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Onward and Upward - Embracing Your "Firsts"


This…. was my very first post.

For my first post, I decided to write about some “Firsts.”

To be honest, we face "firsts" throughout our lives: first day of school, first step, first kiss, first job, first serious relationship. And each time, there are undoubtedly butterflies. What if I fail? What if I get hurt? What if this job/relationship/path blows up in my face?

Starting something new is not always easy.  In fact, starting something new can be downright paralyzing, for a few reasons.

For example, fear of a million things, like failure, embarrassment, rejection, etc.

Or guilt.

Or lack of self-confidence.

Or lack of interest even.

Firsts can be exhilarating!  They can take our breath away because of the sheer newness of the experience.  For me, jumping off a 40 foot cliff into the crystal blue gleaming water down below.  I kept my shoes on.  That was my only true security in the whole event. Was I glad I did it?  At first I thought I was going to DIE.  Literally, the thought crossed my mind as my weightless body careened toward the lake surface.  Even as I took a running start, the thought of death loomed. It didn’t last long, but long enough to get the adrenaline coursing through my veins.  5 seconds and a wedgie later, I popped up to the surface and let out a piercing swine-like shriek, indicating to everyone around within a 50 km radius that I was indeed alive.  I survived!

Firsts can be paralyzing. As a member of Toastmasters, I will never forget my first speech.  They call it the Icebreaker, but I call it the ballbreaker (hopefully that does not offend anyone).  You have to talk about YOURSELF for 3 to 5 minutes.  Do you know how excruciatingly HARD it is to talk about ones SELF?  Well, some of you may be experts at it, I don’t really know, but for ME….?  Let’s just say it was tough to get the first words out.  Completely froze.  For a good 10 seconds.  10 seconds is a LONG time to be silent in a room full of people.  Try it sometime. You'll survive.

Firsts can be motivating! Remember your first kiss?  Nuff said. First bike ride?  First swan dive?  First dance with a BOY/GIRL?  First baby?  First car you ever owned?  Tell me the endorphins aren’t dancing around up there. As a performer, I face firsts on a regular basis. Is there a moment of apprehension? Thoughts of "what if I can't pull this off"? Of course! But I push through those thoughts. I hold tight to the thought and BELIEF that what I am doing - sharing the gifts I've been given and the desire to help others is the motivating factor, and that is why I leap into the abyss of the unknown. And every time, the reward is fulfillment and joy.

Bottom line, dear readers, firsts can elicit a gamut of emotions and sensations.  But without firsts, life would be pretty mundane, and we would not be able to move on, develop, make mistakes, learn, refine, hone, tweak, and sometimes even perfect that which we hold dear. We would not grow.

So, the next time you’re about to attempt a first, remember the great ones that came before it.  Remember the energy, the excitement, the beauty, of feeling fully alive. Remember that EVERYONE is facing a first at any given moment, and that you are not alone in your adrenaline rush. But most of all, remember that firsts move us that much closer to discovering who we truly are, what we are made of, and that we never stop learning and growing. What a trip!

Onward… and Upward!!!

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