There have been a lot of interesting “firsts” in my world lately. Some had to do with my writing [first novel, first blurb], some with my family [first formal, etc.] and some have been more personal. This morning’s email brought another, and a smile, and a thought… which would be great for a coffee talk!

Is it more important to experience the “first”, hold the memory of the “first”, or enjoy everything that comes after it—which wouldn’t exist without that “first”? Perhaps my answer will help clarify the question, because dayum… I haven’t had enough coffee this morning and that almost confused me!

My email this morning was my first request to do an introduction for someone. A real introduction. Not a joke or snark aimed at grandma’s boy, or because I was a Wench, but an honest request for an honest introduction from an actual writer because I’m a writer. That was cool! It’s still cool. It’ll be cool while I’m reading the novel […without a red pen? Wow, I hope I remember how to read just to read!]. It’ll be cool while I’m writing the intro. And then I started thinking… How long will that high last? Will the next request bring as strong a smile? Will the memory of that email last?

In truth, I don’t think I can’t actually answer my own questions this morning. And I’m not even blaming a lack of coffee. I think there may be too many wonderful little tidbits to “firsts” that are treasured [and should be!]. The blurb was a while ago, it’s still cool. The novel was accepted a while ago, it’s still cool. My daughter’s first formal will be remembered years from now. The happy of that email, and many other firsts, won’t diminish with time…

Have you had enough coffee to answer? Am I alone in this inability? How do you react to firsts, their memories, or what they bring?

0 Responses to First!!

  • J. L. Keene says:

    First Kiss: Pulled back and sneezed all over the girl because her overwhelming perfume didn’t agree with my allergies. Bad first kiss; bad first in general.

    First Story Sold: I went ballistic, insane with joy. Accomplished. But it wore off quickly as I faced the notion that resting on the laurels of one simple story just wasn’t going to cut it. A first that was quickly forgotten in the name of motivation.

    First Child: Still waiting. Come June, I should be an absolute nutcase. Like the first sold story, I see most firsts as an accomplishment with only a small frame of time to enjoy the moment in order to get to the business of following up. But with a kid, that birth…no, I think that will be the first that will never lose its singular meaning.

  • Bob Ford says:

    Which is more important? I’ve hesitated on answer this one because it’s a great question but also one that required time to mull over for a bit.

    However, after a lot of coffee and a little time, I find that my answer isn’t necessarily a clear one and I’ll explain.

    There are lots of firsts to experience. Each day brings new experiences to our lives… I think it’s up to us to notice them and up to us to take away something from it. Experiencing holding hands with a girl for the first time… a first dance… first kiss. Experiencing a first betrayal… first heartbreak… first death of a loved one.

    All of those things hold a wide range of feelings… an entire cornucopia of emotion… but simply experiencing them isn’t enough because in order to truly appreciate them, you have to hold the memory of them after.

    If they’re good firsts, you treasure them… hold them in your heart and mind like little golden pieces to savor when you can.

    If they’re unpleasant firsts, you hold them in the same places, yes… but for different reasons, though a good deal of us might even be unaware of why. I think it’s to protect us a little later. It’s exercising the mental muscle of how to deal with pain and though each time after, if we go through it again, it may not hurt less to us… but it’s less surprising. We’ve been through it before. We walk on familiar ground and know how to handle it a bit better than last time.

    And after the first time of anything fun and joyful and pleasant… if you’re not enjoying whatever it is… you’re doing something wrong. True, if not for the first kiss, you may not have found the love of your life. If not for the first time you did something new at your company, you might not have found a career that you love. If not for the first time you made a kid belly laugh out loud you may not have realized you want to be a parent…

    I don’t think any of these has more relevance or importance than the other. I think they all interlock like a jigsaw. As for me, I look forward to all firsts and remember them for a long time after with a smile, joyful or bittersweet, and all the incredible things that follow.

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