Friday, I'm In Love: Scarred For Life (And For The Better)

Of scars and burns and love.
PHOTO Alcon Entertainment

Grown-ups tell you to be careful so you don't hurt yourself. You observe extra caution so you don't end up with cuts and bruises, but really, no matter how careful you are, the world has its ways of marking you.

As a kid, you daydream about your own Aladdin who, with his magic carpet, would show you the world. You find him, but he's not the fairytale prince you had in mind—he's a rascal, stubborn, and a bit of a bully (so yeah, maybe he's a little bit like Aladdin). One day you come home with a bruise on your forehead and a crack in your heart. You fight back, though, and together you fight your way to friendship. Still, the crack in your heart grows.

Years later, you are out to see the world (and in hindsight, to escape that growing crack in your heart, courtesy of that Aladdin and some other rascals). As you hop on a bus to God-knows-where, you brace yourself for the unknown. You prepare to put your guard down, to earn a few stories to tell, to wander and get lost. You look forward to the scorching heat, the freezing rain, and the excruciating hike.

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One thing you do not expect is to get burned—scarred even. So when you get off that motorbike and get singed by the mean machine's exhaust pipe, panic overwhelms you. The two-hour hike is yet to start, but the universe has already marked you. Every step you take, you feel the sting. But you know that turning back is not an option. So you decide to suck it in, bask in the pain, and continue walking as if your life depends on it. Every painful step makes a journey worth telling.

You dream of getting inked, but the fear of pain has always made you hesitate. The uncertainty of the outcome and its permanence has always held you back. On a soul trip to Kalinga, the opportunity to get inked the traditional way presents itself. You are more than tempted, but yet again, a niggling voice of reason tells you not to. Another voice, louder and more persistent, tells you it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance. It tells you that fear is all in the mind. So before you lose your temporary courage, you take a deep breath, lift the back of your shirt, and give the artist the green light. You just know it's now or never.

This is what you've learned: all the wounds, burns, and scars—the visible and invisible—do not make you imperfect. They are battle scars, trophies even. They are reminders that at one point, or several instances too many, you loved too much and got hurt but you lived through it. So you continue to venture out of your comfort zone and throw caution to the wind. If you get scars and burns while you're at it, let them tell your story of a life well lived.


Do you have stories about love—all the forms of it—that you want to share with other Candy Girls? Send us your story and we'll post it here!









About the author
Hannah Faith Dormido
Contributing Writer

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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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