First times are gigantic. The first man on the moon,the location of the first operating Starbucks,the first person over Niagara Falls to survive…etc.Even if we don’t remember the names of these people or places, we can acknowledge at some point in time, there was a first. Which tends to stand out over the fifth or twentieth time,right?
First times are as gigantic as the new Boeing 787 that’s been built with a mini theatre, a second cockpit ( for those of you who want to pretend you’re flying the thing ) beds, bigger windows and increased oxygen absorption.
This is gigantic.Not only because it will have all these things but because all of this… will be able to soar thousands of feet above land.
First times are gigantic because they can only happen once. Every single time.
I’m going to outline a few first times in my life.On April 1st 2006 I had sex for the first time. I was 17 and we had been together 3 months. His bedroom walls were dark green and I was shy and let him do most of the everything. It wasn’t anything extraordinarily wonderful, but I felt a lot and cried in his arms after.Most people don’t remember there first hair cut. Ido because I was 14 years old. It was in Texas while on holiday and mymother cried. After the six inches were cut off, I sauntered throughthe mall in front of my family, whipping my head from side to side,grinning. I was four pounds lighter.I remember the first time I got an A on a math test. I was in grade six and it was because I had cheated.Most of us remember our first kiss. It was the summer between grade 9 and 10 andI was at a church event in Montreal.A hundred of us were at a camp site and after lights out, I sneakedaway to a van Josh and I had planned to meet by. It was late and I was tired and I remember my stomach twisting all over the place, my lips and mouth as dry as the Atacama Desert. He set me on his lap after 15 minutes of painful conversation. He pushed his face up to mine and tilted my head down to his. Years later I laugh when I read my journal entry about it . I write how marvelous it was. That my heart leapt and I was transported to some magical place. I laugh because it wasn’t one fraction like that in reality. It was yuck to me. All yuck. Apparently I fit in with the majority. Most girls’ first kisses, are not enjoyed. With a blindfold around my eyes I tasted my first green olive. I was in Mrs. Parkers grade 7 class and I was in the front right corner of the room. Taste guessing. You can guess that my team did not win that round but instead were forced to settle with a gagging little Jenny. The first fish I owned was named after my best friend at the time. Katelyn left for Alberta on January 27th, 1999 and all my future memories with her thereafter,were held solely with her fishie.I was drunk off of apple sourpuss new years 2004. I was at a house with my closest friends in highschool and was lying on the carpetedbasement floor, looking up at the ceiling. I made the distinct acknowledgement that it was my first drunken encounter and that the room was in actual fact, spinning. I opened up my first video camera while sitting on the plaid couches. My family looked on as we celebrated my 14th birthday. The year after, I got my first snowboard. It was Christmas and my belly was full as usual, with Hershey kisses and candy canes. When I was 15 I got my first pair of skate shoes. They were all white and you were ‘supposed’ to wear them without the laces done up. I remember people asking me why I didn’t tie them. I shrugged and next week there were a few more pairs on the playground.My right ear was pierced on July 20th 2007. My best friend Melanie, got the other one done. We share earrings. The first movie I saw in theaters was Serendipity. Jessica invited me and a bunch of other girls to celebrate her birthday. This was in grade eight. It was October 29th 2006 and I was in an empty school yard with the boyfriend I first had sex with. In the sky was the first full rainbow my eyes had ever seen. From end to end, it stretched bold and bright. On January 12th of this year I rode in a helicopter for the first time.My boyfriend was behind the controls. On February 1st I skyped with my father for the first time. He was in the kitchen and wearing the pyjamas he’s had since dinosaurs reigned. I could tell he had just had a shower and not because his hair looked wet, but because it was combed in a little cone shape, the way it usually is after he has one. About two weeks later it was my mother and I and our first. She wore her white bath robe and a smile that broadened every time I spoke. The first song I made for my father was for his birthday in 2011. November 19th. It was called ‘ Because of You’ and I recorded it in the kitchen, singing softly and strumming the guitar with patience. The first time I bled down there, my best friend ( at the time ) and I, were sledding down the hills in my ‘then’ backyard. My brothers had poured water down a certain part and we thought we could handle it. I got on the sled first and sat at the front. She snuggled up behind me. Once the ice was hit, we were out of control. We hit a big tree and my legs happened to wrap around the darn thing which meant my crotch got the entire impact. I was in so much