Ever since I was little I loved to observe everything. I paid close attention to cracks in the wall, would point out minuscule details in complex objects. I always made sure to complement the local art on the city's Big Belly trashcans, point out the different colors of city hall, and google what the stickers and posters meant attached to light poles and newspaper stands all over the city.
As I got older, I continued to appreciate things, but my eyesight diminished and with it came fear and sadness. Through middle school, the days would drag on and on until one day I was assigned a seat in the back of the classroom and could no longer see my teacher's loopy handwriting on the board. Shortly after, I got my first pair of glasses and wore them only for school. In my 3rd year of high school, I noticed my eyesight became even worse. I went to the eye doctor and he made the mistake of prescribing me bifocals and a too strong prescription.
For the next two years, I dealt with horrible headaches and dizziness from looking down. I would often put on my glasses when walking through the city to do my usual observing, but after a while, the headache would come on and I would be exhausted.
Finally, this past summer I decided to visit a different optometrist, obtain a new prescription, and try contact lenses. I look back and wonder why I waited so long for something so important as my eyesight.
Today, I no longer hide behind my thick-framed glasses. As I once did as a child, every day I pay close attention to what's around me. I observe the changing colors of my favorite trees, I secretly admire cute outfits of commuters on the subway, I recognize old friends from childhood, and my favorite thing to do is to sit on a bench or at a cafe window and watch the bustle of the city and the lives of the people living in it.
My eyes are consistently lingering too long on people and I often get funny looks back, but I don't care because every day just stepping outside of my house feels like an exciting adventure, and I hope that one day you get to feel the same way too.