My older sister got glasses when she was in about grade four I think. She was that kid with the round gold rimmed coke-bottle-thickness glasses walking everywhere with her nose in a book and spending lunchtimes in the library. Nerd alert.
And I adored her. So when it was my turn at about the same age to see the optometrist I hoped that I too would get glasses. I know, what a weird child to be hoping to be different to the other kids. But my sister had them, so I wanted them too, nerdiness and all. As ‘luck’ would have it I too was incredibly short sighted and began wearing glasses off and on from age 10-16 when I finally admitted I needed my glasses full time (and probably had needed them full time for the majority of my early teens but of course wouldn’t wear them). I was the kid with the metal mouth and glasses, spending my lunchtimes in the darkroom developing film.
I get new glasses every 3-4 years, depending on how they’re faring and if my eyes have changed. My eyes progressively got worse over time, but in the past few years have plateaued and I am now eligible for laser eye surgery, something I have always wanted to have. Imagine just opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see! I umm-ed and aah-ed over getting the laser done. It’s a lot of money. But so is getting $500 glasses every 3 years and a supply of costly contact lenses.
In the end I decided I wasn’t ready. Not because of the money or squeamishness about laser beams shooting into my eye ball. But because my glasses are so much a part of who I am. Ask anyone who went to school or uni with me, know me through my photography work, friends from places we’ve traveled, communities we’ve lived in, they will say ‘Oh yes Emma, the photographer with the glasses’. It might seem funny, but without my glasses I feel I’d lose a huge part of who I am to people, and to myself. Matt laughed at me when flipping through a laser eye surgery pamphlet I asked if it would be silly to get ‘fake’ glasses. Then he saw I had real tears brimming in my imperfect eyes. I never knew I was so attached to something seemingly so silly until I was faced with losing them.
Last week some builders were here to put on a new laundry door on our little ramshackle limestone outbuilding. I don’t do the whole selfie thing well, it seems self-indulgent and silly. I guess like self-promotion in general, I mean who is good at that?! But here it is anyway. I needed a photo to put over there in my about section so you actually know what I look like. So now it’s done. Thank goodness. I am still getting used to my much shorter, layered hair – I don’t like it and am growing my long locks back I’ve decided!
Yesterday I picked up my new glasses from the optometrist in town. I love them, as I always do with new glasses. But these ones I love all the more because they’re not ‘fake’, they’re very real, very needed and very much a part of me.
Glasses: Dolce & Gabbana
Shirt: Cotton On
Jeans: Just Jeans