My eyes change color. To date, I have never found out what color my eyes are, to my satisfaction. They change even to me. Growing up, I was told they were Hazel. I didn’t understand. What color is hazel? I still haven’t found a satisfactory definition or picture of Hazel. “Greenish/light color with flecks of gold or brown.” Really? How ambiguous is that? Lately, people have told me “I always thought you had blue eyes.” My husband says they’re grey most of the time.
Chameleon eyes is what I’ve started calling them. I did a scrapbook layout on that once. When people ask me what color my eyes are, I now say, “I don’t know. What color do they look like to you?” Fascinating answers, I tell you.
If the eyes are the window to your soul, then I suppose my soul is ever changing too. I started thinking of this recently. Maybe my soul isn’t ever-changing, but instead, I’m trying to change it to be what (insert reason) “says so”. I should be “this” because my friends say so. No, I should be “that” because my family thinks it’s best or “normal”. Nah… society says you have to do or be “these things”. EVERYONE is prey to this way of thinking. And some people are comfortable being there.
I remember graduating college… oooooh so long ago (sad panda). I was sitting on the back deck of my father’s house and I said I wanted to be back in college, where I could “be free”. He got a little gruff (I assume from parental frustration and the prevalent thought when you’re older of “kids today!” – I’m guilty of that now too) and said to me, “you’ll never be free like that again.” He went on to line up his fingers and list off the responsibilities of being an adult that counteract the “freedom” of being a college student. I remember saying that what he was saying was not what I meant… that I did manage my money, and I did hold down a job while in college, and I did live up to the responsibilities of being an (albeit young) adult, even when I was in college. But I couldn’t formulate the thought in my head to better explain what I meant by wanting to “be free”.
I spent the next two decades being what I was “supposed to” be. A good worker. A good friend. A productive and contributing member to society. A good stepmom. A good wife. A good pet owner. A good neighbor. A good salesperson. And so on. And my anxiety built. And my depression deepened. And my chameleon nature started to feel “less than”. I knew I COULD be all of those things… but that wasn’t all that I was. Somewhere in all of those years, I forgot what it was to Be Me. And (light bulb) THAT is what I was trying to convey to my dad all those years ago.
In college, away from my home town, away from my family and childhood friends who had come to know the person I “should be” (that student who excelled, the nice girl, the good girl, etc.) I was able to stretch out my wings – even just a little – into the world that I knew was out there. Oh, there were a lot of “bad” things too, but my eyes were opened then to an amazing world of people who were who they were – societal and social expectations be damned. Those people brought magic into my world… literally and figuratively.
Over the past year, my life has been changing rapidly. On the surface, I suppose it doesn’t look like it has changed much. But inside of me – wow! I’m slowly allowing… even encouraging…myself to Be Me. I know it sounds weird… I mean, who are you if you’re not you? But there has been so much settling… burying…unrealistic compromises going on that somewhere along the lines I lost who I was just beginning to find and understand back in my college years. I’m so glad she’s still in me. And she’s ready to shine. And to fly. And to be the magical person she was meant to be.
There really is peace in that.