I don’t see well, never have. Discovered that I was nearsighted while in elementary school.
From kindergarten through fourth grade, my kid persona was the epitome of the teacher’s pet — smart, obedient, studious, attentive, shy but friendly when friendlied-to. My teachers called on me frequently and I always knew the answers to their questions. I basked in the little-kid glory of getting the best grades in most of my classes. I loved loved loved school.
Then starting in fifth grade, I became inattentive and disruptive. I didn’t know all the answers, didn’t raise my hand as much. I got scolded by my teacher Mrs. Bryant for chatting with my neighbors. And getting called out for bad behavior by Mrs. Bryant, who I adored and whose praise my nine-year-old self lived for, was utmost humiliation. My young self-esteem was all about being the smartest and best-behaved kid in the class. Suddenly I was becoming one of the kids that was always getting yelled at. Soon I would join the ranks of delinquents in the walk of shame to the Principal’s Office. What had happened? How did I get started on a downhill slide to Kid Skid Row?
It was all because of where I was seated in the classroom. From grades one through four, my desk was always near the front of the classroom, close to the action at the blackboard. In fifth grade, my desk was in the rear of the classroom. Mrs. Bryant apparently got a clue, recommending that I get my eyes tested. I couldn’t see the blackboard or make eye contact with the teacher from the back of the room. So I disengaged.
A few weeks later, I was wearing winged cat-eyed montrosities that were the latest fashion in 1960’s eyewear …
… and happily on a climb back up the teacher’s pet ladder.
Now my eyes have an even harder time. Since I am old. Each lens in my glasses contains three different prescriptions — long distance, medium distance for arm’s length, and short distance for reading. I have no idea what my 20/whatever is, but it must be very bad.
I’m writing in this direction today because I got laid off yesterday. Good for me, because I hated that job and the organizational culture I was working in. Scary for me, too, because I don’t have another job and I am not made of money (yet).
But, great again because God has a way of leading me, whether I think His timing of particular events makes sense or not. It can feel a bit like whiplash …. “Wait … what?” … but now I get to put my minds’-eye where my mouth is. And my mind’s-eye vision is usually perfectly clear. In its landscape, I see 20/20. In that clarity, I believe I see what God has in mind for my life.
So, time to put the visualization thing to work again. It has worked before. For example, from 1990-1996, I lived in a small, semi-dumpy townhouse. My master bedroom window directly overlooked a busy street. I lived 5 minutes from the grocery store and right next door to a pair of teenage brothers whose extracurricular activities included vandalizing cars. Including mine.
I knew that place was not my real home. I started visualizing where I wanted to live. I journaled about it and kept the written pages with me at all times.“4 Jan 1996 My dreams come from God and God has the power to accomplish them. My creativity heals myself and others. There is a divine plan of goodness for me. There is a divine plan of goodness for my work. My dreams for my life are simple and achievable. Sometimes what I want is so clear and so close. I don’t know how to get there but I think if I see myself living the life I want, that is the only way to get started. I seem to be able to create, to think creatively, to live beyond just existing. But there is something missing — the real plan, the road. I’m going to start seeing it, visualizing it every day, writing it down, telling myself over and over again what will happen, how I will live my life and place the inch pebbles that will get me there. My home is a small place in the country. There are lots of trees, maybe an orchard. The house has lots of light and a fireplace, not too many rooms but they’re large and there’s room for guests. I have a good kitchen and a nice room to work in. The animals have their own place, too. The kitchen has a window that overlooks the yard, maybe a small pasture where there are 1 or 2 horses. I don’t know how the house is decorated but it is comfortable and clean, not too dressed up, formal or silly. Things I love and things I make are all over the house. There is some kind of porch that I can watch sunrises or sunsets from. I have a garden and I grow vegetables and flowers. I keep the kitchen well-stocked with food and I cook! I have lots of animals and people enjoy visiting my home, and best of all I enjoy sharing my home with them …”
Six months after writing that, I bought the little house that is still my home … three bedrooms on five acres in the Sierra foothills … kitchen windows look out over pastures and there are four horses out there now … the fireplace is a wood-burning stove … i have my large watercolor quilt and original artwork hanging on my walls … room for lots of dogs and cats and they are everywhere now, usually where they aren’t supposed to be … my front porch faces west to great sunsets … a huge garden area … I have learned how to cook …
Now, I’m putting the mind’s-eye to work again on something new. Can’t wait to see what it comes up with.
Every time I read your description of your home, I get chills. You make a strong case for the power of visualization.
God often has ways to take care of us when we don’t have the courage to take care of ourselves. Sorry about the layoff, but what an opportunity to now create without the distraction of a J-O-B. You are an incredibly talented woman, Carol. Write. Paint. Sew. Get an agent. That watercolor quilt belongs in a gallery, not a quilt shop. I have no doubt you can make a living doing what you love.