Here's a fun fact about me: I was a wild child when I was younger. My Uncle Jim once joked that I would climb anything and everything in sight - trees, cars, people. He nicknamed me Monkey and Squirt. I surpassed him in height, so he then transferred the moniker Squirt onto my younger sister. I kept climbing things as I grew older. I took trapeze classes. I love hiking. I have been involved in performance art pieces that involved crawling all over fellow humans.
I have only broken one bone in my body, and although you could say I was a reckless, active youngster, I've made it this far with only four real stitches. The scars are there, though. One of the most prominent scars I bear is right on my face, but I bet you that only a handful of my friends could point it out. That is likely only because I've told them the story about how I got it.
To me, this scar stands out in the above photograph that Abby Gillardi took. I recently had a conversation with my friend Andrea about smiling with a closed mouth, and how I generally think people appear more genuinely happy when teeth are shown. One of the main reasons why I smile with teeth is because smiling with my mouth closed is difficult. No matter how hard I press my lips together, a little space opens up in the center. Do you see it now?
By the time I was a toddler, my parents had already instituted the annual pumpkin patch visit. One year, bumbling munchkin Jillian decided to try to run up a flight of stairs to get to what I assume was a slide in the shape of a Jack 'o Lantern or some other Halloween feature. I tripped and fell face-first onto a step, splitting my bottom lip cleanly in half. As my parents tell it, the doctors opted to use a liquid stitch to patch me up, and suggested that one day I might need plastic surgery. Here's a selfie from August of 2014 that very clearly showcases the line down the middle of my lip:
For a few years after the incident, whenever I blushed or became quite cold, the scar would light up in a bright purple. I was highly irritated by it, and my mom has told me that she had considered looking into options to fix that if it continued to bother me. Luckily, my body grew out of that reaction. Although the scar lost my attention by the time I was a young girl, I still struggled with my lips. I have a vivid memory of being about 11 years old on a Girl Scout trip to Columbus, Ohio, and being at a point where I felt 100% uncomfortable smiling with my teeth because of a line that forms above my upper lip. Silly, right?!
Now I've embraced my bigger lips, rounder cheeks, and tendency to present a double chin. I am working on teaching myself to be able to smile with my mouth mostly closed. My face is very animated most of the time, so it's challenging to keep it still and not smile. But I like a challenge!
Aside from that scar, I also see in the above photo a reminder of how far I have to go in my new fitness journey. That contour on my left cheek is natural. I didn't start wearing bronzer regularly until I chopped my hair all off last year. I'm ready to be active again! You'll hear more about that all tomorrow on a post about my revived addiction to yoga.
Do you have any physical scars that you've learned to deal with as time passes?