When I was 1 year and 1 day old, I pulled a cup of tea down from our kitchen counter onto myself. The hot water burned nearly half my face, but being so young and under the care of an amazing mother, I was able to recover pretty well. In fact, looking at my face (then and now) you would never know that I spent 8 days in the hospital and had some 2nd degree burns at the time. My neck, however, was left with a few scars. I don't remember much about my scars as a child. I remember undergoing surgery to remove the small keloids that formed on my scars at the age of 6. I remember the scars were still there after the surgery, as well as the keloids. At age 14, I had minor plastic surgery that consisted of cortisone injections to flatten the scars. This actually worked (and was pretty painful) but flat or not, the scars were still there. After a certain point I do remember only buying high neck shirts, or big necklaces to hide them behind, and also going as far as not wearing my hair up for fear of someone noticing them (that last one was a high school phase). Can you believe that? For 4 years of high school, I never wore my hair in a ponytail unless I was wearing a turtleneck. In retrospect, I was just so afraid of being physically different. Well luckily, when I started college, something made me leave that foolish worry behind, though I have no idea what it was. Maybe my inner love for clothes and fashion got so big I couldn't convince myself to go another 4 years wearing boatnecks and scarves. I think mostly it was just leaving behind that high school self consciousness and desire to fit in. I was still self conscious of my scars in college, but it didn't control or consume my mind as much as it did in the past. Even today, I'm a little uneasy about them, and sometimes fear the awkward "oh, what happened to your neck" question, but I no longer feel that having a scar is something to feel weird about. Being insecure about your looks is probably one of those things that never fully goes away. I'm only 24, but can say that in 10 years, I've come a very long way. Imperfections make us unique, flaws are beautiful, and every scar has a cool backstory. Whatever your situation is, it could've been better and it could've been worse, but there's no point in dwelling. I'm nowhere near being a well adjusted and comfortable adult but thank you to AFP for pushing me a little bit further.
And because I love quotes:
"The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues. You can't separate them. They're wedded." - Henry Miller