Last week my daughter and I stood in front of a wall full of Halloween masks and took turns trying them on. Some were beautiful, some were quirky, some were creepy, and some were funny. One of my nicknames growing up was “chunky pig” (sounds mean but it really wasn’t) and so I’ve since had an affinity for pig things. I pulled this mask on, and without much thought, took a selfie.
Lately my left eye has been acting up again, making it really difficult to see clearly, and causing me a lot of facial pain. I’ve started, very reluctantly, using my eye patch again.
I’ve only ever worn it in the house and even then usually only when I’m alone. Today though I was out at a community BBQ in the park (have I ever said how much I love living where I live?) and the eye pain was creeping in. I tried all my other tricks – sunglasses on, eyes cast downwards, close left eye, close both eyes, hold left eye with my hand – but finally I realized that nothing was going to be enough. Nothing but the patch.
While continuing a conversation with friends I pulled it out of my bag, strapped it on, replaced my sunglasses and carried on as if nothing had changed.
And nothing did change except that I got some sweet relief from the pain and my vision became clear.
I was worried about the social aspects of wearing something so conspicuous but there were none. I felt great physically, and I felt great psychologically as I walked home with my daughter. She held my hand and didn’t even seem to notice the big black eye patch.
I walked with my head held high… until we ran into friends at which point I quickly pulled off my eyepatch and shoved it in my bag.
Why am I so quick to be a pig but so reluctant to be a pirate? Hopefully over time I’m able to embrace this identity as easily as I owned the name Chunky Pig back in the day.