My Beauty Scar — Fingers to the Sky: Love Your Beauty Scars Part 8

“What we allow the mark of our suffering to become is in our own hands.” — bell hooks

Image by Filena Arcia

I guess it’s only right that since I’ve been asking people to share stories of their beauty scars, that I finally chime in myself. To be real, I wasn’t planning to write anything. I’m kinda over writing about myself which is partially why I started the #LoveYourBeautyScars campaign. But I digress.

I’m not sure if it’s immediately apparent by my feature picture, but both my pinky fingers are bent. That’s because before I dedicated myself to writing, I was a pretty damn good basketball player. We had a gym in the basement of my apartment building and I would play literally every single day. That meant through knee bruises, elbow scrapes, and yes, dislocated fingers.

My mom was a nurse so when my finger popped out of place, I wouldn’t even go to the hospital. I’d just run upstairs, she’d wrap my little finger together with my ring finger, and I’d go right back downstairs to keep playing. The life of a teenager.

I hurt my finger so many times and my mom wrapped it up so many more times that crooked became my new normal. Now every time I look at my two partially deformed fingers, it brings me back to a good place.

Basketball was the first thing to make me dream. I was in that gym at 6:00 p.m every day. Longer during the summer. Basketball made me dream of being on TV like Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson, my childhood heroes. Basketball took me out of Toronto and across the continent to New York and Philadelphia, all over Florida and Michigan, New Jersey and DC. Basketball took me to France at the age of 16. It gave me a full scholarship to a division one university.

I felt like anything was possible. And looking at my life now, I feel exactly the same way. It’s only through reflection that I came to this realization. Excelling at basketball set the mental foundation for how I approach my writing.

Going to the gym everyday is like writing everyday. Getting injured on the court is like getting turned down by a publisher. And writing hasn’t physically taken me around the world yet, but I’ve touched many people from across the globe through my words. Of that I can be sure.

But there’s also a flip side to this. I got a lot out of basketball. More than most of the guys that played with me growing up and more than most who ever play any sport. But I never played on the biggest stage. I never reached the professional level. That scares me.

Thus, my scar is a symbol of my biggest fear: failure. Failure as only I can define it. That’s by my terms, not anyone else’s. I really don’t care how many people think I’m killin it. I don’t care how many contracts I nail down. My heart knows what it wants. The universe knows what I want.

I love my beauty scar because it’s a reminder. A constant reminder. One I listen to every single day I wake up. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My novel BEAUTY SCARS is out now. Get your copy here today.

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