On my 10th birthday, my golden birthday...my family took me on a camping trip to Wisconsin Dells. The usual family and friends joined us on our trip: Uncle Greg & Aunt Rose, Mom, Dad, Stephanie and Uncle Dave. On the actual day of my 10th Birthday, we all went to Devil's Lake for a day of fun in the sun. When I was a kid, I loved riding my bike everywhere. So my Aunt Rose and I ventured out on one of the paths circling the lake. As we raced down the asphalt path, I turned a sharp corner, hit some gravel and slid 6ft cutting my knee pretty badly and slicing my hands open. At the time, I think it was the shock of the fall more than anything that upset me. Granted the wound was deep, and I had fallen so hard that my mom had to pick the rocks out of it. While I was sitting there crying, my mother took it upon herself to lecture me on the importance of wearing knee and arm pads when riding my bike. Now, anyone who doesn't currently have children....and anyone who rode a bike as a kid, knows that it is extremely uncool to wear knee, elbow and arm pads when riding their bike. I suppose if I were a parent now, and even at an an older age now...I can see the value in wearing such ridiculous gear when riding your bike. Nevertheless, to this day I still have that scar on my right knee...ironically in the shape of the state of Illinois.
Scars. They sort of tell a story. Scientifically scars are areas of tissue that replace our normal skin after an injury. A scar, is the result of the biological process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues of the body. Thus, scars are a natural part of the healing process. However, when a person has a scar, there is always a story behind it. My dad has a scar from the top of his collar bone to the bottom of his ribs. It's from his near fatal heart attack three years ago. My friend has two scars on her face from a sledding accident. Another friend has a scar on her shin from where she "shaved her legs for the first time, and shaved off an entire fucking layer of skin." Yes, even her description of it fits her to a tee. Regardless of what our scars are, and where they are located---they all have a story. Not all scars are external, some scars are internal. They're hard to pinpoint. However, those scars are sometimes the thickest---and the ones that affect us the most. As I was getting dressed these evening, and putting on my trusty sweat pants, I took some time to look in the mirror, yet again. I know, it's an obsession I have, and it's something I am trying to overcome. If I were to wear a bathing suit right now, you would see four stretch marks on the front of my stomach and two on each side of where my 'love handles' would be. The reason I tell you all about this, is because I consider them to be scars. Scars from a time period of really self destructive behavior. These 'scars' have come to define me in a very negative way. They reach me all the way on the inside, and touch me on the very tip of the loss I have just experienced.
If I think about those scars, and the journey I have just embarked on, I'm not certain this journey is going to help the fresh wounds heal.
Last week, my therapist told me she thought that it might be healthy if I subscribe to an online dating site--and create a profile. Let's all be honest with ourselves....firstly, I will fully and honestly admit that I am 100% awkward when it comes to talking to guys. I don't even know where to begin, mostly because I don't have the confidence to even think that a guy would want to talk to me. Some of that stems from being dropped like I was nothing. Some of that stems from myself. Some of that stems from me being 19 when I met the one I thought I was going to be with forever. Before I met him, I spent so much time taking care of others, that I never really worried about learning how to find my 'dating groove.' Here I am, 25---and I have to learn how to date. Nevertheless, I digress....and yes....that all rhymed. So, I created a dating profile. I took a chance and 'emailed' a few guys...and none of them responded...which was a blow to my ego that is already the size of a pea. I started to talk to this one individual. What do you know, a conservation officer? Seems I attract them. We did the whole 'small talk' thing, which I wasn't really certain of because I mean, what do you say....furthermore, what do you say when you're talking to someone online...which is awkward in itself. Let's face it folks, I am not Carrie Bradshaw---and I don't walk down the streets in fabulous clothing with fabulous shoes...stumbling across men that I think might be 'the one.' No, I drive to work in my dress pants, with my Converse All Stars on (yes, I walk to my car this way with my dress pants), and I change my shoes when I get to work, and I have chipped nail polish on my toes...and I like to wear t-shirts. I don't have that suave nature, where things just fall into place. As much as I would love to be Carrie Bradshaw, I'm not her....and things don't seem to be working that way. So, as we continued to talk, he asked me about my past relationships. So I told him, I told him everything. Which I think was a mistake. He kept asking questions, so I kept talking. I think I divulged too much....because he asked me for the second time "So, what do you do for work" and I went to answer...again (which I thought was weird....but hey) and he quickly said "Sorry, I had the wrong window open". Ouch, burn. I know the point of online dating is to talk to lots of different people. It just feels so awkward and impersonal. The thing is, I don't know how else to have the courage to talk to people, and even many of the guys I have mentioned on this site, haven't answered. Ouch, burn. I know I have to give it time, and I can't let my scars show. Needless to say, that individual has not reached back out to me again....and when I say this, I almost say it with a chuckle because it's just my luck and personality. I guess I just have to keep trying. Even though I believe it is too soon, and even though my scars are shining as bright as they ever have before.
Better get my Neosporin out....