Personally, I am a fan of the Facebook ‘On This Day’ feature. Looking through each days’ memories is normally one of the first things I do in the morning, I really enjoy being reminded of things that happened 2 or 3 or even 9 years ago (side note: I cannot believe I have had Facebook for 9 years!). I just love the nostalgia of seeing a photo of something fun I did with a friend or reading a conversation that has zero context and makes no sense to me years on or re-reading the cringe worthy updates from back then.
The past is important, I’ve said it before – we shouldn’t forget it. A couple of days ago I had a memory pop up on Facebook about attending my graduation ceremony 3 years ago! I remember feeling so accomplished and so excited to be starting (actually having already started) work in a job I had dreamed about.
On that day 3 years ago I didn’t know the skills I would learn, the friends I would make, the hurts I would have or the scars I would gain from that job. 3 years on, life has changed and I spent most of the day working – in a restaurant – getting prune hands from doing dishes, spilling some sort of sauce on my shoe and being at the start of another journey.
Not really where I thought I would be 3 years on from the day of my graduation! A special day where I got to get my hair done, wear a nice dress and doff my cap at some old guy I had never seen before! But, that is something I am slowly coming to terms with, I may not be where I thought I was heading but that doesn’t mean it’s not where I am supposed be going. Who knows where I’ll end up? But I am trying to enjoy the journey that is getting me there!
The adventure of life is like a train trip – bit of a cliche, I know! But as we travel along, we pick up passengers and their baggage. We collect a range of different experiences and we learn different lessons from them all. Some of them leave their bags behind or create some damage to how well we function. There are some that depart without us even really noticing but there are others that cover us in graffiti and really make a mess in our carriages.
I know that I am lucky to not have many scratched up windows from my trip so far. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have scars, they’re just not ones that you can see. It also doesn’t mean that if you don’t have scabby, pussy wounds to show off that you aren’t going through something that hurts! We all need to show empathy and patience because we don’t know what someone else is going through.
A person who looks all put together, always smiling, never seeming to have anything going wrong might be covering up some real pain. Their scars might be much more than skin deep, but heart deep. Their family might be in a crisis, they might be dealing with the loss of a friend or a relationship breakup. They may be sleep deprived from working 3 jobs or scared because they don’t feel safe at home. You just don’t know!
Each one of us has our own scars, inside or the outside, and we all have stuff to deal with. Why not use it to help someone else? We might be able to understand because we have scars from our own similar experiences. We know the way not to handle that situation and we have some strategies that helped us to get through it.
So, on this day in 2017 – look back on all the passengers that have jumped on to your train, leaving a mark and think of how you can embrace them and help others with what you have gone through.