A third eye GIF placed on my forehead.

Changing Focus

By Chelyse Prevost
Web Content Contributor

I’m due for an eye exam? You’re kidding.

It hasn’t been a year, there is no way. I’ve reached my last pack of one-day contacts and I can’t order more “until I make an appointment.” An appointment for what? An eye exam? So, what you’re basically saying is, I’m not allowed to see until I prove that I’m still as blind as I was last year and every year?

As if this year isn’t testing me already. Of all things, another exam is the last thing I need.

I was then informed that I needed this annual exam because my vision will continue to change. “Get worse, you mean,” I asked. Not necessarily, but “potentially,” I was told. And for that reason alone, I’ll need an exam before I’m sent off with the same old prescription.

Which makes sense. Not just because I’ve been going to the optometrist since my first pair of glasses in the 5th grade, but because my vision has gotten progressively worse since then. More than that, I should know better than to think that I’ll get by with the same vision forever.

Changing Focus

It means more than sitting in the front row just in case the professor made the PowerPoint in 12pt font. It means more than going everywhere you need to during the day because you hate driving when it’s dark out.

I refuse to believe I’m the only one who can’t see at night. It means being mindful of your vision and the way that it fluctuates, for better or worse.

An eye exam is designed to test for how well you can see, not just what you can see. It’s up to you to determine what you can’t see, what shouldn’t be so blurry and when it’s time to change focus.

You, an Optometrist

Testing your own vision is your occupation, but you don’t need fading numbers or rows of backward E’s to test it. Whether you realize it or not, your sight is tested every day. The capability to recognize an opportunity at face value or to act on a window of opportunity as it presents itself indicates your nearsightedness.

The ability to navigate through what you can see in front of you to make the most out of what you can’t see further ahead is an indication of your farsightedness. Even how well you can decipher what takes place outside your field of vision, beyond your expectations and clearly out of context is reflective of your peripheral vision.

Your New Prescription

Whether you pick up new frames or refill on your contacts, the lens you choose has less to do with how you look and more to do with how you see.

Often times we don’t even bother changing our vision because of how we’ll look. We take pride in how clear we can see: how we can detail what’s in front of us, how we can grasp what’s up ahead, how prepared we are for what’s to come left field. 

Naturally, we grow comfortable seeing things from that perspective. Truth is, as soon you’re willing to settle for the clarity of a moment, the more accustomed we become in falling for what appears to be.

Staying Insightful

It makes no sense to deny your sight or lack thereof. Changing focus doesn’t mean your vision isn’t good anymore and testing your vision isn’t an assessment of how blind you are to the world around you.

Being mindful of your sight has less to do with FOMO and more to do with recognizing our natural fixation for a fixed vision as conscious, meditative beings. Ultimately, our vision can’t be constant if our sight is ever-changing.

The more you use your sight, however, the more you’ll learn to see. That said, instead of using your sight as the overall determinant of your vision, take the perspective as an insight towards understanding our vision.

Featured image by Chelyse Prevost.

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