Life is one massive chain of first experiences, each of which defines a life, personality, and career.
First air taken deep into infantile lungs. First vibrations of vocal chords to mewl an announcing cry to the world. First soft caress of a warm blanket on cold, pale skin. First eye-to-eye contact with a woman and unconditional love, a man and a role model.
First pets of the silky fur and listens to the silky purr of the family cat. First tastes of ice creams and cakes, first jubilant celebration of yearly maturation. First days of kindergarten in those brightly colored halls, first argument over construction paper, first lesson in sharing and social conscience.
First falls from bikes and skateboards, first hospital visits, first fractures. First sleepovers with hushed whispers of crushes and curses, first explorations into friendship, secrets, trust. First bright red uniform with name and number on the back, first goal slipped deftly past the opposing keeper. First rush of adrenaline and pride, first surge of self-worth from being the one that won the game for the team.
First girlfriend, first kiss; a redhead named Robin on a soccer field near the school. First loves tangled in raw emotions, juvenile jealousy, and lack of experience. First scalds from the burn of teenage romance. First realizations that heartache is closer to stomachache as the acid churns in time with emotion. First longing. First lament.
First diplomas, first sweet and sour taste of independence. First painful understanding of the price of excess, first successful triumph over the thumping regrets of a hangover. First true appreciation for academics. First brief flash of a hand-forged future.
First job, first sole accountability and lone responsibility. First bosses, quick but calculating, first coworkers, slow but kind. First feelings of financial helplessness. First major disillusionment and questioning if there is more.
First time following dreams beyond the comfortable, first time embracing doing something just for the sake of doing it. First few readers, first few comments, first few encouraging words to make the work worthwhile.
First heartfelt words of admiration from a mentor. First glowing praise from peers. First moment, albeit small, where the world seems within grasp, where imagination can be reality with enough work and ingenuity.
First publication. First award. First communication with other successful professionals. First time acknowledging that good work leads to good people that leads to good times.
First delivery of free beer on the doorstep.
First moment of thinking it’s all a dream, then realizing you’re wide awake.