The world is a crazy and fantastically wonderful place to visit. I say visit, because non of us are eternal creatures. sIt is not enough for one to look at the world around them, it is a place that needs to be experienced. A life lived in one’s comfort zone is a wasted life. A life that has been lived well leaves lasting marks on you, sometimes those marks are only in your memories, and sometimes on your body.

I used to wonder why people chose to modify their body with tattoos or piercings, but as I look at the scars on my own body from years of injuries and necessary replacements of worn out parts, I realize their need. They have chosen a “safer” path to enable them to remember their life’s journey.  Perhaps it is the wiser route.  It clearly is painful for a lot less time than broken bones or some of the “Borg” Implants I’ve had, but pain makes deep etchings into your soul as your brain steels itself to remember the experience so as not to repeat the stupid things you’ve done. 

I can recall every instance of my first 2 broken bones (radius and ulna fractured simultaneously in a bicycle accident) in startling detail.  The times I nearly drowned in the hydraulics on the Cheat and New rivers of West Virginia will always remain a viable part of my stories.  Each of my scars whether physical or mental gives me a story that endures.

I’ve done a fair amount of travelling. Yet it seems as if my best memories of my travels are the ones that took me out of my comfort level. Traversing the etreets of Budapest by streetcar and bus with only a rudimentary knowledge of the system and buying peppers while not able to speak the language was exhilarating. What I remember most of Paris, are the smells (urine in the stairwells of the train station, fresh baked bread and cheese near the Eiffel Tower, etc.).  Venice and the Dolomite Mountains are mostly remembered as the trip itself came only a few weeks after my first heart attack and presented a major challenge to the integrity of  the stents put in place to keep me going.

Live your life in a way that allows you to remember it well. Wear your scars or tattoos with pride and share your stories! Those stories are the ones that keep you going!