Why do we often want to be anyone other than who we are?
I remember intentionally flunking an eye exam when I was a kid. My mother took my brother and me to the optometrist for a routine eye test and I had decided that I was not going to pass it this time. Why? Because I wanted to wear glasses.
So, when the doctor sat me behind whatever that massive machine is called that’s connected to what appears to be an intricate set of binoculars, I faked it. Being that I was probably about 10 or 11 years old, I’m pretty sure I didn’t put on a great acting performance either. I stared at the illuminated screen with my 20/20 vision and pretended I was struggling to read the combination of letters. I breezed through the first couple of rows. Didn’t want anyone to think I was going blind or anything. But after that I started squinting and giving the impression that I was struggling.
When it was all said and done, I got my glasses. They were pink plastic frames with a nice leather carrying pouch. I probably wore them for all of one week before the novelty subsided and I completely forgot they existed.
Why did I want to wear glasses? Because I didn’t need to, of course. I had friends and saw people at school wearing them and I thought it looked cool. The only reason I thought this was likely because I didn’t have any. I know people who are dependent on glasses or contact lenses who talk about the hassle it’s been their entire lives and WISH they had better eyesight. People pay thousands of dollars to have LASIK surgery and do away with the need for vision aids. Yet, here I was purposefully failing an eye exam so that I could cheat my way into wearing glasses.
We seem to always want what we don’t have, and be someone that we are not. I guess it’s natural as a kid, you see other kids with something and you want it too. It could be a toy, a cool haircut, or in my case, glasses. However, that mindset doesn’t necessarily go away as we get older. It just becomes more sophisticated.
How often does seeing a friend get married and have kids make the other friends start to want the same, or at least feel that they should be doing those things? Then suddenly, we’re talking marriage and babies with our significant other. Or going out on a massive number of dates in search of a…