I’ve had a thick scar on my left inner thigh since I was four years old, when I cut myself on the sharp plastic edge of a broken riding toy. Seconds before the blood, I was a cowgirl, high on adventure and possibility, ready to jump from a tree branch onto the runaway steed beneath me.

Funny how reality flips itself on its head, turning us from heroes into victims in the blink of an eye. We take a job, and quit the next day; we give our heart to a stranger, only to feel it break into a million pieces; we move away, and end up missing the ones we love most.

As adults, we try to make sense of these times, when things don’t go our way. Blame, self-doubt, and regret sprout out of our need for answers. We look for the moral behind the story, the matrix beneath the madness.

As a four year old, I only knew that it was fun being Calamity Jane for an afternoon. That sometimes when you play you get hurt; but most often, you don’t. And that one day soon, the wound would heal, and I’d be able to show my friends the cool scar on my leg that proved I was a hero.

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