I got my first pair of eyeglasses when I was seven years old. My distance vision was pretty blurry and I was simply fascinated when I put on my glasses for the first time. How did the optometrist know exactly what my eyes needed to see things clearly? The doctor explained that the prescription in each eye was unique and the glasses were specially measured and made just for me. I was hooked.
By age 12, I decided I would be an optometrist and learn to be a part of this process. Helping people see better seemed like a noble and enjoyable thing to do every day. So I made up my mind and made academics my first priority. Music was a close second. It seems like there was always a piano playing in our house and my mom, brother and I loved singing together in three part harmony. I sang my first solo in front of a large audience around the age of five and would continue to be involved in talent contests, band, and choir. In high school, I had classical voice training and my chamber choir competed internationally. During undergraduate and Optometry College, I sought out these harmonies in other chamber choirs and on several occasions, instructors told me if I didn’t pursue music as a career, I would regret it. I smiled and thanked them, but never considered veering off of my eye care path. Still, I have always kept music close to me and have had some amazing opportunities because of it. These days, the biggest audience I sing to is my son’s preschool music class at our church, which is just fine with me.
While I am grateful for all music has given me, I have never regretted my choice to be an optometrist. Every day is a chance to be a part of helping someone see their world better, and that is just as fascinating now as when I was seven.
Watch this video to hear my brother, Mike, and I singing one of our favorites by Claude Debussy.