The other day, I was at the optometrist’s getting a lesson on “how to insert and remove contact lenses”.
I have wanted contacts ever since I had to start wearing glasses regularly (hello 40’s!) and I have been terrified of them for just as long. It’s probably why, as desperate as I was to get them, I kept putting it off.
You see, I have this thing with my eyes. a) they are tiny-I barely have eyelids and my face is small as it is. and b) they REALLY don’t like anything being anywhere near them.
I have never met a makeup artist that was able to put mascara on my lashes. Every last one would give a deep sigh of frustration at my fluttering and blinking eyes, and hand me the wand: “Here, they’d bark. You do it.”
I had this voice in my head saying over and over again in a loop: “You need to be able to keep your eyes open in order to get contacts in & out. You’re just not going to be able to do it”
And I would put it off again.
Until this time. I have new insurance, and with it, new doctors. I went for an eye exam and before I knew it, I was booked in for a training.
And so there I was last Friday morning, staring into a mirror with two contacts in front of me and Dr. Lee sitting beside me, mustering all the patience she could find.
It wasn’t going well.
“No, your lid is slipping! Hold it up!”
“Nope–you’re at the wrong angle”
“Nope. Not in.”
I was on the verge of giving up. My face was red and my eyes watering, but when I looked in the mirror I caught a glimpse of my necklace. It’s a simple gold chain with 5 small stones in various shades of turquoise and blues. I saw it in a shop one day in August and it caught my eye because it was the colors of the Virtual Summer Cello Festival logo. My festival. My logo.
Immediately, I thought of the blood, sweat, and tears I had poured into that project. The fear, the risk, the worry of embarrassment, and finally, the successes and breakthroughs of the students, the friendships they formed and maintain today, and the sense of pride I feel every time I see that logo.
This necklace, I thought to myself, will remind me that I can do hard things.
And catching sight of that necklace in the mirror on Friday, I took a deep breath, looked right at Dr. Lee, and said:
” I can do this. I can do hard things”
And the right one went in.
“Yes! You can do hard things!” She squealed.
The left one went in.
And then we went through taking them out (it was a much quicker process) and she sent me home with my new contacts.
to be perfectly honest, I still struggle. It takes me a few tries, a few moments of “Maybe I can’t!” but deep down, I know that I can, and that keeps me going.
And I know that it’s just like anything else. Muscle memory. Trial and error. Getting the hang of it. Learning how to put contacts in isn’t any different than learning how to play a difficult new piece, or how to create a new program.
It’s always a bit scary.
It’s definitely frustrating.
It’s probably going to be hard.
But that’s okay. Because you and I? We can do hard things.
Cheers to us!
P.S. If you are a professional musician and looking to create a better professional and financial situation for yourself in 2021, I hope you’ll join me this week for my FREE 3-day training called Pivot to Purpose. From Tuesday, December 1st to Thursday, Dec 3rd, we’ll meet in a private Facebook Group from 12:30-1:30 EST (you’ll also be sent the replay video each evening in case you can’t join us live.)
It’s all about figuring out what you want your future to look like, and mapping out the route to get yourself there. You bring your goals and dreams, I’ll bring the tools and tips. Together, we can make things happen. To join, just click here, and I’ll see you there!
P.P.S. And if you want to join the ongoing party, swing by the Tales From The Lane Facebook Group to find your community of like-minded musicians looking to make this world a better place.