the curse of tunnel vision


I had been wanting these booties all season but they were sold out – frown. So when I saw them available again I stopped everything I was doing and ordered them immediately. Then when they arrived I tried them on and all my certainty about how much I loved them flew out the window. I felt like I looked kind of silly in them… did they even look good on me at all? Maybe I can’t pull this look off, what would I even wear with these shoes? Do they kind of make my caboose look bigger? Maybe I should return them…

Yes. I literally thought all of those things.

So of course I did what all chicks do and I texted my friend that I need outfit help and then took them for a test run the next day on the carpeted floors of my office to see if I could sort out my sudden uncertainty and figure out whether they should stay or go. But I still wasn’t sure. Then as I was standing in front of my friend asking her opinion and hearing her say they look great and still feeling unsure, I realized what was happening. I was dealing with tunnel vision – of the fashion variety.

People deal with this all the time and don’t even realize it, and let me tell you, it can show up in ANY area of life.

Look around, see anyone with a really outdated hairstyle or maybe their style makes them look like they are a walking time warp that just stepped out of another decade? Ever walk into someone’s house and wonder if you accidentally drove your DeLorean back in time?

We stop changing but we don’t realize it.

Maybe everything in our life was going really well back when big shoulder pads, primary colors, or faded washed denim was in. We felt really confident and in control, and of course we looked amazing in those styles of clothes because they were super popular and cutting edge. Or of course our space looked amazing after that fresh renovation ~ in 19 whatever decade is probably too long ago at this point. Everything in life has moved on, except our closet, or kitchen, or job, etc. We might have loved whatever thing so much initially, that to us it still looks fine and current, or we become convinced that anything different wouldn’t ~ couldn’t ~ possibly work better for us and we stop trying new things altogether.

We get a little stuck in that energy – there is a physical part of us that is not in present time, and there is that energetic aspect of ourselves that is also not in present time.

Not being in present time keeps us from really being connected and in tune with ourselves, and our unique energy, so that we can really have what’s the most amazing and fulfilling for ourselves.

Not being in present time sucks.

So how do you make sure you don’t get stuck in tunnel vision and wake up in twenty years living a life that is stuck in the past?

My mom had an amazing trick that she’d use on us growing up. She’d always say we had to try a (huge) spoonful of everything but if we didn’t like it we didn’t have to eat it anymore. We thought that meant never again, but sure enough, the next time she made whatever thing we didn’t like and we fought her, she’d remind us that tastes change, and we needed to try again – maybe we’d like it this go round.

The trick to not getting stuck with an unfortunate case of tunnel vision is just that… keep trying things. Tune in to that magic intuition we have and maybe ask yourself ~ if something isn’t feeling right is it maybe just because you just aren’t used to it? And give yourself a little time to adjust before writing something off because it doesn’t look or feel exactly like what you’ve been used to for so long.

You never know, your most favorite things ever might be things you still have yet to discover!

If you need me I’ll be taking a walk in my cute new booties.


  1. The consumers paradox. On some level, part of our American identity (probably the same in many other places, but I live in the US, so…) has been to be a consumer. Buying new things reaffirms our success and, in some ways, our happiness. So, marketing has evolved to leverage any natural tendencies we have in order to make us less satisfied with the things we have now, because there are new and improved, more modern things to want/need. “Keeping up with the Jones’ ” is a real issue in some ways.

    Where was I going with this? I dunno, I’m glad you like your new shoes though :)

    PS – the line in there about not being connected to the present made me think of a video of Sam Harris called “It is always now.” I don’t know if I have recommended it (probably have), but if not, you should look it up on YouTube. Also, sorry if this is a re-recommendation. It’s just so good, IMHO ;-)

  2. I was also reminded of the coffee shop scene towards the beginning of Before Sunset; they discuss both sides of wanting things. It’s a good movie; I recommend it in general, and that scene in particular vis-a-vis this.

  3. Well, I definitely have to go watch Before Sunset again now :) While for this post I was talking about a pari of new shoes, more than the idea of ‘buying’ and ‘consuming’ I was really exploring the tendency of us – as humans – to get comfortable in a certain place, or way of life, and stop growing, learning, discovering… much harder often times to see those times than when you feel like a shiny new ‘object’ isn’t working for you. But I think you have definitely inspired another post about the consumer aspect specifically – so much to talk about there!

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