I rely heavily on my glasses. When my husband asked my optometrist exactly how bad IS her eyesight, she merely laughed him (never a good sign.) He just doesn’t get HOW important they are. Without my glasses the world is populated by “people who look like trees” and Monet landscapes. He, of course, has “more than perfect” 20/15 vision (his words, not mine) so he’s never thought about my glasses any farther than deciding they made me look “cute” when we first met. To me, they’re an extension of my face, as much a part of my physical make-up as my hair or freckles.
One tumble later and they’re gone. Well, not gone exactly but certainly injured enough to collect disability.
My poor glasses…
Monday night my glasses fell victem to a new/old passtime of mine, softball. As I’ve mentioned dyslexics are often a little clumsy. Despite knowing this fact VERY well, I have chosen to participate in an intramural team at my university in order to have some semblance of a normal college experience (my mission for this school year.) And you know what? I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well I’ve done at it, considering I haven’t even touched a softball since I was 9. By “well” I do mean that I’ve had good MOMENTS. I have hit the ball all three times I’ve been to bat and I’ve tagged someone out at base – huge accomplishments in my book!
I think more than anything I’ve enjoyed the process of giving myself over to the game and to my team. I so rarely do that these days- completely surrender myself to something. To really TRY something and not hold back. Perhaps that happens to everyone naturally as we grow up. Perhaps it’s a result of my fairly low self-esteem. But I think it’s also very likely a result of having so many endeavors frustrated in some way by my dyslexia. I often feel like I fail SO often that it’s not worth sticking my neck out there for more disappointment. I don’t know when it happened, but I suppose somewhere along the way I just stopped trying to achieve or create anything significant because of the FEAR that true effort would result in true failure.
Which brings me back to my mishap at Monday’s game.
I played third base for the first time and really gave it my all. It’s only single A ball- so more fun than competition since almost no one has any experience. I did miss a few plays, but I also made a few good ones, including tagging someone “out” for the first time ever! The second to last play of the game, we were a good few runs behind and I was determined to keep anyone else from running home. The play is in motion and suddenly the ball is being thrown to me! I touch 3rd with my foot and my mind goes blank except for “KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL!” I stretch out as far as I can, it’s not getting past me this time! And… BAM! The world flips upside down and blurs. I pick myself up and grab at the highlighter yellow ball. I realize the girl on 2nd did make it (over me) to 3rd and toss the ball back in the general direction of the pitcher’s mound. The pieces of my glasses are located by a search team and I head to the sidelines to asses the damage. (We did loose, but we actually got some runs this time, so we were happy.) The damage to me was negligible, but my glasses were not going to bounce back this time. But my husband encouraged me not to worry and told me that he was proud of me and that I “won the hardest worker on the field award” in his eyes.
And I realized, yeah I’m bummed to be without proper glasses for a while… but it was worth it. Some failure does not mean I failed. I tried, I gave my all and improved…and that’s all the really mattered. There were consequences, yes. But they were worth it. It was an epiphany for me- that giving my all is worth it. That it does not inevitably lead to failure. But just as important- failure can be acceptable. It does not affect my value as a person.
And broken glasses are definitely worth understanding that.