Since young, I have been a very accident prone kid. I would trip over anything, even when there’s literally nothing I would still fall down. So if anyone sees that I’m about to fall please lend a hand in catching me. And this resulted in a lot of scars on my legs, such as the usual ones on my kneecaps, scratches on my arms and palms, and once even from stitches due to a puncture wound.
I used to think that this was sort of like karma, as I was overly sheltered by my parents in the past. They wouldn’t allow me to go out and play at playgrounds, they won’t let me join sports ccas, and the notion that PE is a tedious and unnecessary lesson was somehow ingrained into my head. So it was safe to say that I didn’t even have the chance to get hurt when I was younger. And that lead to me getting injured really often whenever the opportunity shows.
So the first time I fell down, was in P1 during PE. It was my first time playing soccer and I was sent to be the goal keeper. While running towards the goal post, I tripped on something (idk whats that something) and fell face flat. I had sand everywhere, on my face, in my wounds, and I even had to wash out my mouth. It was the first incident I remembered feeling so humiliated, and I can still recall the taunts of my classmates about my appearance. After that, soccer left a sour taste in my mouth, and I never bothered to attempt playing it again. Hence there is a 90 degree angle difference between where I want the ball to go and where I actually kick it to.
At first when I was nursing my wounds, I mourned over the loss of unblemished skin more than the fact that I had to wait for a week before I could bend my leg again. I honestly thought the discoloured indents were ugly and abnormal. Considering I was the one who fell the most out of my circle of friends, being the only one with all these scars and markings made me stand out like a sore thumb. And the process of getting rid of scars is not easy. Definitely not as easy as obtaining them.
My worst fall to date, was in Y4, when I was trying to make it to the extra mass lesson for Social Studies. So to get to the hall, you need to get up this flight of steps of the amphitheatre. The steps are pretty wide, and some of the ceramic tiles that line the steps were broken. Time and time again, people have warned me not to run up or down the steps, saying that I would fall and hurt myself, but I did it anyways because yolo right? (lmao no) Despite the warnings of my classmates, I ran up the amphitheatre steps and I tripped over one them. I recall that my mac flew out of my hands (my mac is still going strong to this date whew) and I didn’t even know I had a wound until I sat down, and another classmate asked why was I bleeding. I looked at my leg, and lo and behold was the 1.5cm puncture wound in all its glory on my shin. I was sent to the A&E and there I found out how deep it was: it almost tore into my muscle and I received 2 stitches. As the saying goes, once burned, twice shy. I never ran up or down the cursed amphitheatre steps again, and I tried my best to heed the words of those around me.
Same as all of the other scars, it holds shame and regret. It’s almost like a tattoo, a mark to bear for life, and in my case, for the stupid things I did. You can say that the wound has healed, but the deeper the wound was, the worse the scar would be. Some days I get paranoid, when I move and feel the scar tissue around that area stretch, I ask myself, would the old wound rip open again? When it does, would it be harder to heal? Would the new scar be even bigger? Wounds can heal, scars can fade, but they will always be there.
But after about 10 times of getting injured one way or another and I would just stare at my wound and go “meh this is just gonna be another mark but its gonna be a bitch to heal.” The revelation came slow, but steadily. With every added scar, they started to layer over each other, and over time, I stopped bothering to keep track of them. They don’t need any more attention, just leave them there to do whatever they want. The more you poke at them, the higher the chance something will happen to it.
When people question me about my scars, they also start to reveal their own cases of getting injured too. I’m not saying that I’m happy about others getting hurt, please take care of yourself and your wellbeing, but I’m actually glad to have a scar buddy. She was my classmate and friend for 4 years, yet I did not know that she tripped and fell on the amphi steps as well in Y1, for the same reason, and had a puncture wound on the exact same spot on the same leg. Coincidence, but a shared experience nonetheless.
Would I choose to remove these scars from my body? After thinking over it, I wouldn’t want to trade them away. Getting rid of my scars would be akin to wiping the memories formed and experiences learnt, while they may bear a burden, they serve as a physical reminder. So far, my scars are only caused by me, I only have myself at fault. We all have scars, and mine just happens to look like this. They might be visible to the world, but they are only a small percentage of who I am, yet they symbolise so much more.
And the end, quoting from a song’s lyrics (some of yall will knowww) “The scars from my mistakes form my very own constellations”.