Disclaimer: the following is not, on any level, for the faint of heart. You have been warned.
This is how it began. A jagged to the bone gash sustained from a faulty coaching platform at a swim arena. I had no sooner sent my last swimmer off, and I attempted to step off the platform when it snapped and the platform that had once held me up, became a metal jaw chomping at my shin. My advancing foot was already on the wet pool deck and this resulted in my slow motion tumble to the ground, my leg akimbo caught in the clench of the metal teeth. My fellow coaches laughed and said they had never witnessed such a slow and graceful fall. Then they saw my shin and the laughter ceased. I assured them I would be fine. I tried to stop the bleeding, but there wasn't a lot in the way of helpful materials or even paper towel in the washroom. Once we were back at school I took the best care of the wound I could. It looked okay. Until it didn't.
Until it looked like something from WebMD.
Today, just over a year later, it is a faded gray fissure and a funny story about an Amazonian American woman and the Vietnamese platform that wasn't built to hold her.
The scar reminds me. It reminds me of a time when I, very new to a place, wanted to support the community however I could. It reminds me that sometimes we engage with the best intentions and still walk away wounded. It reminds me that even when things seem painful and raw, eventually they heal. I need these reminders.
I see the scar daily. I field inquiries about its origin frequently. I expect this. It is in a prominent place. It makes me wonder about the scars that cannot easily be spotted? If I thought my wound was difficult to heal, it was simple compared to healing these unseen wounds.
Inherently scars attest to a certain degree of healing. This healing does not necessarily indicate a lack of sensitivity or letting go of the trauma or feelings the initial wound produced. Scars show a good fight was undertaken, but the reminders linger. Here's to healing...