Every so often a person learns something about him- or herself that completely changes one's outlook on life. Realization may arrive through third party observation, direct counseling, or the best life coach this century has to offer.* Whatever the origin, these revelations can shake your foundations and certainly have a functional impact on, well, everything. I had one of those experiences this week and I'm hesitant to even say it out loud, but I've decided that a blog post is the best way to share it with my closest friends and (hopefully) greatest supporters.
I am, apparently, left-eye dominant.
For years I've assumed I'm right-eye dominant. I was very active in sports growing up; I used a right-handed stick in hockey, kicked a soccer ball with my right foot, and until I was in my twenties, I always used my right hand to hold my fork. In hindsight, I probably should have suspected that I was different when I started using my left hand for fork manipulation as frequently as my right.
Until now I've only shared this secret with a closely trusted spiritual advisor.** He assured me that this isn't my fault. Most likely the blame rests with my seventh grade typing instructor, who insisted that I use both hands. That practice naturally led to a breakdown of the barriers between my true individual eye strengths, and other factors contributed over time to push me "over the edge" to left eyeism. I don't know that it matters, though. I'm here now, and the only way to live my life is to embrace it.
You're probably wondering how I discovered this. I was researching MD's birthday present and needed to know how to estimate the appropriate bow draw length for a teenager without having her measured at the archery range.*** I found an excellent formula for arriving at draw length (take the kid's wing span in inches and divide it by 2.5) and there was an accompanying article on determining eye dominance. I did a simple test and...then I did it again. And again. The results don't lie, so neither can I: I've always thought I was right-eye, but I'm not.
Again, I should have seen the signs. For years I've been shooting long guns left-handed (which I now understand was really shooting left-eyed) and I've developed a strong affinity and no small talent at shooting two pistols at once. I'll bet the folks at the target range have been mocking me on the sly for a long time now; they can probably pick out left-eye dominance even before some poor sap like me recognizes it in himself.
I'm still reeling at the implications here. How do I tell my family members? I assume they'll feel a lot of shame, guilt, and then resentment that I caused them guilt. Will they even want to know me? Same thing with the other key people in my life -- my golf crew. They've all got what can only be described as right-eye machismo; they've been solidly right-eye for decades and assumed I was too. They're going to think I've been fooling them somehow; I'm not sure they'll understand that I've just come to understand this about myself. At least I don't have to worry about notifying my HR department.****
Do I need to buy a whole new wardrobe? Join a community or add #LeftEyeGuy hashtags to all my posts? I'm probably going to start using a different brand of golf ball, at the least. Baby steps.
I can tell you one thing -- it's at least a relief to finally be living with the real me. There's nothing more painful than pretending to be something you're not, even when you didn't realize it yourself for the longest time. I just hope the rest of the world will accept me.
* You know, the Internet.
** We met via AOL, and he says he's a priest. Remember, a stranger is just a friend you haven't email with yet!
*** The new bow hasn't arrived yet, but don't worry -- she doesn't read my blog. Most people get to it via Facebook, and according to MD, "Facebook is for old people."
**** Dodged that bullet! Whew.