Your scabs are elegant because they are outward signs of you mending and regenerating, creating soft new skin without even thinking about it. While you’re busy being angry about your inability to finish a task for work or dreading calling someone back, while you’re regretting the choice you made last month, without even knowing it, you’re subconsciously reconstructing yourself, and your ‘big’ worries are trivialities compared to your body’s own constant maintenance of what is vital, what keeps you alive.
I’m not going to tell you to find someone to hold your hand even when it’s callused or scabbed. You’ve already been told that, and that doesn’t mean it always goes well, or will provide what you need. Instead, I’m going to tell you to learn to respect your own scabs, to find elegance and utility in the way your calluses grip your coffee mug. To not think twice before wearing shorts when there are chain grease stripes, scabs and bruises on your legs.
It’s far too easy to fear someone else’s split-second judgment about your scars or calluses or the shape of your muscles. But, while someone else may shake your hand for five seconds, you wear and carry it always. You are the one who watches your
fingers nimbly hop the keys of your keyboard as you type, lift the spoon in your breakfast each morning, and gently comb out your hair each night. As you work to modify yourself with your mind, recall that your body is doing the same, and respect it. Respect your scabs.
Annie Harvieux is a senior at Harvard College, where she is an English major.