Having grown up in an extreme academic environment in China during my first three years of elementary school, my parents has always been worried about my eyesight, and they were adamant about not buying me video games, making sure I only did work under well-lighted environments. Yet, despite all their efforts, I developed a mild myopia similar to my mom around 7th grade, and got a prescription glasses to wear.
I’ve had an interesting relationship with the several pairs of glasses that I went through the years (and for some reason they keeps breaking…). When I first got glasses, I tried my best to not wear them, and I would always take them off when engaging in work that I can see with my bare eyes, such as using computers and homework. But as my prescription went up, it became harder and harder to use glasses that way, and eventually they became permanent accessories on my face.
It was during my junior year in a creative writing class that made me rethink of my relationship with my glasses. I was trying to write a poem about an everyday object, and I realized as I was writing that my glasses were not simply tools to adjust my vision. I felt much more connected to the real world when I had my glasses on. When I took them off, I felt more absorbed into my own world. Even nowadays, whenever I sit down and try to take introspective look on my goals and progress in life, I would often take off my contacts or glasses to focus on who I am.
I got my contact lenses my prior to my senior season in my high school baseball team, when I played second base in the varsity team. I found contacts much more convenient because I no longer had to make sure they stayed on top of my nose. They made me feel like I belonged on field, even if they didn’t do much to influence my skill. When I think back to these times, I think having the right equipment really boosted my confidence and had shaped some part of my performance. Nowadays, I wear contacts for formal occasions, but I’m often too lazy to actually wear them, because the large amount of time I spend in front of my laptop screen really makes my eyes uncomfortable for some unknown reason.
I am really excited for the increased role contacts and glasses could possibly take in our lives with the advance of technology, as that would only add to my personal definition of eyewear as my gateway to the world, be it real or digital.