Hello, Past. You’re Looking Well.

One of the most incredible things about the journey of life is how often it takes you full circle.

I mean, we’ve all been there: running into the past in some form is not highly uncommon. On the contrary. It happens pretty damn often.

Well, today was one such occasion. I’ll say I ‘ran’ into the chap that I was dating a few months back, but really, it was no surprise. We had been in touch; I knew he was going to be where I was going to be; and, though this would be the first time we saw each other since our mutual break-up, I knew that we are both secure enough in ourselves to make, at the very least, cordial conversation.

There’s a twist in the story, though. It wasn’t like I was visiting our old stomping grounds while out with some friends. No. Rather, I was going to be with my son; the very same little human that was never introduced during our dating relationship. After everything was said and done, he was finally going to meet my son. “Huh,” I thought to myself, “Fancy that.” Ironic? Maybe a little. And I had no idea what to expect.

Arguably, the best part of life is the surprises it presents you with. My confrontation with the recent past was better than I could have ever anticipated. It was comfortable, familiar, and not one bit awkward. In fact, I even remember thinking that he looked really good. Why shouldn’t he? He’s still the same person, in many ways, that I was attracted to when it all first began. The coolest part, though, is that he is the first man of my past with which I feel comfortable sustaining contact or a friendship. While we were talking, I realized that, when I told him I was happy for him, I legitimately was. And when he mentioned that we should catch up over food, I was actually ready and willing. Not because I was looking for something that may or may not still be there. Not at all. We know we aren’t it. But, he’s still someone that brings a certain element of joy to our interactions, and why not invest in people who have that ability?

The same goes for a girl friend I knew in high school. We lost touch thereafter, and during a dark part of my life, I wrote her off and figured I would never hear from her again. But, during a time of transition, I wagered my odds and reached out to her. My God, am I glad that I did! Not only did I find out we were in similar situations at the time, but I also realized that she was both the same awesome girl I had known as well as being someone older and wiser and a hell of a lot of fun. Without taking the risk and seeing her, though, I would’ve never known that. Now, here we are going on a girls weekend tomorrow. And I couldn’t be more grateful to have her friendship.

So, I dunno, chaps. Sometimes the past should stay the hell where it is. And sometimes it should come around for another round of hellos. I never know who has what to offer until I confront the person, I guess. But I do believe that taking the chance is worth it every time. At least I will know what is on offer, one way or the other. And, more often than not, I am moved by the power of fate, destiny if you will, bringing people back as permanent, or even temporary, fixtures in my life. The fact is that every person I meet is very much a part of getting me where I am going. And these meetings, my dears, are an incredibly powerful happening, indeed.

 

When Scars Become Art

IMG_7129Perception is an interesting thing. Particularly when it comes to body image: How I’ve seen myself for the last three years, for example, turns out to be completely different than the image other people have been observing. That’s not all that uncommon. In fact, it’s probably rather normal. I know that I critique myself much harder than anybody else would critique me. But, I also know that the perception one has of oneself can be incredibly strong; strong enough that I believed it to be the only truth.

Until recently, I would not have even considered showing my belly area to the light of day; not even for one second. Like many women who have carried a child, the skin in that particular area has undergone some serious changes; changes that I had viewed as absolute unsightly destruction. In fact, I would cringe anyone happened to catch sight of what was underneath my shirt.

Viewing myself in a confident and positive way happened only just recently. It was a process that took quite a long time. I had to dismantle the image I had built of myself to allow the new idea some time and space to grow and replace it. There were several outside factors to all this, but what it came down to, I realized, is that wearing anything–be it a bold outfit or a patchwork of scars–with confidence is going to make all the difference for the image I maintain of myself, and also how others perceive me. Frankly, I never (and when I say ‘never’, I truly mean it) thought I would be wearing an outfit that brazenly shows off my imperfections, let alone posting the photos thereof to a public space online. Yet, here we are.

I know that a lot of men and women alike struggle with body image in some ways or others. And a lot of us suffer silently. For me, it took a long time to believe that the changes undergone by my body were not things to be dismayed or disturbed by; rather, they show a part of my story: The reality that I carried a child, and the metaphor of the scars that were left as a remnant of the events of my past. In both of these instances, I would not be the woman I am today without them. So, like in any situation that depends on choice of attitude, I’ll choose to wear the scars with pride, confidence, and a smile. And I’ll continue to feel comfortable in my own skin. After all, everyone has scars; some are just more visible than others.