While I cannot say that I am terribly graceful now, I was really klutzy when I was a little kid. In fact if it had not been for five years of ballet lessons under the direct tutelage of Miss Barbara Jean Van Scoy, I would probably have never made it past the age of ten. With all of the trips and scratches, though, there was one particular day during my grade-school years that stands out in my memory as a bad-fall day, and I don't mean autumn.
My schoolmates and I were out enjoying recess and the weather was nice enough to go out, but still chilly enough to need a jacket. When the game that we were playing ended, we kind of all went our separate ways and I picked up a basketball to just bounce it around until the end of the period. Bounce, bounce, bounce, bad bounce and off it went. I have never really been very good with basketballs, not then and not later.
Anyway, I went after the wayward basketball, but it kept rolling just a little out of my reach, so I decided to stop it with my foot, as my legs were slightly longer than my arms. That was a big mistake.
As I caught the back of it with my toe, my foot remained attached to the ball and it and the rest of me went right on rolling until my face hit the little decorative fence that surrounded the school. Of course it hurt and I cried for the teacher who came to my rescue and cleaned me all up. There were no big cuts, just scraping and bruising that made me look like I had been hit by a Mack truck. (At least I thought so.) The nurse gave me an ice pack to hold against my face and I stayed in class for the rest of the afternoon, but I looked forward to going home and finding a quiet corner in my room and just melting into a puddle of self-pity.
My mother had other ideas, however, as it was dance lessons night and she would not accept the excuse that I felt like I looked ugly and deformed so I did not want to go out in public. I whimpered all the way to dance lessons and secretly hoped that I could at least get a little pity from my dance teacher. That didn't happen either. Instead, she proclaimed how proud she was that in spite of my injury, I was still willing to come to my lesson. (I think Mom may have said something to her.) After her comment, though, I started to think a little differently. Maybe it wasn't so bad, even though all the other dancers were looking at me like I was a freak.
Before and since then, I have had many accidents, injuries, scrapes and bruises, lots of scars, and even a couple of broken bones, but instead of thinking that they made me look bad or even different, I believe that they have all added character to my life.
The thing to remember is that the trials and tragedies that you endure make you who you are just as much, maybe even more so, as the triumphs that you enjoy. Granted, nobody likes to get hurt and I am not saying that you should seek to get injured, but trouble comes to everyone at some point and I say that instead of hiding your "bruises", you should be proud of them and make them a part of your story.
Every little and big thing that happens to you makes you the person that you have become. Revel in the design that you have become, as no one can live life in just the same way as you can. Go ahead, bare your bruises.