For me the most annoying classic that I had to read in High School was the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I thought it was overly descriptive, boring, and for the most part an unmoving read. If there’s anything though that I remember it’s that the heroine, Hester Prynne, had to wear an “A” on all of her clothing. However, since she was a talented seamstress she made elaborate, gaudy, and grandiose A’s for all of her dresses. She had to wear the giant “A” because of the sin that she committed which was adultery. In reminiscing about Boy Scouts, with a fellow Eagle Scout he reminded me of the patches that we wore, in pride of and to commemorate achievement. Over the past week, I’ve had a lot of time to think about some of the things that I’ve been through in the past several years, and some of those things have become badges that I’m proud of and then there’s some that like the Scarlet Letter that I wish I could rip off or hide. I see these badges probably in the same ways that a burn victim would see their skin grafts and scars. They will always be there, and I can always try and cover them up, but not matter what I do I will never be able to remove them. So here’s how I’m going to handle them. Silence can be degenerative and gossip can be slander. Not talking about your badges or wounds with people is extremely unhealthy, which is why it is so important to process your loss and success with someone else. In most instances, friends and family can be an excellent outlet. What good is a joke, if not a win, or a loss without people to share it with? But the opposite is also true, too much sharing or talk is unhealthy and in most instances slanderous. People that find the necessity to constantly talk are like “punt” dogs, having a bigger bark than bite. I’ve never met someone, who feels the need to talk or comment about everything, that when confronted does not hide or cover-up their lies. Never forget and never brag. It was really hard for me to come to terms with my wounds that have begun to scar over. I was ultimately hoping that there would never be any residual evidence of the things that I have tried to forget. However if you believe like me that the truth will set you free, then learn to embrace whatever it is from your past, that you wish to hide. You can easily wear a turtle neck or a long sleeved shirt the rest of your life, but are you really being honest with yourself? As a side note though, embracing your past doesn’t mean that like a pig you wallow in your own filth. No-one likes an arrogant bragger, so don’t toot your own horn! Let others brag about your wins and badges. Overcome. I’ve had to overcome a lot in my life, and this is not a resume, so let me just say that if you have never overcome anything than you will never know what it feels like to win. Having an overcoming mindset means that your scars and badges are a part of who you are, but are not part of where you are. It’s easy to bathe in your successes and failures, but an overcomer never becomes comfortable...they move on and if need be they start at the beginning, at square one or in this case, the letter "A".