out of focus
If I take my contact lenses out, or my glasses off, this is how the world looks to me.
My vision is bad, really bad. I started wearing glasses when I was in fourth grade. And each year, they got stronger and stronger and stronger. For I while, I worried that it would just keep getting worse, and I would end up being declared legally blind. Finally, when I was a sixteen, things leveled off.
But even before that, my mom used to say that I saw the world through rose-colored glasses. And while I liked the sound of that, I had no idea what she meant. When I turned thirteen, she gave me a tiny little pair of antique spectacles that had red lenses. She gave them to me and she cried… saying that she hoped I would never stop seeing the world that way.
Through rose-colored glasses.
It is fairly easy to pull this off when you are young, easy to be optimistic, open-minded, innocent. Easy to look at the world with wonder. And I know what she meant, now. At thirteen, I was dreamy, a romantic, trusting. I was naive, in the way that it is okay to be, when you are young.
There was a period of time, right around then, when I started getting up really early just to watch the sunrise. I think this was also right around the time I started writing poetry. And I am not a get up early kind of girl, but I did, for most of the summer that year.
Just because. I still remember those mornings, the way they looked. The way I felt.
But as we get older, cynicism starts slowly moving in, one book, one sweater, one box at a time. It takes up residence in our hearts, in our minds, and it can be hard to kick back out. We stop doing things we love, just for the sake of doing them. Time gets in the way, the lack of it. Life gets in the way, things go wrong. Our way of looking at the world changes.
I still have those glasses. I’ve held on to them all these years. I pull them out every once in awhile, and peek at the world through rose-colored glasses once again. Just to remind myself to be optimistic, open-minded, to look at the world with wonder.
I can’t feign innocence, those years are gone. I can’t pretend that everything is always coming up roses, especially on days that are filled with weeds. But I can refuse to replace that naiveté with bitterness. I can refuse to be jaded.
When I grow old, I want to be the old laughing lady. The one with the rose-colored glasses, sitting in her rocking chair on the porch each day at sunrise. I want to greet each day with wonder. I want to end each night with hope.
My vision hasn’t changed all that much since I was a teenager.
My view of the world is still blurred around the edges.
But the light looks really pretty, doesn’t it?