Improbably, this innocent-looking pair of eyeglasses symbolizes a journey of personal growth. First of all, I have had these glasses far longer than any other pair in my life because I can’t afford to replace them. New eyeglasses have been demoted in priority. In the past, I took for granted the benefits and entitlements of The American Middle Class. No longer. I remember the woman I was, oblivious to the fragility of a paycheck, but that women is four years gone.
I wouldn’t want to have that old me back. She was more shallow than I am, she was more arrogant than I am, she was living with blinders on. She would have had a problem with the cobbled-together repair to the earpiece.
Yes, she knew the things that were really important—health, family, living honorably. Service to others, to her Town. She knew those things. But she knew them through a thick glass of material comfort.
I know now that comfort has a different definition. Once you are tempered by adversity—real adversity—your perspective on “things” changes, irrevocably. So, eyeglasses break and can be repaired many times. They can even be repaired with an artistic flourish. Who will care that my earpiece is tipped with a glob of seed beads? That other Alyson would have cared, would have felt deprived.
The current Alyson’s opinion:
Puhleeze . . . . Everything is relative.