Well soon, I hope. Yes, you guessed it, I’m signed up for eye laser surgery. Going under the knife this coming Friday. Now I know a lot of people have gotten it done and survived. No loss of eyesight, no big freak outs. But I am, for some reason, quite nervous. I didn’t think I would be but in the last few weeks since I made the decision I’ve become more conscious of my eyes. Rubbing them a lot – you’re not supposed to do this for a while after the surgery. Getting twitches in my eye. Never had twitches before. They feel dryer than usual. I’m assuming all of this psychosomatic.
Or at least I hope it is.
But what if it’s not? What if there’s some condition in my eyes that they haven’t noticed? That unleashes right after they’ve cut open my cornea and zapped my eyeballs. This huge lump bobs in my throat as I think about going blind.
What if it all goes horribly wrong?
Okay, so the likelihood of that happening is quite slim. But I do have a bigger concern, that’s a lot more possible!
To give you some context.
I was 12. Just started secondary school, when some random school eye test told me I was a little blind. I’d never noticed! Nor did I for the next ten years. Actually it wasn’t until my early twenties that I finally accepted my impairment. I’ll never forget the moment. I was on my way to college, not wearing my glasses as usual. As I was crossing the road, this car pulled up to my left. I noticed the driver in it. He waved at me. That much I could see but honestly I thought he was just waving. Except that he didn’t stop. Next minute he leaned over and opened his car door. So I thought, well I must know him. I crossed in front and walked over to the passenger side. It was only when I was leaning into through the door did I realise that I had no clue who this lunatic was. I got such a fright! I’m not sure what this wildly gesticulating man was planning to do. I think he thought he could charm me in to his car. He didn’t know I was visually challenged. But it was the impetus I needed to accept my fate. From then on, I vowed to wear my glasses. And I did. I spent money on my frames. And they became a feature. A part of me, my look. And I started to like my glasses. I felt confident in them. Would get compliments. I bought a new pair last year and I felt great. Extremely sexy and just happy.
Then, through a moment of absentmindedness, my glasses were gone. And I found myself at a wedding, distressed at not being able to see properly. Frustrated that i could be so vulnerable all over again. The time had finally come to say goodbye.
But now that I’ve made the decision I’m suddenly wondering…
What if this is my Jennifer Grey…. ?
You know, Jennifer Grey – Frances “Baby” Houseman from Dirty Dancing. She was in this iconic film with her big nose (well it wasn’t that big) and everyone knew who she was. She made an impression. She was in the top two iconic films of the 90’s. The other being Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And then she decided for reasons I can only assume were aesthetic to get a nose job. And that was it. The phone stopped ringing. Jennifer Grey was no more! Like even today, even though she’s been in Friends I still don’t recognise her.
What if, without my glasses I lose my distinctiveness? They’ve been a part of me for so long. I sometimes don’t recognise my face without them. What if people look at me and secretly think, my she looks weird. It’s strange how glasses can become an unexpected appendage. Nothing you asked for but what you’re defined by.
I’m excited about not having to rely on them. Or to grope around in the morning to find them. Or worry that I’ve sat on them or lost them or scratched them. And yeah, I’m excited that my eyes will work properly again.
But could the thing that people find endearing about me be the end of my uniqueness?
Or are we more than one part of us?
Yes we are!
I will miss my glasses. I’m surprised to say this. But like all things on the path of life, I will learn to love and accept this new new chapter of my life… sans glasses. Either that, or I’ll just knock the glass out of the frame and be ultimately cool.