I’ve been wearing glasses since Middle School and changed to contact lenses sometime in High School so that I could more adequately play sports.
Well, that and I wanted to look cool I guess. Glasses, back then, weren’t as “cool” as they are now and I certainly didn’t have a hip set of spectacles either.
My brother got LASIK surgery on his eyes nearly a decade ago and I have always considered it as a real possibility. When he got the procedure done my issue was that the operation was still too new to know fully the extent of the long-term benefits and drawbacks that would be determined over time and research.
In other words, I was anxious about how the short-term gain could be quickly overshadowed by something much uglier in the long-run, perhaps even blindness.
But technology has gotten better and better and more of my friends and colleagues have gone under the (digital) knife to get it done and my anxieties have, over time, evaporated.
So, earlier this year I decided that I wanted to do it and finding the right time to schedule it in would be the hardest thing. I also just needed to confirm with my ophthalmologist that this would be okay given my issues with Sjögren’s Syndrome.
Well, it took a lot longer to get my appointment scheduled because life can be so darn busy, but earlier this week I was able to finally walk in, get my comprehensive checkup, and ask my question which was just my final “check off” so that I could move forward.
When I asked my doctor yelped. That’s really the right word for it. Emphatically, he said “No, not ever. Ever.” This struck me hard because I was fully expecting clearance to move forward.
And, over the last few days I’ve had to come to terms with the reality that I’ll have to wear physical corrective lenses for the rest of my life. I’m not trying to be melodramatic, but, the feeling of being told no, for forever, even for something as small as this, is challenging.
I don’t like being told no. I don’t like not having optionality in my life. I like the idea of having a choice, even if I don’t execute against it. No one likes closed doors especially if you expected them to be always available to be open.
But as I get older I realize that this is going to happen more and more often. The options that we have, personally and professionally, are getting smaller. We only have so much time to reset our careers and at some point we’ll be out of time.
This isn’t to say that you can’t keep creating and recreating oneself – I fully believe in that prospect and am a fan. What I am saying is that our resources, our time, our energy and certainly our youth is finite. There are just things in our lives that we can never do again. Ever.
And for some of us that’s a good thing.
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