pain I couldn’t speak. My brothers and friend looked on, stifling their laughter and trying to figure out what to do. They ended up heaving me onto a yellow torpedo sled, hauling me up to the very top of the hill where I more or less, crawled into the house, yelling for Mom. My mother told me that some girls just start bleeding down there, and maybe thats what it was. It wasn’t. Because I didn’t bleed again for a whole year. I went to Oman in 2006 with my family. This is where I saw my first out-of-the-zoo camel. I was scared to touch it and an Arab looked on, smirking, while my brother snapped a photo. It was the morning of January 15th 2008. My four best guy friends ( even to this day ) were standing in my driveway. I hugged each of them individually and told them I loved them for the very first time.Tears and snot were on shoulders and faces, all of them, their eyes glistening. It was six months later before I saw any of them again. Troy sat behind me in World Religions class.In the first week of the semester, he poked my shoulder and handed me a drawing of the back of my head. He said it had taken him awhile to do.I smiled at it, thinking how good I really didn’t think it was.It was the first time we had spoken to one another and he was going to be my best friend. I started birth control for the first time in the fall of 2008. I ended that control only a few months later. The first year I have ever started a bit overweight, has been this one. I woke up in a hospital wearing a nightgown and tubes. In November of 2008 my stomach was pumped for the first time. Kings of Leon were never seen by me because the two hours prior to arriving, consisted only of taking back to back shots of cheap vodka. The first time I got high was with my first-sex boyfriend. I threw up on his parents porch in the summer evening of 2006. After 6 and a half months without, I saw the first Tim Hortons in Vancouver Airport. I couldn’t even order because I was in a confined space with the rest of the passengers on the connecting flight. The first idea of creating this post came to me while laying in bed on February 18th. It was near midnight and I left pre-sleep and I sat in the bathroom, my back against the wall, typing out the first of many firsts. The first time I told my sister I had started liking apples, she didn’t believe me. In grade 7 I was nominated to say my speech in front of the whole school.It was about my dog Levi and I swear I was only nominated because I was nervous enough to produce a voice that sounded like it was surfing the biggest waves off of South Africa. On November 15th 2007 my two best friends and I set out on an adventure. It consisted of 30 days, 13,300 km and packages upon packages of ramen noodles. Along the east coast of America, across the south all the way to Mexico. Up through California and into Seattle. Hopped over to Vancouver and back again, scooting for home. My first official road trip.These same two best friends and I, each got a tattoo .Three days prior to that day, we got broken into and thousands of dollars worth of items were stolen. But us? We were unharmed. For two years we had thought about this tattoo and in Thailand on April 19th 2008 our left wrists were inscribed with one word. ‘ Us’. My first tattoo. When I was 7 years old I saw the house we live in now, for the first time. I was standing up between the passenger seat and the drivers seat in our family dodge caravan, craning my neck to see it before my other siblings did. I called my mother in a mild panic, asking her to pick me up. I told her the address of a house she had never been to before and I huddled on the stairs while people laughed and chatted below. I waited there until she arrived. I slowly sat down in the passenger seat and through dribbling tears I asked if she could take me to my best friends house.It was the first time my mother saw me high. I think we would agree that behind the large aircraft mentioned at the beginning of this post, with all its flashy gadgetry and modern fuselage, there has to be someone who makes it all come together in order for it to fly. We will have hundreds of firsts in our lives but instead of having aircraft engineers tinkering around, making things fit and bolting parts tighter, it is you that has that responsibility. Most likely the majority of the firsts in your life will have seconds and thirds, even 60ths that follow, but our firsts tend to be the most memorable. As we get older, the chances of firsts don’t necessarily diminish into zip. Our enthusiasm however, might. That is why, we need to create and maintain that steady pace of excitement for all things new. Even if our lips happen to be too dry for that first kiss, or our first car lasts eight days before we crash it…the firsts’ are delicate and individually special. If we open up to opportunities and allow them, they will continue to occur no matter what age are we are at. Even though we can’t pretend that the 13th is the 1st just like we can’t make old new, we certainly can combine the ‘times’ in our life to make an invigorating and stronger ‘us’. We should do as the engineers do and bend those pieces and weld those screws, so that in the end we are able to fly, with everything that we are.