It was sometime in autumn or winter of my senior year in college that I learned my vision had changed. I had enjoyed 20/20 vision all my life up to this one particular day in a Soil Studies lecture. I turned to my friend while sitting in the back of the lecture hall and whispered, “Should I be the one to tell her that green is the worst color to use on the projector? It’s impossible to see what she’s writing!” My sweet friend (with glasses) replied that she could see the instructor’s writing just fine and maybe I should get my vision checked.
So I ended up at an eye doctor in Corvallis shortly afterward for only the second time in my life and found out my vision had changed to 20/40. Near-sighted. At that point, I was near-sighted emotionally and spiritually as well as physically. But my physical near-sightedness had a cure: a pair of glasses I was instructed to wear at any and all times, especially while in class and driving at night.
Ten years later, the amount of time those glasses spent on my face had decreased to practically nothing. When I did put them on, my forehead and eyes would ache so much that any gain wasn’t worth the pain. I figured my vision had gotten worse again so I found another eye doctor, this time in Bend.
She measured the topography of my eyeballs and projected a map of the microscopic peaks and valleys onto a large flat-screen television on the wall. It paled in comparison to a map of, say, Mt Hood, of course, but I was still very impressed. When all the tests were complete, she came in to let me know that my vision had, indeed, changed. It was now 20/20 uncorrected.
“So my vision…?” I asked incredulously.
“Has improved,” she replied, “that’s why the glasses were uncomfortable for you.”
“Sweet. How on earth did that happen?” I asked, still shocked.
“Well, I’m not sure. It doesn’t happen very often,” she said.
I left the office feeling buoyant. I had my original vision back! I was an optometric miracle! Well, maybe not quite, but I was no longer near-sighted.
Two years after that diagnosis and my vision is still 20/20, but it has also drastically changed in some ways. Up until two days ago, I was living in a nice house in Portland and working an office job Monday through Friday. Last Wednesday, I left that office job and on Thursday, I had the pleasure of delivering flowers for some Valentine’s sweethearts throughout Portland. On Saturday, I started moving out of the nice house and into a storage unit.
It might seem there isn’t much vision in a storage unit, but I’m hoping to explore and nourish my curiosity with flexibility and a sense of freedom. Get a grip on the material possessions that I feel are dragging me down. Embark on a journey that I’ve always wanted to take. Activate my inner vision and develop all aspects of it- past, present and future. Examine my blind spots. Check the rear view mirror. Because I need to see where I’ve been to know where I’m capable of going. And through it all, I am incredibly grateful to have the gift of sight and the privilege of vision in the first place.