Oooh, you can already tell today’s post is going to be deep, can’t ya?
Ok, not that deep. I am literally talking about eyesight. If you’ve ever had any of the following, virtually raise your hand:
All of the above
Or, maybe you need one of the above but don’t wear them
I remember the first time a got a little worried about my eyesight. I was fifteen and in high school and was unable to read the chalk/whiteboard. It was a miracle I didn’t already have glasses as both of my parents had glasses for as long as I could recall.
I remember thinking I could squeak by without them- but not so fast. My doc caught me during the ol eye test and told me to go to an optometrist. That was back in the day when my mom was in the examination room with me, so off to Sears Optical I went.
I got my first pair of glasses that same year. I think I wore them once. You have to understand, I also had braces. Glasses weren’t gonna help my cause. This was before the days of Ugly Betty and hipsters- so glasses + braces did not equate to cool. Since the braces were sealed on tight- it was the glasses that didn’t make the cut. Besides, my eyesight wasn’t that bad.
I managed to get through high school and college without much use for them. In huge lecture halls, I would sneak on and off the glasses quickly when a professor would throw up some tiny print on a Powerpoint slide, but for the most part, I could skate by. Don’t get me wrong, my eyesight was getting worse. I couldn’t tell faces apart. That was the big issue. I could see people from afar, tell if they were male or female, but that’s where any kind of people recognition ended.
I tried contacts, but unfortunately like Einstein, I take naps everyday, and that didn’t work well with contacts. Neither did air conditioning, staying up til 3am, wind, and general sight responsibilities. My eyes were sensitive, and I was too irresponsible.
So I went without glasses or contacts… and I faked it. Feigned sight. I faked life for about 16 years. I faked waves and hellos and “I know you!” and “I think-you-might-be-cute”-type stares. I faked knowing what was really happening around me and faked oohing and aahing over that thing I never could actually see. I never learned how to eye-flirt because I couldn’t see what I was trying to eye-f with. I found ways to get menus in paper format at unfamiliar fastfood joints. I asked people what that sign said. Yes, I lived an incomplete and fake life for many many years.
I couldn’t wear contacts. And although I now had very cute Oliver Peoples glasses, and gorgeous prescription sunglasses, I knew there was a world I was missing with my -2 eyeballs. And so I began to research. I started asking people if they had had Lasik and which doc they used. I continued asking people for nine years until I finally selected an eye doc for Lasik. This doctor came up four or five times, all from people who had their Lasik done a few months to ten years ago. And all were happy. This guy wasn’t cheap… but when you’re talking precious orbits of sight- you don’t wanna go cheap.
Dr. Maloney completed my eye surgery in about two minutes on a sunny day in June 2011. Since then, I’ve been able to see. There are a few near-sighted things that are a bit tougher for me now- like my armpit hair region is a little blurry (I am getting laser for that too) and really really up close- but everything else… has been crystal clear.
I wanted to write about this because when I was at the yoga studio the other day with my soul brother Matt Rothert teaching his superchill Yin class, I realized that the amazing connection I have with fellow yogis in class wouldn’t be possible without sight. Seeing a group of pelicans fly overhead, I would have missed without my glasses. Seeing a guy across the way and smiling is now a possibility. Seeing the most ridiculous sunset on a whim – with all of its glowing, burning detail, would’ve just been a mass blur of orange and pinks.
Not only am I capable of seeing life, I can actually witness and live among life- and not have to fake my way through anymore. I can live in it and see it. So, be thankful for your sight. It is one of the most precious gifts we have and one of the most incredible ways to enjoy this life around us.