Dec 23, 2019
I was in a hostel in Chicago. It was my first experience in a hostel. The room had two bunk beds accommodating 4 people. When I arrived, Joe was already there, and later on, Sayera joined us. Joe was from Canada and was visiting Chicago to meet his girlfriend's parents. He did not want to stay at their place so rented the hostel. Sayera was from Houston and was visiting Chicago and it was her first time experiencing a stay in the hostel on her own, like mine. We talked about each other and since all of us were tired from the journey we slept early. In the morning I got up early, had a bath, and went for breakfast. While I returned Joe was ready to leave and Sayera was getting ready in the bathroom. I also proceeded to get ready in the room. While I was changing Joe said, “Wow that looks awesome.” I looked at him and said, “Ahhh are you being sarcastic?” He replied, “No I really mean it, that scar looks great”. I said, “ Oh! I’m sorry I’m a little insecure about these.” Joe just looked at me and went on a monologue, “Really! Why? This is great. Actually, you were just a random guy but after seeing this I have more respect for you. It shows that you have conquered something, that you have unique experiences, and you have your own story. Don’t be ashamed, wear it with pride. Buddy! your scars are awesome”. Hearing those words from complete stranger was really impactful. Him talking so passionately about it felt different. Obviously, it took time but nowadays I don’t have the feeling of that shame. If only I was able to understand this simple thing early on. In the end all thanks to a stranger.

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