When I was young, I carved my name into my grandma’s desk. I never met my grandma, so I like to think I wanted to be closer to her, to claim what was hers as mine. But probably I had just learned to write and was busy writing my name on everything, nothing escaping my enthusiastic pen.
Now I am older.
I know that carving into old wooden furniture ruins its integrity. I know I made my mother mad.
I feel embarrassed that I tainted this old desk with the squiggles of my childhood.
So I started researching how to fix it. I read about wood putty and sanding and staining, and I got overwhelmed. What if I managed to ruin it further?
My boyfriend is vehemently opposed to me fixing this. My father suggested that I give up my search as well.
Because this desk is a symbol of my imperfection.
Like all people, I made mistakes in the past. I cannot erase every single carving I’ve ever made.
A carving is not meant to be disguised, covered, and hidden. It is meant to be learned from and embraced. It becomes absorbed into your soul. You are your mistakes, but you are not only your mistakes.
I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. Not matter how hard I strive to erase my life carvings, they will always be there.
And so my name will not be hidden. It remained carved into this desk, reminding me that life is full of mistakes and you must learn to live with them, to move past them.