i have a tiny scar from trying to cut open a bag of candy like i was slicing a bagel. (idiot.)

my hands have been so constantly swollen from the lupe that they look old and tiny. kind of like carrie bradshaw's hands, withered from her self-pity and cigarettes.

my face has little marks where things where cut out and never replaced.

my veins, collapsed and taken from so many times, look tired, and bruised.

this last time, they hit every one on both arms, each spot more than twice. 

lauren captured it beautifully in this picture here.

they will heal, too. scar tissue has been formed since i was twelve but there are ways to do what we have to do. (hey, if a heroin addict can...)

on my belly, two scars are etched where my appendix was cut out. 

these things will never disappear. 

and the truth is?

i love them. i love them because they are physical proof of a battle, no matter how big or small. that something bad/good/stupid happened but it healed. it might have bled, hurt, caused stress. but it has healed, leaving a faint trace of what could and should have been.

like a tattoo that we get to remind us of who we lost, my scars remind me of battles both big and small. fights that cost more than others. times i will always remember when i look down and think: look what happened! how will i do better? how will i be stronger next time?

i have been me, forever. sometimes a little frayed, worn, and weary. but always me. 

and these scars? it reminds me of how time, so slowly, eventually helps to heal our wounds. it does not erase them, or forgive them; rather it allows the pain to recede and leaves us with this mark, this everlasting proof. it leaves us with hope that maybe we can all be healed. gaze at what has happened and look up with the ability to tell our story. the whole, truthful tale, as painful or as beautiful as it might be.

because even though we may have loved, and lost, and hurt:  we are still here.

(please share your scar/tattoo stories below, if you'd like. i love all gross stories, so don't hold back!)


  1. we all need something to remind us of what we've been through.

  2. I feel the same about the scar that is a little more difficult to see these days... thank you last 10 lbs of baby weight for hanging on still. For me it's a reminder to be thankful, to live my life the best way I can.

    I also have a stupid scar on my finger from catching a crew boat that was coming into the dock due to an inexperienced coxswain not paying attention. Sports are dangerous even if you aren't participating.

    And another on the same hand from a broken hanger at Express in the Monmouth Mall (wow welcome back memory). Shopping is also dangerous folks.

  3. @Katie:

    Ha, the scar on my finger is from cutting open some sort of candy/junk during our binge eating at your house, ten days after Allie was born. We are so classy.

  4. HAHAHA!! I remember that!

  5. love this so much.

  6. Rug burns on my knees from a wild night in college left some pretty nasty scars :-(

  7. So I just started reading your blog. You don't know me, but I've already been inspired by your stories. And laughed hysterically at some of them too. You definitely have a way with words that makes me consider things from a different perspective.

    I have 3 scars on my face, from the following:
    1) Falling on a piece of broken glass when I was 2.
    2) Playing goalie on my soccer team when someone's shinguard corner went through my lip. (I stopped the goal!!)
    3) My brother jokingly hit me in the head with an empty PLASTIC 2 liter pop bottle. It didn't even hurt, but my eyebrow busted open!

    When I had my high school senior pictures taken, the company edited my scars out of the pictures without even asking me!! I was so mad. I like these scars. They are me.

  8. I have a scar on my middle finger where I cut a chunk of skin off when I was making a sculpture in college out of wooden dowels. I had to have it wrapped up in gauze and it looked like I was flipping everyone off for a week. Awesome.

  9. Matt warned me I'd get some weird comments, so I just deleted the Adam-Eve sex thing. wHAT WAS THA?

    Anyway thanks for sharing. I forgot about the time Will from 1st grade stabbed me in the face with with a pencil (accidentally). Rat bastard!

    I love these stories :)

  10. I have a tiny scar on my hand from when you scratched me while we were in North Carolina for Mark and Becky's wedding.

  11. 1. I have a chicken pox scar on my forehead, right in the middle so people think I got shot in the head with a BB gun haha...

    2. I have a scar on my leg from a cyst removal that looks like a hole in my leg which people look at it and think what the hell is there a hole in your leg for???

    3. a nice j-shaped scar on the bottom of my foot from stepping into the lake without water shoes and getting shanked by a broken bottle. Genius.

  12. i was always fascinated by my mother's c-section scars, one for me that went across, one for my brother that went up and down, criss-crossing her pouchy belly.

    i have two scars, one a perfect half moon near the big knuckle of my right pointer finger, the other a half-inch slice along the outside of the same hand, just below the pinkie. i got both of them the same way, although at different times -- doing dishes, with my hand in a glass that broke as i was washing it.

