wearing our scars like stardust

this is what i know this morning
post coffee
pre wine

yesterday i went grocery shopping. and there in aisle three was a guy covered in tattoos. now, truth be told, i like tattoos…i always wanted one. a small one. a teeny one. but this guy was covered in a bit of hate. not full on hate, but some tattoos were, you know, offensive. i could feel my heart pounding, and so, i moved along faster, quicker, piled the crap i needed in my cart and went to the cashier. as it turns out, he & i made it to the door at the same time. the automated door was not working. so, he opened & held the door for me, and said with a gorgeous smile – a seriously gorgeous smile, “you have a good day.” i couldn’t speak. i just couldn’t. that lump that gets caught… you know what i’m talking about…that lump mid throat… and he saw that. he did. he saw my face. he saw my eyes, and this was what he said to me: “i gotta live with my mistakes, i gotta wear ’em.” wow. wow. wow, i thought, holy motherfucker, wow. i thanked him for holding the door open, and wished him a great weekend. i went to my car, tossed the bag on the backseat, and got in the driver seat. and sat.

i gotta live with my mistakes, i gotta wear ’em.
how fucking brave to even say that.
to own it.

and full disclosure: i felt awful – full-on god awful – that i judged him. of course i judged him. of course. human nature, right? but still. but still… who hasn’t made mistakes? my god, i’ve made a shitload of mistakes, a boatload. fucked up, screwed up, said & did things i wish i could rewind and take back. i could list my mistakes alphabetical. i could list them, but i don’t wear them. big difference. we make mistakes and pray to god that we’ll be able to do better, be better, refill the tank. get a second chance, a third chance…maybe even just a chance & a half. and you bet we continuously beat ourselves up over the shit we did when we were younger, when we wanted to fit in, be liked, be loved, be accepted. we beat ourselves to a pulp.

he wore his mistakes full out, balls out for everyone to see.
he wore his scars like stardust.
and my guess, he gave himself that second and third chance.
he gave himself another chance or two or maybe even three.

so, this is what i know right now:
second chances.
third chances.
give them to yourself.
give yourself a chance at greatness, at goodness, at boldness. at brilliance.
fuck up, screw up, redeem yourself, inspire others, change the world.
go on people, go on:

Category: Uncategorized 2 comments »

2 Responses to “wearing our scars like stardust”

  1. Jenna Stone

    Phenomenal perspective and brilliant delivery per usual. Thank you for this. I was horrified the first time I taught creative writing at a high risk school – and was greeted with a classroom full of primarily emo and goth students – with a few jocks interspersed (because where else would the guidance counsellors put them, right?). By far – my most successful teaching experience. These students would have killed anyone for me in a heartbeat. Loyal to a fault. Often the exterior is a tidy stereotypical facade for all that is completely wrecked inside.

    To me – tattoos are like tears. The body can’t hold the emotion anymore and the art of the happenstance of life records in ink the pain, the joy, the memory. Most tattoos I have seen are indicative of the most fantastic origins stories. If you ask the story behind them – you’ll often see that for better or worse there is a commitment there of something much bigger than ourselves (and yes occasionally – bugs bunny may end up on your booty on a less than sober night or a grim reaper appears on a forearm of someone who decided to tattoo instead of jump…). But ultimately – despite the stereotypes – tattoos don’t make people mean. Mean people make people mean.
    (Full Disclosure: while I confess that I now have a few of my own tattoos and may be a tad biased on the topic – bugs bunny and the grim reaper have never made the official cut – to date.)

    Regardless, we all judge – and anyone that tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something. It’s instinct. We judge on even the most basic level to protect ourselves and those around us. The difference is taking the time to reevaluate our snap judgments. That is what you did. You found the beauty in the second and third chances of a man who owned his life – with eyes wide open – while holding the door open for you. Your open heart won over your open eyes. Bravo. That is beautiful. That is inspiring. May we all wear our “scars like stardust”.

  2. Barbara Pottter

    As always, something I needed to read today.

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