Sometimes your defects are what make you even better.

Read this. I’ll wait a moment.

After reading that post, I realized I haven’t shared with you something that affects me every day, especially when it comes to photography and “seeing” the images I create. I never told you, but I was born with Coloboma.

Coloboma is a birth defect that affected my left eye. I am essentially missing a piece of my retina. Every time I go to eye doctors they marvel in amazement, bring in their colleagues, and want to take extra photos. Only up until last year did the doctor I went to finally send me a copy of the photos by mail. Her office staff was sweet. Prior to that, I’ve never seen it myself.

It’s a very rare condition. When I was a kid they explained it to me this way: it looks like there is a big ball of ice cream with a scoop missing from part of it. You can’t see it from the outside, only with a microscope. The funny thing is, my right eye has a brown dot on the iris and when people learn about my coloboma, they wonder if that’s the eye.

Once they found out that I couldn’t see well as a child (from what they tell me) I had to wear an eye patch for two years along with strong glasses to change my vision and make my eyes work together. I went on to wear glasses until I was a tween, then I was given the oK by the doctor to wear them only for protection in sports or chemistry, mainly to protect my healthy right eye. Lucky me, when I aged my eye sight changed and I wear glasses again for a completely different reason, ha.

Do I notice it often? Not really. Not until I need to use one eye or the other. Often I try to explain that when you look at a landscape image you might see two parts equally with your eyes. I feel as though 3/4 of the scene is coming in through my right eye, and 1/4 of it from my left.

The defect is from birth, but may be genetic since my mom and dad both had pretty crummy left eyes.

Sometimes our defects are what make us even better at what we do. I cannot open my left eye when looking through a camera viewfinder like other photographers do. I feel this is a strength, because I have to pay even more attention to what I see in my camera than what is happening around the space.

I cannot switch eyes either. I am limited in my range, but unlimited by my imagination.

So, no matter what life has thrown your way, there is so much proof that it doesn’t have to hinder you or your abilities to achieve anything you’d like to. My eye problem is tiny compared to others.

Still don’t believe me? Watch this:

What defects make you uniquely you? 

What have you overcome?

kate