Through blurry eyes – the beautiful and the fearful

A colorful painting of an autumn tree

This painting shows my journey with accepting my eyesight and my visual limitations. How, you’re probably wondering – it’s a tree? Let me tell you.

I began needing glasses when I was around 7 or 8 years old. I don’t remember what it is to see clearly without aids – until I turned 18, I blatantly refused to wear glasses. The only reason I am wearing my glasses now is because of safety, and I’ll tell you what I mean in a bit.

Seeing blurry for me was a gift – I saw shapes other people didn’t, which made me see and feel the magic of the world better. It let me know my friends by small details like the way they walked or how their hair bounced. I could, and still can, recognize my close ones by the shape of their butts. Autumn was even more beautiful as the colors of the trees poured into each other.

My favorite season is autumn – my birthday’s then. Not only that: the weather’s not too hot, nor too cold; it’s rainy, which cleans the summer staleness, and the air is full of old cycles ending and preparation for newness.

My foggy vision let me be more aware of my surroundings in a way – I needed to keep track of details in order to catch the right bus, for example. Of course, mistakes happen, and thanks to one such mistake I began wearing my glasses.

You’ve seen my pictures on this blog – I’m a pretty girl. Ever since I hit puberty, I have dealt with a lot of male attention, not always wanted or appreciated. It shaped my worldview for a while, and I’ll tell you more about that in a different blog post.

A little before I graduated from high school, I broke up with my high school sweetheart. I went to a bar with some friends, forgot my glasses at home, and when it came time to go home, I asked if any of my guy friends would walk me home. They all refused. One said that ‘nothing will happen’, another gave me a random branch to defend myself. I know they were trying to comfort me and genuinely believed that nothing will happen, but it felt insulting as much as it felt like I might be overreacting – after all, it was the first time I’d be going home alone in the dark.

I got to my building’s entrance and saw a man who looked very much like one of my neighbors. Remember, I didn’t have my glasses, so I saw him very hazily. I waited for him at the door until I could see him, and realized I mistook him for someone else. I began unlocking my door in a hurry, when he ran and kabedon’ed me, towering at least 2 heads over me, asking me for my name.

A person slamming their hands against a wall - another person leaning against the wall between the first's arms.

I told him I don’t want to deal with him at the moment, so he should leave me alone. He tried to grab my ass and leaned in to kiss me, I went under his arm before he could do any of it, and tried to open my door quickly. This time I was successful, but our front door is heavy, and it stayed open long enough for him to enter after me. On the inside, I turned on the light, where he kabedon’ed me again. This time he leaned in closer, so I caught the neck of his sweatshirt, and falsely kicked his stomach, which made him crouch. I used this moment to push him outside, then grabbed the door handle and relaxed back to make the door close faster. It worked.

I ran upstairs to my parents’ apartment, thankfully, they were asleep already – I locked the door and leaned against it, feeling my heart pounding inside my chest. I told them what happened the next morning. Fears of being on my own outside in the dark and of being unable to open doors quickly enough developed.

When I moved to the Netherlands, my first apartment’s front door had an issue with the key – it was very difficult to unlock, and often it just wouldn’t budge, so I just didn’t socialize with other students after 3 pm because then it would already be dark outside.

All of this to say that even when something bad happens due to you being you, the universe gives you challenges to overcome it as soon as possible. Our landlord didn’t fix the front door’s key until 3 months after I moved in – by that time I was already working till 3 am in a nearby restaurant and was walking home alone. Granted, I was terrified every night for the first 3 weeks working there, and I missed the window to make friends with my uni colleagues.

However, now I’m not afraid to walk in the night – I much prefer not to, and I always wear my glasses. This lets me choose when I keep them on. When I began painting, I remembered this technique we learned in elementary school:

  1. Slightly wet some watercolors.
  2. Dip a cotton ball in a water color.
  3. Press the colored cotton ball onto paper.
  4. Make the leafs of a tree!

I loved it! It let me paint the way I see trees, and I love trees. So, I took my boyfriend’s acrylics and did the same thing – instead of a cotton ball I used an old bell-shaped brush, and just had fun filling the whole canvas. Then I used my oil pastels to draw the clear trunk and branches of the tree, combining the beauty of knowing exactly what’s there and the insecurity of its details.

Life is eerie, and I am grateful that we live in a time when glasses are widely available. Let’s enjoy its haziness and crystal clearness, and see what it’ll bring us ^^

Note for the future: I’d love to join a charity that gives glasses to those who cannot afford them but are in need of them. Comment below if you know of such a charity or email me at

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