And don't believe for a moment that you're healing yourself*
I mostly hide it under scarves and ribbons. I've been pioneering this candy-dandy sort of look, a little bit cartoonish, with flowing scarves knotted up into giant ostentatious bows at my throat. Sometimes I just go for a Newtown Dyke Standard Issue Red Hanky, knotted at the back. Very, very rarely do I leave the house with it visible. I'm not anti-scar, but I am incredibly protective of this one. I'm shy of it, shy of sharing it. It still hurts, often, despite all the oils & potions I rub into it. And it's not a battle-scar, to be proudly displayed with accompanying tales of valour and heroics. The wounds of surgery, loneliness, isolation & vulnerability fade only slowly.
I wear those chunky black glasses now, every single day, from when I wake up to when I go to sleep. The world in sharp focus is a very strange thing and it is a strange new permanent accessory to adjust to (I will always and forever be a girl in glasses, and that's not a bad thing, but it's certainly different. A girl in glasses, with a scar).
Between them the glasses and the scar make me feel like an entirely different human being to the one I was six months ago, and when I add my bicycle into the mix I barely recognise myself. I look different, see differently, move around the world differently. I love these changes, actually, love all these superficial markers of being someone new. They make a pleasing counterpoint to the tidal wave of change of the year before that, when I became a gardener, karate-ka, crocheter and pragmatic hippy in a progression of identity-quaking months- worlds away from who I had been before- with no visual marker of the changes at all.
I'm packing up my room to leave- first this house, then a few months later, the country. Heading to Europe, well, that's the plan at least, and the plan is well underway. I don't know how long I'm going to be gone for and I'm so happy with that. Six months or a year or many years. I am tying up my loose ends here, and going to see what happens.
I'm happy to be leaving now, at this particular moment. I have such a life here, such a comfortable niche, and from comfort there can be fearlessness. And it pleases me that I'm not running from or to anything (or more pertinently, anyone) so I feel no fear of the adventure disappointing, and no fear of returning.
*from Rumi, 'Childhood Friends':
Trust your wound to a teacher's surgery.
Flies collect on a wound. They cover it,
those flies of your self-protecting feelings,
and love for what you think is yours.
Let a teacher wave away the flies
and put a plaster on the wound.
Don't turn your head. Keep looking
at the bandaged place. That's where
the light enters you.
And don't believe for a moment that you're healing yourself.