No Insurance


I was sitting in the optometrist’s waiting room filling out my paperwork for an eye exam and new prescription. I was overdue for this appointment, being generally reluctant to visit doctors of any kind, but I pushed myself for this one because things would be changing for me soon and I wanted to get this in under the wire.

Some things wouldn’t change, however, like my medical history, which still did not include cancer or diabetes or high blood pressure or suicidal thoughts (at least none the optometrist needed to know about). I wished I could just check a box that said, “I’m healthy but need new glasses.” That’s something else that wouldn’t change: me complaining about doctors and their paperwork. Then I came to my insurance info. I filled it out for what I knew would be the last time for a while, and headed off the to the examination room.

She was a chatty eye doctor. She wanted to know about my kids and where I grew up. Two sons and Providence, I told her.

“And where do you work?”

“I’ll be working at a place called Union Square Grill for another week.”

“After that?”

“Good question.” I wasn’t going to tell her about the writing. That’s something else that wouldn’t change. Never tell anyone about the writing. They’ll always ask the same question. Because I wasn’t leaving the job with I a book contract; I was leaving because I could. I had no plan. That I had no plan was my plan. I had told my wife I just have to leave, that once I wasn’t spending thirty hours a week at the place, I’d learn what to do next.

“That’s exciting,” said the optometrist.

“Sure is!”

We finished the exam and she wished me luck and I headed back to the waiting room. The receptionist asked for my insurance card so she could make a copy. I wanted to tell her just to keep it. Like it or not, I was done with insurance for now. I was healthy. I knew that could change too, but maybe it would be good to quit protecting myself against the unknown future. At least for a little a while, just to see what it’s like when you’re not afraid.

If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual coaching and group workshops.