Fun fact (or not so fun for young me): I started wearing glasses when I was in 4th grade. I switched schools that year, and I was delighted that my first pair of glasses wasn’t ready yet because that was not the first impression I wanted to make. I happily went to school the first day of the new year at my new school sans glasses. The second day, I was wearing glasses with pink speckled frames. I HATED wearing glasses. I got teased a lot about them, they got broken playing sports too many times to count, and they were constantly getting dirty. I felt invisible behind my glasses. Adding braces in 5th grade didn’t help the situation. I begged my parents to get contacts and around Christmas of my 8th grade year I got finally got them. I felt like all of a sudden I wasn’t getting teased so much and was getting noticed more. Once that happened, I never looked back. I would wear glasses occasionally at home or at night and that was about it. I have a feeling most people don’t even know I wear contacts.
A few weeks ago, I started having trouble with my right eye or contact. I wasn’t sure which one it was. My eye doctor said that the underside of my right eyelid was irritated and had made itself into “cobblestones” that were pulling my contact out of place. So it meant I needed to wear glasses until it healed. (I’m writing this on June 7th, and my eye seems back to normal.)
I’d like to say that wearing glasses for three weeks was no big deal, but it really bothered me. First, I was nervous something was really wrong and my mind sped to the “what if” of never being able to wear contacts again. That was not helpful. I used to be a huge “what if”/worrywart/anxious kid. That is one HUGE area that changed when I really developed a relationship with God.
Second I had to deal with insecurity. I’m not sure if that was stemming more from vanity or from junior high flashbacks, but it hit me in a big way. I haven’t ever been a fan of the way I look with glasses. (Shout out to all the people, those who knew about my insecurity and those who didn’t, who said they liked my glasses and thought I looked nice these last few weeks. Those compliments helped balance out my students saying I looked “weird” which really is just little kid code for different than usual.) In junior high, I felt invisible behind my glasses so I felt that again during parts of this phase. As lame as it was, I had to daily tell myself you are the same person, people are not staring and judging, and you’re not the same shy you from junior high. It was kind of exhausting having to give myself pep talks about something I knew shouldn’t be a big deal even though it was.
I don’t know why, but I also feel like when my glasses are on, I am blocked from the rest of the world. I know that several inches of metal and glass resting on my face isn’t a barrier like a plastic bubble or a brick wall, but it feels like a separation from everyone and everything else. In some ways I feel like I wasn’t able to fully participate in life from behind my glasses. It wasn’t just that they might get knocked off, but I just didn’t feel 100% me with them on. (I almost hit my glasses off my face when I was two stepping with a friend. We lost it laughing.)
It was hard battling insecurity because in the last 5-7 years, I have been the most confident I have ever been. In my life, God has walked me through a lot of thought transformations and out of a lot of insecurities. Being insecure has largely not been an issue for me recently which is why it felt so foreign and unexpected. This episode also hit on another insecurity that was equally, if not more, painful to deal with than wearing glasses. It was hard having to face both at the same time while trying to wrap up the last three weeks of the school year and prep for a trip.
I had to remind myself of what I had already learned and shared about in a post about waiting and the chocolate chip cookie dough. I wrote it a few months before I published it so it’s been awhile for me. It was a good reminder that I already know how I should wait. Now I need to actually do it. It’s funny how when you think you’ve already learned one of God’s lessons that he throws it back in the mix to make sure you still know it. In my grammar book at work, they call that a spiral review. I’m glad that I’ve seen some of my spiral reviews from God take much less work to master the second (and third, fourth, etc.) time.
Here are some takeaways from the last few weeks.
- I am so thankful that God is our healer.
- Contacts are my favorite invention.
- People will only react weird to me in glasses if I act different.
- Most people don’t care if I’m wearing glasses and some even really like them.
- I got asked to dance by more guys who also wore glasses.
- My friends are the best for participating in my quick frame picking poll (via text or snapchat) while I was at Lenscrafters