Saturday, March 26, 2011

How our teeth are like our lives

Teeth. Those chompers inside of our mouths. Those little hard things that without which, we would not survive. Sometimes they are straight. Sometimes they are pearly white. But most of the time, they are riddled with various imperfections.

My teeth have personally undergone a lot of work. Molars pulled. Years of braces. Multiple whitening kits. Ultimately, I have an averagely nice set of teeth.

Usually, I think very little of my teeth. Except for every six months (or in my case two years) when I have to make a trip to the dentist...

I hate the dentist. The smell of fluoride and those tacky teal green bibs make my stomach a little nauseous. But what I really hate, is that vulnerability to a pesky little word -- Cavity.

I have never had a cavity before. Not a single one. But alas, it has been two whole years since I have visited a dentist, and tomorrow morning I will brave the chair and the metal scrapers. I will face the possibility of hearing that word.

(Bear with me, this story has a purpose)

Those who have been in close proximity with me, or my family far away, all of them have heard me express my concern about this particular dentist appointment. I am a little worried (obviously, I'm blogging about it).

Here's the deal. I have this little divot above my front tooth. It is just a little inset near the gum that makes it a little less perfect. I am sure it has either always been there or has been there too long for me to be able to tell you when I got it. Regardless, about two weeks ago, the gum near the tooth began to tingle. As a result, this abnormality that I used to have but accepted has become the bane of my existence. I have analyzed and prodded it. Convinced myself it hasn't always been there. Or it has grown. It is a cavity. My tooth is rotting. One morning, I will wake up and every single tooth in my mouth will have decayed from the root and fallen out.

All because my gum tingles.

Here is the purpose I promised I would get to. I know for a fact I have had this abnormality for some time. But the moment something drew my attention to it, it became a dramatic flaw that would ultimately ruin my life. It is all I can think about. It is what defines my existence. All because it could potentially mean that I have a cavity. I have an imperfection.

Abnormalities. We all have them. Some are worth having and some are annoying, but regardless, we live with them. But if someone perhaps critiques our difference, all of a sudden it blows up. It becomes like a tingly gum. Something we can't seem to forget about. Something that is rotting away. We prod at it and believe that it is growing. We believe that it will destroy us (just to clarify, I don't really believe this divot will destroy me--metaphor). All because somebody had the audacity to say something about it. But perhaps they meant no harm, it doesn't matter because we heard the words and now it is too late.

So here is what I am trying to convey. Life has imperfections. If it didn't, it wouldn't be worth living. Sometimes we have to fix them and sometimes we need to just accept that they are there, a part of us. But just because they are in our life does not mean we are any less perfect. We are who we are meant to be. Distinctly our own.

Our lives are like our teeth. Sometimes they are straight. Sometimes they are pearly white. But most of the time, they are riddled with imperfections.

But an imperfection isn't a mistake, it is just something that makes us unique.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you relate our lives to our teeth. It's very inspirational. Yes, we all have imperfections. But, like you said, imperfection isn't a mistake, but something that makes us unique. =)


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