Category Archives: Life

A Brief Rant About Ophthalmology

I have had glasses since I was in the second grade. While poor eyesight runs in my family, I have always wondered if my habit of staying up until two o’clock in the morning reading by flashlight under the covers did anything to add to the rapid decline of my sight. Currently, I’m at a solid -4.75, which, in prescription terms, means I have a tough time seeing just about anything.

Being a naturally indecisive person, going to the eye doctor has always been stressful for me. I sit down in that chair, successfully (usually) refrain from telling my doctor to ‘use the Force’ and ‘let go’ when he puts Luke Skywalker’s trench run¬†targeting computer in front of my face, and then proceed to sweat profusely as he asks me over and over whether two absolutely identical lenses make my eyesight better or worse.

Ok, here’s the thing. I’m dumb. I don’t know anything about eyes. That’s why he’s the doctor and I’m the idiot in the chair making Star Wars references. Why is he asking me about what’s good for my eyes? For all I know, I could be saying the complete wrong thing and unwittingly propelling myself down the path to blindness by age 30. Shouldn’t there be some kind of tool that measures the size and shape of my eyeball, or a machine that can detect the health and number of the magical all-seeing tubers that wriggle around in the back of my head? Why do I feel like I’m doing all the work here, sitting the most important exam of my life?

Then, a week later (after agonizing over the size, shape and color of a new pair of frames for approximately two hours and then choosing the pair that looks exactly like my old ones), I pick up my new glasses and the nice lady working there asks me if they ‘fit’. If they ‘feel good’. Lady, I don’t know a damn thing about fitting glasses. What is it supposed to feel like? I guess it feels alright. Until the next day when I’m at work staring at a computer screen for 8 hours and there are deep red marks on my nose and a bruise behind my ear. I’ve been back twice since last Monday, and I’m still not sure they fit ok. Who has time for this shit? Why aren’t they taking measurements, like a tailor, or making a mold of my face, like a dentist does my teeth, and forming frames that exactly fit the shape of my oddly proportioned, non-symmetrical head?

All I’m saying is, it’s almost 2013. Shouldn’t there be a better way for doctors to do this than them having to rely on my fool self? It’s gotta be as frustrating for them as it is for me (case in point: my doctor shows me two lenses and asks me to pick which one is better. When I respond ‘number 2’, he says ‘….really….?’ in a very skeptical voice.) There must be a way to innovate this process so that the guesswork is removed, and I don’t lie awake at night, wondering if I really ought to have gone with option number one.


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Filed under General, Life, Stress, Thoughts

Moving Away, New Adventures, and Potential Failure

As promised in an earlier post, it’s time for a rousing game of “Where Will Hannah Be Living In Six Months!”

Will it be:

A. Western Massachusetts

B. The Boston area

C. Montreal, Quebec

D. Austin, Texas

E. Seattle, Washington

F. Madison, Wisconsin

G. Somewhere in North Carolina

H. Vancouver, Canada

I. Los Angeles, California

J. San Francisco, California

K. Frankfurt, Germany

L. Somewhere in Poland

M. Burlington, Vermont

N. Some other, as yet undiscovered location.

O. Any of the above

If you answered, ‘O’, congratulations, you’re right! For those who are unaware, I will be moving to some sort of new location at the end of October, and I am very excited/nervous about it. Brandon currently has one job but is searching for a new one, and when he finds it we will be moving to that unknown place, which is potentially one of the above locations. I have been getting an increasing number of probing comments and questions about this from well-meaning friends and coworkers (yes, my work knows I will be leaving. :'(), most of which are along the lines of these:

  • Why are you following some guy around?
  • Why are you leaving a perfectly good job in this economy?
  • What do you plan to do once you get to this unknown place?
  • What if you can’t find a job?
  • Why are you leaving the most beautiful/wonderful/best place to live in the whole country? (subjective statement I know, please don’t hate me I love it here)
  • What about your school loans?

These are all legitimate questions that I find myself asking a lot as well, along with these ones:

  • How important to me is money/being comfortable vs. working on things that I love and that matter to me?
  • What can I afford to do right now?
  • Do I even really want a career at this stage of my life?
  • Is future me going to want to throttle present me if I have no retirement money because I was too busy pissing it away on ‘following my dreams’?
  • What do I really¬†want?

I’m sure my friends and colleagues mean well with their questions, but this is the stuff that keeps me up at night. If anyone thinks I’m not considering this stuff, they are wrong – I think about all this pretty much constantly, and I have come to a few conclusions.

The fact of the matter is, this all may totally fail. I might come crawling back to my job after a miserable six months away, begging them to rehire me and telling everyone how right they were about what a terrible idea it had all been. Or…it could not fail. It just might be possible that I could end up going on an excellent adventure with my best friend, seeing new places and trying new things, and getting the chance to see if I can make a living (or part of one) with my writing. Maybe I’ll have my strength tested, and find out I am more capable than I ever thought possible. It could be that, 10 or 15 years from now when I’m ready to settle down and have a family of my own, I could return to Vermont, the best place in the country (that I’ve seen so far), and make a home here knowing full well that this is the place I want to be and where I want to live out my days. But, if that happens, I will settle down with the knowledge that I saw a lot of things and lived a full life, and wasn’t too afraid to try.

The bottom line is, I don’t want to live with ‘what ifs’ and regrets. I don’t want to stay here, stagnant, and then look back in a decade when I’m tied down with a family and wish that I had done something else first, something exciting and important and brave. I don’t want to look back and wonder what could have been. I want to know. And if it turns out that it’s terrible and I hate it and I run screaming back to New England, I am ok with that. That would not be a failure, in my eyes. If that happens, I would come back not wondering but knowing that this is the place for me, and where I truly belong.

Am I scared? Very much so. But I have never let that stop me before, and I don’t intend to start now.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can.
-J.R.R. Tolkien


Filed under Brandon, General, goals, Life, New Journey, Stress, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Ladies and Gentlemen….at 1:06 this morning…..the shawl is completed.

I am in a sleep- and food-deprived daze…I have been knitting for 12 hours straight today, my homework is not submitted, and I have to be up at 6:00am (that’s five hours from now, for those of my readership who were not blessed with stellar math skills.) But the shawl is made. I can hold it and wrap it around myself and it is warming me up right now, and I don’t really feel capable of forming a coherent sentence right now I am so excited and confused. It’s taken almost three years to complete, six months of work, tens of thousands of stitches, hundreds of hours, but this piece is finally done, and I cannot wait to show it to you.

Even though the knitting is done, I still need to weave in ends, wash it, and block it, so I have made the decision to not share pictures until it is in its final, completed, beautiful form. The one thing I will share right now is this:

The Last Stitch


Filed under Crafting, goals, Jane Sowerby, knitting, lace, Life, Lost shawl, portfolio, projects, shawl, The Cap Shawl, Uncategorized, Victorian Lace Today