Green Eyes Baby

“You have the most beautiful green eyes!” The makeup artist she exclaimed before I even had the chance to get comfortable in the leather chair. Facing the mirror and lights, we were set up in a high-end hotel room at the break of dawn for a local advertisement photo shoot.  Before I had the chance to correct her, she went on, “the shades are so exquisite and even change, this will be fun to work with!”  A sweet gal, probably only a year or two younger than me, I wasn’t sure what to make of her. This was my first photoshoot and I didn’t want to be a diva in the ever exclusive <dripping with sarcasm> market of local modeling in Scottsdale, Az

It was the Spring of 2005 and I had been married for just over 2 years. We were blissfully living in the no kids; newlywed life and it was delightful. I was in grad school for my counseling degree and my hubs was traveling a lot for work, but we made our busy schedules work for us and enjoyed numerous double features, dinners out, and playing house in our two-bedroom apartment. 

It was also a season where I got to pursue some additional personal dreams. I knew that I always wanted to become a therapist, but I also had this intense desire to pursue acting. So here I was; a month into having an agent and going on auditions and I had booked my first real modeling job. And while my headshot and bio stated I had brown eyes, this poor gal thought they were green. 

Excuse me?” I replied. “What are you talking about? I’m pretty sure my eyes are brown.”  “Oh honey, your eyes are green, and we are going to make them come alive today!” she persisted. Completely flustered that the woman who had been hired to apply color to my face was obviously colorblind, there was nothing I could do but grin and bear it. 

If you have ever had your makeup applied, you know how deeply intimate and personal the experience can be. It took a lot for me to overcome my fear of being seen so closely so I wasn’t in the framework to correct her, but she was seeing something that seemed so clear to her and so foreign to me.

There was no way my eyes could be green. 

They were always brown…weren’t they?

I got home that night from the photo shoot and unpacked the experience with Keith. “You are never going to believe the crazy thing someone told me today…” I started in. 

“What do you mean, did everything go ok?” he responded with concern. 

“Oh yeah, it’s fine, it’s just that the makeup artist thought my eyes were green all day!” I added with emphasis like this was the craziest thing he would hear all year.

“Babe, what are you saying?” he replied in obvious confusion. 

“I know! Isn’t is crazy!” I went on. 

 With compassion in his eyes and a tender sympathetic glance, he replied, 

“Sweetheart, your eyes have always been green. How did you not know that?” 

I didn’t know because trauma, especially physical trauma, has a way of keeping us from our bodies. Remember I had spent much of my adolescence fighting the rejection of others, my body and myself. My body had betrayed me, why would I want to know it intimately?

To be fair, my eyes are more of a hazel green so depending on what I wear different shades are more prominent, but my eyes are certainly not brown like I had always assumed. 

And that was just it, I assumed a lot of things about myself simply because I never took the chance to get to know ME. 

And at that moment, in the quiet of the night after an exhilarating day, I learned something new. 

At 25 years old I discovered that I had hazel/green eyes.

To the mirror I ran with my own shock and awe. I was amazed.

How does one go a quarter of a century not knowing their eye color?

Somehow, I had done just that. 

Turns out, I didn’t know a lot of things about myself and eye color was only the beginning…