There haven’t been many times I’ve come in first place. In fact, I’m pretty sure my older siblings let me win at our backyard relay races and the millions of times we played Go Fish.
But other firsts are equally exciting.
In fact our childhoods and young adult lives are brimming with “first times” and the thrill of discovery.
Your first day of school. Your first crush. Your first real kiss. The birth of your first child. The list goes on and on.
And then there are first’s you try to forget.
Like the first time I tried sushi.
It was my first (and only) date with this super-cute new guy and I visibly struggled not to gag with each bite of raw fish. (So much for trying to look sophisticated.)
But how many people can say – after 40 or 50, or even 60 – that they’re still able to experience something for first time? Or maybe, if you’re a parent like me, you get to experience the joy of firsts through the eyes of your children.
As we get older how many firsts do we still get?
After all these years, you might think haven’t we done it all by now?
To my surprise and delight my life has been full of “firsts” since I started writing.
The first time I got paid for writing, published in a bucket list publication, won an award for writing, went to graduate school, and had my first essay published in a book (I’m now on my fifth!) – was a thrill like no other.
Call me an excitement junky – but once you’ve felt the electrifying buzz of trying something new surging through your body, you want it again and again.
As much as I’m a creature of habit and buck at change, I thrive on newness. As much as I just want to lay on the couch and watch Netflix, reaching for something beyond my grasp is what makes me feel alive.
Almost every one of these new experiences happened because I pushed myself to go outside my comfort zone. (That’s where all the good stuff seems to happen.)
So I try to find something new to try, taste or experience every day. Not every “first” will be life changing or maybe even good.
But I’m determined to live a life that excites and energizes me.
Even if it’s a just a new nail polish, new lipstick or new coffee shop. Or simply taking a new route to get somewhere I go on a daily basis. Or pushing myself to talk to someone or speak out in class – things that normally make the introvert in me queasy.
Big ‘firsts’ don’t happen everyday, so I’ll take my thrills where I can get them.