Recently, I have found myself doing something I have no word for. Maybe the word doesn’t exist or maybe I just don’t know it. Perhaps you could help me figure this out.
I’m at the park with a friend. Our kids are sitting in our laps, eating tangerines. “Can I take your picture?” My friend asks, and I say sure, because I’m feeling pretty good, wearing a pretty blouse and my hair is brushed. So she pulls out her phone and snaps our photo. Of course my kid wants to see it so she hands over the phone and I look and have something sort of like an epiphany.
An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific, religious or philosophical discoveries but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective.
I say “sort of like an epiphany” because instead of an aha moment, I’m having an OHMYFUCKINGGODWHATTHEHELLHAPPENEDTOMYFACE moment, not enlightening or positive at all, no. It brings me down, down, down. The gods are playing a cruel trick on my face and having a little snicker at my expense. See, when I left the house that morning was looking good, I had on lipstick and red sandals, but suddenly it’s not cute at all. It’s the opposite of body dysmorphia: instead of seeing bad when I look in the mirror, I see good, and it’s also not vanity, because I know the good is an illusion.
What’s the word for that?
I leave my cute and cozy home to go out into the world. Where I go or how long I’m gone are irrelevant, but when I come back, it appears as though god has taken a giant crap on my house. Suddenly it’s dirty, ugly, small, broken down, and it smells funny. Sometimes I’m afraid to leave the house because I know what’s going to happen.
Is this some kind of twisted optimism or is it fingers-in-the-ears-repeating-la-la-la? What is the word for this?
I just started editing my novel again after not looking at it for awhile and let me tell you, it’s a bad, sad joke. Again, the gods must be having a good chuckle watching my stunned reaction. I do not remember writing this crap and I apologize to all of you nice people who read it and said kind things. I really don’t have any excuse: I wasn’t drunk (so I can’t claim beer goggles) and I was wearing my reading glasses.
Myopia (Greek: μυωπία, muōpia, “nearsightedness”, “shortsightedness” is a condition of the eye where the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in front of it. This causes the image that one sees when looking at a distant object to be out of focus but in focus when looking at a close object. Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, longsightedness, is a defect of vision causing difficulty focusing on near objects.
My eyes are fine. I can drive my car, I can tie my shoelaces, and yet somehow, while writing, I manage to be myopic and hyperopic at the same time; I miss awkward phrasing and dissonance and whole paragraphs that don’t fit, I don’t see the large picture and miss elephantine problems in the middle distance, as well. I swear, I’m not blind. How is this possible? What is the word for this?
Can you help me find (or make up) the word?
Do you suffer from _____________, too, or am I the only one?