When I saw the theme for this issue, I was a little hesitant in regards to whether or not I should write something about it.
I’m seventeen, a senior in high school, and I haven’t had many firsts. I’ve got a couple of the basics, like first time I smoked cigarettes (they scratched my throat and it was terrible), the first time I smoked weed (I drenched my shoes in a puddle and was called ‘Boat’ for about a month after the story got around of my best friend jumping on my back and saying she was a seagull, and I was boat), first party (pretty lame) and first kiss (also lame and the only one I’ve had).
Other than this, I don’t have much to talk about, and even though I don’t want to, whenever I think about this fact, I start asking questions about myself. Questions like “What am I doing with my life? Why haven’t I done more things?” and “Am I too annoying/brash/ugly to be desirable?” Questions that, as a naturally self-confident person that knows her value can’t be measured by a few crazy things she’s done or how many people she’s dated, I’m not used to making.
After some thinking, I came to the comfortable conclusion that it’s perfectly alright to not have many firsts.
There are many answers I can think of to appease my fears. A reasonable one is that I simply haven’t experienced all these firsts I keep hearing about on TV and movies, and reading on books and magazines (seriously, they’re everywhere, as they should be, to guide and help the many people going through them, while confusing me and the rest of the inexperienced bunch). This answer, while reasonable like I said, doesn’t really help me or other people in my situation.
Because while it is quite probable that I’ll, too, experience the things I hear and read about all the time, nobody can promise me this. I can believe it will happen, but I’m also far too aware that it should have happened at some point by now and it hasn’t to have blind faith in this.
And that’s the most bittersweet part, if you think about it. How badly me and thousands of other people like me want all of this. I want to have sex and date and go on a roadtrip and party all night do all the crazy shit other people do (or so I hear they do), because if I don’t, I feel like I’m missing out on some big, life experience.
But I’m not, am I? I’m missing out on these things that, while great and memorable, are perfectly okay to miss out on as long as I keep enjoying life. I’m doing plenty of other things that while no crazy firsts, are still fun, productive and helpful, and that’s the answer I want and need to hear. Just last year I wrote a story that was over 70 thousand words long, and it’s not a first I hear about often, but it’s a damn good one.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t need to have many firsts as long as I’m happy with myself. An experience only has as much value as we give it, and the best way to deal with all the firsts you haven’t had but want to have, is to either go out and get them, or stop thinking about them as extremely important things.
Honestly, more often than not, firsts are kind of crap anyway. ▼