It is quite difficult to believe that I am 22 years old now. After graduating high school, the years are almost literally flashing by, and I feel to have no control over it.
As I continue to grow and mature, I am beginning to realize how seemingly small details and events can change things in my life. I’ll explain: If I hadn’t taken Theater I as my elective for second period during my Freshman year of high school, I would not have met my soulmate, Dante.
Other miniscule events may have less of an impact, but it still has left some sort of scar, so to speak.
I was in fourth grade when I lived in Kaneohe, Hawaii. We had a nice, large house with a long, sloping driveway.
One evening, we pulled into that driveway after my mom’s business dinner. It was extremely late, and I was exhausted. For once, I couldn’t wait to hop in between the sheets of my comfy bed on the top bunk.
My logic (ask any nine-year-old), was that the quicker I could get inside, the quicker I could do so. So I decided to run down the steep driveway.
As with any unexpected meeting with the ground, it happened and ended too quickly for my mind to comprehend. One moment, I was running toward the slowly and loudly opening garage door. The next, I was on the ground, hearing my mom gasp “My baby!’ somewhere behind me.
Only after standing up did the pain hit. For a ten-year-old, having most of my right elbow’s skin left on the driveway was quite excruciating. It was like I was forced to trade a valuable piece of me for a few pebbles and dirt, which my mom silently rinsed off with cold tap water in the downstairs bathroom to the sound of my screams bouncing off the tile floor.
My attempt at getting to sleep quickly failed and was actually pushed back by a few hours as I lay in bed, cradling my arm with the other, careful not to dislodge the make-shift bandage my mother fashioned out of paper towels and scotch tape, sniffling quietly.
The next day, my mother gently applied aloe to the wound and sent me off to school with it uncovered, making my classmates cringe. She insisted that leaving it open “to breathe” would make it heal quicker. That may have been true.
What I wish she had told me was that it wasn’t a good idea to let it heal with a bent arm. With the fear of it hurting again, I kept it bent for weeks until I was sure it wouldn’t any longer.
The skin that healed there was obviously scar tissue. But since it healed stretched over my elbow, it over-compensated when I straightened my arm.
The weird flabby scar that appeared when I straightened my elbow embarrassed me to no end. I covered it up with long-sleeved shirts or simply tried to avoid straightening my arm out in public. The loose skin looked something like a raisin, as it was later to be called by my best friend in high school and to this day.
I’m sure I will always have the scar. I find no reason to spend my hard-earned money on a cosmetic surgery when I can surround myself with people who support and accept me for who I am. After all, it would only cost them the small fee of a birthday and Christmas gift every year.
My being tired that one night – which probably contributed to the reason I fell – and wanting to rush inside left a literal and figurative scar that will stick with me forever. I don’t remember the pain at all, but I will always have a reminder of that night.
It’s also a reminder that seemingly small decisions can make big (and sometimes permanent) changes to your life. In this case, it’s an addition to my character, a story to tell, an inside joke with my closest friends and family.
Others may have more negative consequences.