I have a confession to make. I am a brown-eyed girl. Actually, not even brown. It’s really more of an amber color. In my younger years, I didn’t exactly love the color—at all! And, as most brown-eyed girls are wont to do, I spent a good chunk of my adolescence wishing for blue eyes. In fact, I went through a spectacularly classy blue contact lens phase in the 90s. It was……terrifying. At the time, though, I truly believed I was living on the cutting edge of high fashion. To my great dismay, pictures tell a MUCH different story. The reality is, I was just meant to be an amber-eyed individual. Truth be told, now, as an adult, I love my eye color. It isn’t one that you often see, and I fully embrace the uniqueness of the color (even if a boy did once tell me that they were the color of diarrhea. Hopefully he’s since improved his compliment game.). I certainly didn’t arrive at this level of acceptance quickly, though. In fact, I didn’t get over myself until I had a child of my own.
When my first born was a few months old, and it finally became obvious that she was going to have blue eyes, I was THRILLED. No, really, I called my brown-eyed mom to brag about my blue-eyed kid, like I’d given birth to a unicorn. I pointed her eyes out to anyone who would listen, and, probably, to people who weren’t interested in listening at all. THEN, I truly hit Crazy Mom Level: Expert when I bought this tiny, blue-eyed beauty a t-shirt that says “Everyone Loves a Blue Eyed Girl” and dressed her in it all. the. time. My excitement was ridiculous. I was ridiculous. But, I truly was overjoyed that she was going to have the eye color that I’d always wanted. This kid was gonna live the dream!
As she grew older, from baby to big kid, her eye color changed from a bright blue into a stormy blue. Some days they’re a gray-blue and other days, they’re the color of denim. I truly look forward to seeing what color they are when she wakes up every morning. But, now that she’s grown even older and has become the frequent (and favorite) subject of my work, it isn’t the shade I find myself so captivated by. Now, when I look at her eyes, both in person and in pictures, I don’t just see “blue-eyed girl!” I see an old soul. I see layers of emotion embedded in those layers of color. I see a girl on the brink of becoming a woman. I see the storm of adolescence, the frustration of your mom always being right AND always being wrong at the same time (and also always being incredibly annoying). I see a girl wanting to be older than she is and still wanting to play with the toys she loved so dearly just a short year ago. I see the person she’s capable of being one day, even if she doesn’t quite know it herself just yet. I realize that it would be so much easier to still see “blue-eyed girl!”, but the truth is, I waited a long time for her and her blue eyes–four long years, to be exact–and I just can’t stop myself from getting lost when I see them. Her eyes and their color have become so much……more. I am so grateful for those blue eyes looking back at me that, sometimes, I think my heart might burst wide open. I’m even more grateful that she’s never wished for them to be anything other than what they are. Maybe it’s because they’ve always been blue and she’s never had to look at life from the brown-eyed side of the tracks. But maybe, just maybe, it’s because it never occurred to her to be anything other than what she is and she isn’t wasting her time wanting to be something she isn’t. I hope it’s the second. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much of my childhood obsessing over my own perceived eye color inadequacies because, as it turns out, I got the blue eyes I’d always wanted, just in a way I never expected.
This blog entry is part of the Artists Inspired Blog Circle series. Click here to continue on to the talented Elizabeth Willson’s blog to see how other artists in this circle have interpreted this month’s theme, Blue.
The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.