Occhiali* – my surname – means ‘Glasses’ in English.
Even though it’s common where I come from, the eastern side of the Po Valley, this name sounds strangely bizarre to the rest of Italy.
Moreover, having the fate brought me to need actual glasses, games of words have poured countlessly over the years.
On my life tagada, the plane of passions has always tilted between two pivotal sides, love for animals and for arts.
I wore my first pair of glasses when I was 17.
I was studying at the Science Lyceum. I had a dream, to become a zoologist.
I assume that I have to ascribe my myopia to an excess of physics and mathematics.
Those glasses were lying among others in the narrow drawer of a tiny shop in a small village close to where I used to live.
The very first pair that the attendant showed me.
Light golden metal frame and enormous lenses to decorate my little face.
They were simply horrible. I took them without hesitation.
They would have been the first intruders between my eyes and the rest of the world.
Those glasses accompanied me at the University doorstep, and despite their ugliness, I also found a boyfriend.
A pair of more narcissist glasses – narrow oval lenses confined into a thick black frame – suddenly arrived and witnessed a shift in my life. I abandoned the idea of a (less suitable) scientific career to follow my passion for arts, literature, languages.
Perhaps I could have become the archaeologist I have always wanted to be and loved animals in my own way.
I still remember my professor of Latin who, glancing at both my surname in the exam book and the glasses over my nose just reeled off a laconic ‘Nomen Omen‘.
Yes, a name, a destiny.
After my Bachelor’s Degree in History of Arts Critique, other glasses converged, adjusted, focussed my sight and the life’s path in front of me.
Transparent, thin, thick. Plastic, metal, plastic again.
I mistreated them. My keys scratched them. I sat on them. They naturally died after overuse.
My glasses have been reflections of me in many different moods and life missions.
Over the years I wanted to be a cartoon animator, a painter, a cat sitter, a restorer, a children’s books illustrator, a video maker, a librarian, a teacher, a dolphins saviour, a lottery winner.
I have been a web, graphic and content designer, a project manager, a media manager. And a dreamer.
My latest glasses are a black structure around medium sized drop-round lenses.
I didn’t choose them.
I trusted and allowed love to do it for me. To find my indispensable filter to interpret a blurred world.
And to start writing about my own way to see it.
My glasses are in my name, on my face, on my logo, in my signature.
I’m the only one in the whole world to be called Jenny Occhiali, and I’m quite proud of it.
*In ‘Occhiali’, the Italian ‘cch’ sound is equivalent to a double ‘k’ in English.