Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Stained and Scarred

My wife and I both drive older vehicles. I have a 1993 Volvo which was generously given to me by my mother-in-law several years ago and Dana drives our 2003 Dodge Caravan. There are two good things about these cars: they are still on the road and they are paid for. They no longer have the new car smell, but have been made comfortable through regular use and familiarity. Each one has its own quirks as well: windows that won't go down, radio/odometer that no longer works, stains on the carpet, straight pins holding up the inside liner, door handles that don't always open, doodles on the back of seats from when our kids were younger, and even dings in doors. Most of these have a story behind them of some mishap, an accident, a family mess, or a malfunction. We laugh about them even as our vehicles continue to age because these stories and incidents are part of what make our vehicles belong to us.

I think our lives are like this too. We are no longer fresh, clean, or unmarked, but have scars and weird quirks developed over the years. We have lived out stories (sometimes painful and sometimes humorous) of why we are the way we are and the journey we've taken to arrive here today. We might feel well worn, but this comes from the sum of our experiences both good and bad. It's these imperfections that make us human and allow us to appreciate the scars and limps of other people as well. All of these things are key parts of the foundation of the person we are becoming and tell the story of how we have arrived.

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