I’ve been a brown-eyed girl my whole life. It says so on my driver’s license. I’ve danced and sung the words to Van Morrison’s Brown-Eyed Girl with great fervor at frat parties and bars too numerous to mention. Yet, interestingly, I never truly believed that that was all there was to it. In the right light, the right angle; wearing the right color, in the right mood, my eyes are more than just brown. They are flecked with gold, with green, especially around the edge. I know this to be true, as I’ve stared intently in the mirror at them numerous times in my life.
Yet when asked, I say my eyes are brown.
Those who know me, and love me, will tell you my eyes are brown.
And so I say: perception is an interesting thing. It brings us around, often, to what we deem our reality – even when it isn’t truth.
I had an eye appointment earlier in the year. I was back and forth a million times because of issues with my contact lenses, to see a new doctor in the practice. She was always lovely and kind and one day, as she peered at me, she said, “You have the most lovely hazel-colored eyes.”
There it was. Truth, from one who looks into people’s eyes for a living. I smiled inwardly and thanked her for the compliment. And interestingly, this has stayed with me. I’ve wondered why it is that no one seemed to notice this in all my years of life. Did they just assume I knew? That I believed? Or were they simply not looking at me, at the real me? It’s easier to categorize when you can be lumped in with a larger group than smaller; that becomes the default. You’re brunette or blonde or a redhead. You’re black, white, brown. You’re tall or short; fat or thin. But really, in everything, there is so much more than meets the eye.