I have two new pairs of glasses. For the first time in a long time I’ve been feeling self conscious. But this is my face now, I’ll get used to it
Full Show Notes: https://www.thejaymo.net/2021/09/25/301-2136-new-glasses/
Watch 301 on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/jayspringett
Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded by @thejaymo
Earlier this week I picked up not one, but two new pairs of glasses at the opticians.
To some, this may not seem all that remarkable news. Some people will get new glasses every year, and change pairs to suit their mood or outfit.
But I am not that sort of person. I, am a simple man. The sort of simple man that neither likes or enjoys change. A man who will use things until they can no longer be repaired. Then will buy exactly the same kind of thing to replace a worn out thing that needed replacing.
Generally speaking, for the last 5 years or so the idea of getting new glasses just seemed like an act for generating unnecessary drama. And boy has there been some drama this week.
My last pair of glasses appear in the historical record in January of 2008. Meaning they had been on my face for a third of my life. They became a total extension of ‘me’ embedded deep into my own image of self . In addition to being a comfortable prosthesis they were an aspect of my physical identity I looked past or perhaps through for over a decade.
I’ve always thought to myself: My prescription hasn’t changed in 13 years, so why should I change my glasses?
There are a few answers to that of course.
- The plating on the frames was peeling
- They were so scratched that the grey foggy haze I was seeing the world though had just become part of daily life
- Even the man who hates change thought it was perhaps time for some.
So for the first time in 13 years I have a new face.
Well, not one new face – but two.
Pair number one are thin dark wireframes, with a silver bar across the bridge. Unlike my old pair they have sprung hinges with much larger temples ensuring a great fit.
But they are also HUGE and give off certain … vibes.
Catching myself in the mirror. I worry I look like a man starting a dungeons and dragons import business in the late 1970s. Or that they look a bit too much like the glasses of a man who plays Warhammer in his mid 30’s. My friend Ben thinks I look like Jeffrey Dahmer.
I will admit that huge lenses have some benefits. For the first time in 13 years I have peripheral vision. The first day wearing them made me feel like I was drunk. The edges of my vision barrelling in unfamiliar ways. Walking along the river Monday evening I experienced a little vertigo from seeing my feet passing in and out of the frames.
Now that I have grown acquainted with them, I feel they are best suited to computer work.
The other pair are square, with much thicker Tortoiseshell frames.
Of course I’m not sure about this pair either. They too have sprung hinges. But because of the more robust construction, I feel that they are more suited to going about my general day to day. Being outside, cycling, etc. But they too also have a certain vibe….
And that vibe is that they make me feel like I’m walking around town LARPing as the old man from the pixar movie UP. Perhaps they are a prop. One that suits my personality.
I am not seeking any sort of reassurance from anyone for making this episode. I’ve already been through that. I sought it from Eve in the first few hours of getting them home AND from the friends that I sent photos to at the beginning of the week.
I guess I am reporting the experiencing of something for the first time in a long time. The phenomenon of ‘self consciousness’.
A heightened sense of awareness of oneself.
Self-consciousness: To be preoccupied with oneself, especially with how others may perceive one’s appearance or actions.
And that’s the emotional rub. As an adult I have spent a great deal of time, effort and emotion trying to come to terms with my self conscious streak. A thing I have carried through life since I was a teenager.
I am not ashamed to admit that this part of my personality dominated younger me.
Doing things not because I wanted to. But because I thought that if I did X, Y or Z other people would think of me in A, B or C ways.
A perspective that began in my early teens. Always questioning and worrying about how I thought others perceived me. It shaped and guided who I am today.
I don’t think this sort of behaviour is unusual for people. But the amount of anxiety and social panic it used to cause me personally, is in retrospect, unhealthy.
Because of the new glasses, experiencing some slight self consciousness as an adult this week has reminded me just what a big deal being ‘self conscience’ was to my younger self.
Luckily, I have done the work and I am now prepared. There is no spiraling. I know that almost everyone is too wrapped up in their own lives to give a shit about the things I think they are thinking about me. To think that people give a shit about things that I think that worry me late at night is egocentric behaviour to the point of absurdity.
Anyways, given my previous track record. I figure I’m going to be wearing these new glasses till I’m about 50 or something.
So when I catch myself in the mirror i’ll just be thinking ‘this is my face, get used to it’
The script above is the original script I wrote for the episode. It may differ from what ended up in the audio due to time constraints.
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