I’ve been told that one quality about myself is that I’m always myself regardless of who I am around. I really, really like this trait about myself as I think it is admirable. However, since COVID-19 hit in the US and we’ve been in shelter-in-place now for about two months I’ve realized that a couple of things I’d been doing before shelter-in-place occurred didn’t actually line up with my “true self.”
For one, wearing contact lenses. I really hate them. I despise putting them in every day but I actually hate myself in glasses more. I’ve worn contact lenses for years – since high school. For about 15 years I had hard lenses, then I had LASIK eye surgery and was glasses free for about 12 years, then my vision worsened again (yes that can happen after LASIK) and I was back into contact lenses again but soft this time. I’ve never enjoyed sticking them into my eyes but I hate myself in glasses so much that I’m willing to tolerate doing this. Since shelter-in-place began two months ago I have not put them in once. Not once. It’s been glorious!
I’ve realized that I don’t put my contacts in for me but for other people. After all I’m not the one looking at myself, you are looking at me, so basically I’m wearing contacts for vanity reasons with the few exceptions of when contacts are truly a benefit, like when doing sports for instance when glasses can be a hinderance. And more recently I realized that wearing a mask with glasses is a pain since your own breath causes your glasses to fog up. In those instances when I have to wear a mask I simply take off my glasses and I deal with my blurry vision.
Contacts are simply NOT a necessity in my life during shelter-in-place. My eyes are not bad enough to be going without them in and around the house and when I do actually go out driving to the store or for walks around the neighborhood I simply wear my glasses because I am not interacting with people for the most part, I’m mostly solo.
The second area where I realized I wasn’t being my true self is with my clothing. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’ve never been stylish with my clothing choices and have always preferred comfortable attire over clothes that are not. However, now I find that these days I barely leave my yoga pants, sweats or shorts. I mean really, what’s the point when they are clearly the most comfortable option and I’m mostly hanging out at home! I’ve been wearing the same tee shirts repeatedly and have noticed small holes in some of them. In the past this might have stopped me from wearing them out and about but these days it doesn’t stop me from wearing them. And if the clothes don’t smell after one wearing, why not wear them another day. Who cares if I’m wearing the same things two days in a row! Whoo hoo! The fashion police are nowhere in site.
So yes, my wardrobe that was already sorely lacking has now managed to go down yet another notch on the totem pole.
When shelter-in-place ends I wonder what I am going to do now that I’ve discovered my new true self? I love my new found freedom of being contact free and caring even less about my clothes. The thought of having to shove contacts in my eyes again daily and to care about what I look like for other people truly makes me cringe.
However pressure from society is strong and is too hard to resist and I know when this is over that I’ll wear my contact lenses again and put in more effort into trying to look nice again each day. But now that I have a clearer view of who my true self is and what makes me happy I’d be surprised if I don’t give myself more breaks from these things going forth. Only time will tell.