I get it now. I understand the analogy of having “thick skin.” Its a perfect metaphor.
Its like the hands of a tradesman, puffed and cracked. The more work they do, the tougher the skin becomes.
Life is just the same, the more you live, the tougher you become. The more you experience and struggle through, the stronger you are.
Its the same in terms of dating and relationships. As you go through high school and college your skin is soft like a baby, it’s never really been burned or blistered. Its only had surface scratches. Then you meet someone and fall in love. You give your heart on a platter with a big smile on your face because you have no comprehension of how painful it can be when someone breaks it.
Then they break it.
Over time it heals. Even though at the time it feels like it never could. Then scar tissue grows over. The next time you meet someone you don’t just hand your heart over on a platter. You know how painful it feels when it doesn’t work. It takes time to unlock that part of you and let someone in. You do though, but inevitably, it breaks again. The cycle repeats. Eventually you get to a point where your skin is so rough it gets callouses along the creases. You can’t even see the soft, naive skin that once lay underneath. You begin to forget what it feels like to be vulnerable, to fall for someone. Its like you’ve forgotten where you put the lock to your own heart.
I am a vulnerable person. I think, like most people, that love is a beautiful thing. I hope to never be the type of person who loses the key to my heart, as cheesy as that sounds. I hope I don’t lose my ability to be vulnerable and accept the risk of being hurt as a sacrifice of experiencing love. Because I know now that every time I have fallen for someone it has helped shape me into the person I am today, it has taught me about myself and about how relationships work. It has taught me that certain people can ignite certain parts of your personality you never even knew you had. Sometimes they can be good and sometimes they can be bad. Of course it hurts when it ends and I may say things like “I regret it” but I never, ever regret it.
The weird thing is I can actually feel my skin thickening by my experiences. It feels different now. If I look close enough, I can see the scar tissue slowly growing over.
It’s weird to feel this change within myself. I can feel parts of me shifting. Some parts disintegrating while others thrive.
I like it, I suppose this is what it means to growing older. We always hear so much negative about growing older but there are a lot of good things too. You finally start to feel acceptance of the person you are and develop a stronger sense of self-confidence in yourself.
I like the person I am becoming.