How often have we looked in the mirror and wondered how much worse we could look? We judge our scars, wrinkles, and gray hair with a harshness lacking the appreciation of the story they told. We are the story of our scars. We are the warriors forged in the heat of the battles life dares to challenge with us. Whether we accept the story, the person we are becoming, or continue to fight, it will define our path.
For years, I have known life’s not about the destination, but about the journey. The moments, the beautiful flowers we see on our walks – the ones some call weeds can either be weeds or form the basis of a beautiful memory of a new relationship slowly starting to bloom. But what if we chose to slow down and make the memories, have the conversations, and love our scars? What if we chose to display our scars, to show them off, reveling in the beauty of the lessons and moments?
Losing both my grandparents, changing careers twice, and being a single parent, were all easier than this year.
Life was the worst it had ever been, the stress I was under was more pressing than ever, and for the first time in my life, I realized I was lonely. I had been alone for years, and had fewer and fewer people rely upon, but the realization of this fact, combined with a relationship that was spiraling out of control, I was officially at my worst.
They say there is nowhere to go but up when you hit rock bottom. Let me tell you, the idea of just lying on the hard floor, being extremely uncomfortable but knowing what to expect and how you will feel, can seem like a great choice. And so I stayed on the cold floor, refusing to get up, allowing others to make me question my capabilities. They believed that I was truly incapable of the simplest tasks. I stayed where I knew what to expect. It wasn’t until a friend, who refused to allow me to stay there, forcefully pushed me out.
Slowly, I crawled my way out. I rediscovered who I was and chose to set out to become who I was meant to be. The decision unleashed a chain reaction of painful events. Events that knocked me to my knees, left me breathless, but more determined than ever to continue moving forward.
On this part of my journey, I began to truly embrace my age. I learned to appreciate the beauty of my scars, wear sheer foundation allowing the signs of my days of sun worship to show through. In doing that, I found my beauty. Somewhere in the midst of my journey to find myself, I had embraced my worst. And in this moment, at the very worst, is where I found myself.
Looking back, I wonder why we don’t tell each other these bits of wisdom. Why do we allow each other to chase the Fountain of Youth, refusing to embrace our scars? Imagine what would happen if we just relaxed, took deep breaths, and allowed the cellulite to show.
Sara Orellana is a community volunteer, entrepreneur, author, amateur chef, and advocate for rescued animals. She may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.