It takes guts to try something you’ve never done before. When I think back to many “firsts” in my life, I can still feel the butterflies in the pit of my stomach.
My first bicycle ride without training wheels: My sweaty palms gripped the handlebars of my banana seat Schwinn as I pushed off the pavement in my sneakers. My dad had his hand firmly on the sissy bar, so I started off well. The moment I sensed his hand let go I began to wobble. The front wheel jerked back and forth as though it were having a seizure, and my heart nearly pounded out of my chest. I had no control over the direction it took and in seconds the row of mailboxes loomed in front of me. I heard screams of “Hit the brake” but my legs were frozen and unable to respond. CRASH! My first ride ended in tears and bandages. Learning to ride was put off until I could lick my wounds and heal my pride.
My first time teaching my own class: I am not going to lie; the first day I was alone in my classroom I cried with joy. It took me seven long years to get my teaching degree, and it was the hardest thing I ever accomplished. I was proud and overwhelmed to finally be there, in MY classroom. Nerves drove me to dive in and prepare the bare room for my 24 students. Books were labeled, shelves were filled, and bright bulletin boards were assembled while the butterflies danced so hard in my stomach that I couldn’t even eat. I bet I rearranged 50 times before the first day of school! When my students walked in on that first day, all my nervousness disappeared. I knew I was right where I belonged. I stepped to the front of the class and began teaching.
My first pregnancy: Unless you have experienced this firsthand, you can only try to imagine. Having a life, a real, tiny human, growing inside of you is beyond anything else in this world. My nerves were at times so bad I would shake. Other times I felt confident that I would be a good mother. As my belly grew, I became more afraid. I was terrified I would do something that would damage this wondrous little piece of perfection. After giving birth, I held my body so tightly clenched the nurse kept telling me to relax. It was weeks before I finally gained some confidence and began to enjoy my baby girl.
Firsts can be scary, but trying new things or doing something for the very first time makes you feel more alive. Even if you fail, you gain from the experience of trying. I haven’t had any firsts or new things in a while, so maybe that’s what I need. I need to find a good, worthwhile “first” to try. It’s time to shake things up…