I started wearing contacts this week. I feel awesome.

Alright, perhaps I should explain. Awesome is not the term I will use for contacts. I have plenty of terms I would gladly use to describe contacts, but awesome isn’t one, nope.

Here’s the thing: I have for so long–seventeen years, actually–been more or less faithful with my glasses. Except that I used to go through glasses so fast because during the first six years my sight degenerated so fast my parents had to keep up by buying me new pairs. And of course, there was that time my glasses died on me after being crushed under a slab of concrete when I was in third grade. Long story. Anyway, I was, still am, perfectly content with wearing glasses, even with my (R -10.50 -2.00 x 175 L -10.00 -2.00 x 175, if you don’t know what that means it pretty much means I am thiiiis close to being blind) prescription. My glasses are part of me and my survival in this cruel, cruel world. I even believe that with right frame choice, anyone, and I mean anyone, can look hotter with glasses. Seriously.

But you know me. Sometimes, I get bored. And many, many times, people have asked me, “But why aren’t you wearing contacts?” Or “Why don’t you try LASIK?”

To answer both questions, I would usually say, “HO SHIT GUYS. THOSE TWO OPTIONS ARE FREAKING EYE INVASIONS. NO. HELL NO. NO ONE IS GONNA DO THAT TO MY PRECIOUS EYEBALLS.”

But you know. Ask a girl a question enough times and she would start asking herself, too. So I flirted with the idea, every once in while. Just curiosity.

Then my dad, being aware of my early courtship with contacts, decided to buy me a pair of 6-month contact lenses. Out of the blue. Like, I came home from campus and ta-daa the bottles were sitting nicely on the front table waiting to be unwrapped. De-bottled. Whatever.

It was a disaster. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t. Let’s admit it, you are putting foreign objects on your eyeballs when you put on contacts. My eyes, and my guts, refused to cooperate. I blinked a lot when applying. I thought I put the damn thing on. Then I found it still stuck on my finger. At one point, I managed to put on both lenses and tried to get used to the feeling of irritation and something every damn time I blink or look around. And during a trip to the bathroom, one of them decided to fall off my eye. Just like that, poof and I was suddenly disoriented with the half-clear, half-fucking-blurry sight. I panicked. To find the treacherous lens, I needed to take off the other one and put my glasses back on. That took around twenty minutes. Then I had to find the lens without knowing exactly where too look except the general area of the kitchen.

I told you. DIsaster.

It wasn’t until last week that I rekindled the old kindling that burned out too early. With a friend, I went to an optic shop that gave free trial for colored contacts.

Another disaster, albeit perhaps smaller in scale.

The colored contacts were laid out in small contacts containers arranged in a plastic tray. Together, the lenses looked like some crazy murderer collected and preserved the various, sometimes magical-looking, irises of his victims. In hindsight, the contact lens solutions were clearly dirty. And hell if I knew whose eyes had touched the lenses I tried. Not to mention the completely vapid shopkeeper didn’t even know how to convert my glasses prescriptions to contacts prescription.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that I left the shop red-eyed and tearful.

At that point, I thought it was a sign that contacts were truly evil scum of the universe and I should feel glad to be unacquainted with them.

But curiosity. And a bit of self-deprecation, because really? I know a lot of people wearing contacts and actually preferring them to glasses.

Then I talked to my mother, who simply said, “So decide to overcome that fear, or don’t. Your choice.”

Damn, did my mom know how to rile me up when she wasn’t busy telling me to pray more.

And hell if I were going to let a pair of tiny, flimsy, thin concave silicone sheets beat me.

I did it properly this time. Went to a reputable optic shop with shopkeepers who knew what they were talking about. Got an actual consultation. Did you know that the degree of nearsightedness isn’t the only thing you need to know when buying contacts? Apparently, lenses come in different sizes for different cornea diameters and curve. Yeah. Shocker. No wonder the contacts my dad bought me fell off.

Maybe I was a bit more confident than before. Maybe it was the lenses. Or maybe all of the above. All I know is that it wasn’t that hard, at the end of the day. Sure sometimes it takes more than one try to put on/take off. Sure my eyes still tire when I wear them for too long. I still wear glasses at home. Sure I still feel something everytime I blink or move their eyes. Give me a break, it’s not even a week yet. Of course I still feel different, unlike the completely unnoticeable weight of glasses on the bridge of my nose.

But it feels awesome nonetheless.

If after six months I choose to not wear contacts anymore, it’s not fear. I punched fear in the jugular when I spent my own well-earned money on contacts. It’s just… choice. And that is always better than fear.

Plus, who knows? Maybe next time I can kick fear in the balls and try LASIK. Baby steps.

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