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"How I've come to embrace my glasses."

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Thanks to our brand partner, OPSM

I’m sitting in a lecture theatre during my first year of uni when I scan the huge room hoping to spot someone with the same look as myself on their face. Confusion. Not confusion over the topic, confusion over the fact that there is obviously something wrong with the projector that is beaming our presentation up onto the giant white projector screen.

The words are blurry, the pictures cannot be made out and I can’t be the only one too concerned about the impression I’m going to make by telling our lecturer they clearly don’t know how to use technology. Why hasn’t anyone spoken up? I think to myself.

I struggle through the next hour, trying to improve my vision by squinting. Hallelujah! That works. But only for a few minutes before my eyes start to hurt and I can squint no more. I decide I can’t sit through the next semester with this problem and lean over to the girl sitting a chair down from me to ask if she’s noticed the same problem with the blurry screen.

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about,” she squawks back, annoyed that I’ve disrupted her through her frantic typing of notes. “There’s nothing wrong with the projector, maybe you need to go get your eyes checked,” she suggests before returning to her keyboard.

I was 19, never had any problems with my vision and fairly certain I had a few more years ahead of me before I would need to invest in a pair of glasses. As soon as I got out of the lecture I rang my mum to tell her about my bizarre experience. Working for a health fund, she quickly booked me in an appointment with an optometrist.

I thought I had years ahead of me before I would need to invest in a pair of glasses. Image: iStock.

When I presented myself at the appointment I was met by a short man with a bald patch and thick black rimmed glasses who ushered me into a chair before performing an eye examination. You’re probably aware of the ones. They go something like this:

Which lens is clearer, left or right?

Can you see the hot air balloon in the distance?

Can you read all of the letters on the third line? Okay what about the fourth and fifth?

Then a puff of air in the eye to conclude.

A few days later my phone began to ring. I answered to hear my optometrist speaking back to me as I heard the words, “Valentina, you’re short sighted and need to come back in so you can choose a pair of glasses.” As soon as the phone call ended everything clicked.

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This was why I could never make out the actors on the screen when I would go to watch a movie. This is why the singer at the concert always appeared extra teeny tiny from the back row. This was why I couldn’t read a single thing that was presented to me in not just one but every lecture at uni.

A week later I went back to the optometrist to choose frames to go with my lenses. I didn’t realise the range that I would be presented with. Big, small, thick, thin, classic, colorful, it was all there. Everything look so fancy, sleek and stylish.

Being a lover of fashion, I was keen to get trying. I tried on pair after pair after pair but found it difficult to decide. Putting on each pair of glasses was like being presented with a new person and I was having so much fun I couldn’t decide what direction I wanted to go in.

"I tried on pair after pair after pair but found it difficult to decide." Image: iStock.

For my first ever pair I ended up going with Ray-Bans. They were simple but stylish, with a thin black frame and tiny silver details. I was so keen to wear them that I would put them on even when I didn’t particularly need them.

When I returned to my uni lectures, I felt like the smartest person in the room. My glasses gave me an air of confidence that I’d never had before and there was an added bonus of finally being able to see what was presented in front of me.

Now at 26, I’ve always looked forward to visiting the optometrist to check up on my prescription. I won’t lie, my favourite part of the whole process is getting a new pair of frames. I’m constantly looking at the latest styles and thinking about what I’ll go for next.

My glasses have become a huge part of who I am and honestly without them, I feel a little naked. Currently I’ve gone for a pair of Oroton brown leopard glasses. Working at Mamamia I constantly get complimented on them and I love how they look.

Over the years I’ve learned wearing glasses is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, it’s pretty fantastic.

How did you find out that you needed glasses?

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