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She wore her scars as her best attire, a stunning dress made of Hellfire

This morning I found myself mesmerized over my scars from my knee surgery. What once were bloody gashes that made my stomach quiver when the patches were removed are now merely small blemishes. Today I can barely notice three of them, one of them was mistaken for dirt on my leg by my PT just the other day in fact. The largest and gnarliest is the scar across my shin, though it has faded to fine white line its the scar that still sends electric sparks off like fireworks in my body if its touched, tricks my leg into believing I have a bruise down near my foot (nerves are strange right?) and if its rubbed by my jeans it feels like my knee is swollen like a balloon but don't stress for me, it isn't. This scar is my story.

On the tough days, the days where I need a little reminder I will look at this scar and remember the battles I have fought to be here. The endless rehab hours, solitude, determination, patience, missed opportunities, lessons and most importantly belief that got me through it. My scars prove that I healed, that I can do anything I put my mind to and provide another part of my history written on my body.

Defined as a mark left on the body where a wound, sore or damage has not healed properly or connective tissue has developed AND/OR a lasting effect of Grief, fear, or other emotion on a by a traumatic experience. This is a scar. A moment that has left a mark of its presence in our life and our story on our body, or within our hearts. Both define a scar with a negative connotation- something that has previously caused destruction, turmoil or grief. Most of us solidify this connotation by feeling ashamed, self conscious and damaged when it comes to most of our scars. Though of course we all have a few that bring us to laughter or a geeky grin thinking of the fall or tumble that brought some on like the scar on my right big toe from when I ate shit skateboarding in a bikini in Forster and mum came to my rescue ( No I was not 10, I was 23). I think our greatest challenge in life is to think of all our scars as Alessia Cara says "No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful". To see these marks of our history as the very proof that we are survivors, warriors and as a reminder of all the things you conquered to make you who you are today. A sign that you can heal, and a reminder to others that they can too. As I'm writing this I have come across this quote " She wore her scars as her best attire. A stunning dress made of hellfire" by Daniel Saint. This made me think of Katniss Everdeen in her flaming gown and how it sent the crowd into uproar and appraisal and I want to wear my scars like I wear my gown to Opening Night- proud, confident , feeling radiant and damn sexy and YOU SHOULD TOO!

We all have scars, Every scar is unique to us and our story and though they may be similar to anothers each has marked our body in its own way. There are scars that we are proud of , and then the many that we are ashamed of . I have scars on my sides from where stretch marks lined my skin as I grew those dreaded womanly things called hips. They make me feel uneasy when they are seen but these hips are part of my booty that I love and one day will help me bear children. I have scars on my body from self harm. Scars that remind me of that time when I was 14 and my body was changing at a rate faster than others and quicker than I wanted it to, Out of frustration and high intensity anxiety moment fueled by tears my nails had dug a tremendous amount harder than I thought wishing that body was not mine. Boobs were growing and I was becoming a dancer with "Big Boobs" and friends were making comments about how large they were as they stood there with mozzie bites on their chests giggling and little did they know the punches they were throwing at my heart and pride. "Whats your bra size?" at a job was rapidly becoming my most hated question and I dreaded the moment to try it on and try not to complain or feel fat because I was overflowing like when your muffins come out deformed because you overfilled the mixture. By the way this didn't stop being a constant burden in my mind until recently. In fact only three years ago when I was 22 a close friend made a remark and laughed in what felt like ridicule when I said I was having a 'small day' which ended in me in tears having a moment in the bathroom before tech run. Ive now learnt to appreciate and love my body for its womanly curves and highlights. I love that I can wear no bra under a gown and receive compliments and actually accept them gratefully. I laugh at times at how something which I despised on myself for so long has now become a beautiful asset and pride. I always pray no one will notice the scars as they make me feel deeply ashamed at times but then again they are part of MY STORY, my adolescence and growing to love myself so if someone were to ask me I would wear them with pride, and maybe it will help some other girl love her body a little more.

My heart holds its own invisible scars also. To the stranger it seems whole and plump but only I myself know the marks it bears as you do for your own. The holes from the times your heart broke that you sewed yourself through tears, overseas travel, new experiences and of course self development books. The childhood traumas that burst and ruptured all over again when we turned 21. The small bruises from the mistakes we have made, the friends we trusted, the lessons we learnt. But just as the marks on our skin, this branding upon our hearts is OUR STORY. Let them remind you of everything you have experienced, overcome and struggled through and let them become your wings to soar. I love hearing the stories behind someones blemish of victory- whether that is a made up shark attack tale that has me laughing or a heart felt tale of a survivor that has gone through battle. I challenge you to sit down and think of your scars as a roadmap to your life. Start from the first, possibly a birthmark and trace through the milestones of the incredible life you have lived. I did this today and it made me cross between laughter and welling up but feeling god damn proud at the end of it. From my scar near my right eye from when a boy punched me because I teased him when I was 4, to my other eye where a scar lays from when my cousin slashed my eye open with a ping pong racket that time he wouldn't let me play... Dad you are right I was always sticking my face into things and never learnt!. To the scar on my hand from the 20 or so stitches after my abuelas german shepherd lost the plot and chewed my hand (which has now lead to a fear of dogs) and the hole that remains from thinking a belly button piercing was sexy, again Dad you were right. These are my stories, they made me who I am today and I look forward to being 90 years old explaining to my grand children where all these jagged wounds came from and feeling proud of the history I have lived.

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