  13. "scars are souvenirs you never lose."

    i've always thought of that lyric whenever i look at any of my scars. They're my permanent souvenirs from places i've been in my life, good or bad, i made it through and am on the other side.
    four or so years ago, i noticed a "knot" growing on the outside of my right foot. my dr told me it was a callus so i never worried about it. time passed and it grew bigger and tender. another started growing along side it. off to the podiatrist i went. mri's, ultrasounds and xrays told us it was a mass of some sort...podiatrist wanted to go in and biopsy/try to remove it. i went into surgery that morning not knowing if it was benign or malignant. thankful it turned out to be benign but it turned out that the knots were just a piece of the mass...fragments and growing knots engulfed the entire side of my foot and underneath too. podiatrist was able to get it all but months later scar tissue formed around my sural nerve (major nerve along your leg downn to your foot) and caused ridiculous pain. every 2 weeks i had to go in and get an alcohol concoction injection onto the nerve. he'd put the needle in at the start of my scar, run it underneath my skin until he hit the nerve (at which point between gasps i had to tell him he'd hit it) and then he'd release the concoction onto the nerve to kill it. i had 7 total. my scar runs along the side of my foot from the center to the base of my little toe.
    i have at least 7 scars from pre cancerous spots being removed from my skin, but i still want to be tan. they aren't just little scars, some are an inch or a little more. they had to go in and take out the tissue underneath. i have 2 layers of stitches.
    my scars tell part of my story and i wear them with pride.

  14. scars are awesome. i love these stories. i want a scar spelling my name out. maybe next surgery?

  15. This message comes with love from someone who was once close then disappeared for many years. You were just a tiny little one with a smile as big as the sky, a personality as bright as the day and a mind sharper than many adults I have known. You have apparently taken those charistics into adulthood. Time is sometimes a weird thing- it brings good and bad, both of which can make us wiser and stronger... which is apparently the case for you.

  16. I had band aids left in my bed for weeks after that darn scar on your foot. I think I woke up with one attached to my face.

  17. I have two big scars on either side of my butt-crack from when I slipped off the toilet and fell onto the radiator. I rub them for good luck sometimes.

  18. meghan, be lucky you have my blood on your face. we are now truly blood related.

    gen. well. there are no words.

  19. A couple of Christmases ago, my boyfriend and I went to visit his dad for Christmas. He lived way down in South Georgia, where there are woods and no lights at night to fade the stars, and there isn't a Wal-Mart for a good hour in any direction.

    Anyway, we took the four-wheeler out for a ride on the paths in the woods behind the house, and we decided to take a shortcut on the way back. We cut through the woods, and it was fun. But there was this log, see, and one of the wheels hit it. We didn't flip, but I lost my grip for a minute and flailed outward...right into a tree. At first it didn't hurt at all, it just stung a little. But then I started bleeding all over my favorite pair of jeans.

    We drove back and cleaned it up, but it left a scar through my right eyebrow. I kind of like it, though. It's interesting. I mean, I now have a distinguishing feature, so I can't have a life of crime...I'd be too easy to identify. But still. When I came back to school, it was a bit healed, but still very noticeable. Everyone wanted to know what happened, so me and my closest friends made up a whole repertoire of stories I could pull out. My favorite was when my friend Kim suggested that I tell people I got thrown while trying to ride a puma.

    Sorry for the long comment, but you asked for scar stories. :P

  20. I love scars! Especially when you get a really great tan,depending on amount of scars you have, you can resemble a really cute dalmatian puppy.

    I have seven scars. Three of them occurred at the same time, two years ago on New Years Eve in NYC. Details still hazy, but my posse left the bar hurriedly trying to chase our foolish blacked out friend to stop her from breaking into Perez Hilton's bash nearby. I tried to catch up and failed. I hailed a taxi in record time, but made him stop after 10 seconds; I thought I saw my buddies walking back. It was a mirage. I jumped out of the taxi yelling their names, and tripped on the cobblestone curb; my arms paralyzed, i face planted into the middle of a large crowd. The most distinct memory of that was hearing the gasps of the bystanders. Everyone crowded around me and went to help me up, but I felt no pain and jumped up and started sprinting! I ran into the nearest bar, an Irish Pub. Heads turned. Friends nowhere. Ran to nearest bathroom to escape and relieve myself. Looked in mirror and face covered with blood, nose, chin, forehead, elbow. Scar on right knee, small one on bottom of chin, and elbow. All pretty small.

    I also have a scar on my left ankle from when I was trying to ride my bike over the railroad tracks but didnt gather enough speed over raised railroad tracks.Bike rolled back and fell on top of me. Scar on bottom left ankle, largest one.

    My fifth scar occurred at the Belmar St. Patty's festivities 3-4 years ago. Walking back from Bar A to an afterparty, feeling cool after dancing with Irish midget on stage and throwing out beads, I jumped up and slammed my hand on a tall stop sign. Hand cut and bloodied; ended up with a cool looking scar on my pinky.

    And of course my first one fwas from the chicken pox thats pretty small,in the same exact spot where Cindy Crawfords trademark mole is,making it my favorite.

  21. HAHAHA @Anonymous Rachel I love you.