Thursday, 15 November 2012

My First

Well, this is awkward.

Kind of like when you’re waiting for the first person to turn up to your party.

You’ve been ready for half an hour, a bowl of chips and a couple of beautifully prepared plates of canapés waiting, untouched and perfectly placed.

You walk back and forth to the bathroom, touch up your lipstick and sit down to listen to the clock tick.  You watch the hands move ever so slowly past the official start time.  Then you wait. 

Then when there’s finally a knock on the door, you jump up, grab a handful of chips, place a half-filled glass of wine on a coaster, take a swig and breathlessly announce that you’re STILL getting organized.

“But thanks for coming!”

So as I sit down to write the first post for my shiny new blog I wonder: do I get straight down to business, or shyly introduce myself, twirling strands of hair around my finger, while smiling at my shoes.

The latter is more typically me, hence, the rather awkward first post.

Not that there’s anything unique about awkward firsts.

First times are quite frequently the epitome of awkward.

Most of own cringe-worthy firsts were related to public speaking - not my forte, being self-conscious by nature.

During my first oral presentation at school, I read every word of my speech despite knowing it off by heart, my hands shaking furiously as I sped through each palm card at record speed.

My first live cross during my time as a television reporter was one of the most terrifying firsts I ever endured. I can’t explain why.  I’d been doing regular, pre-recorded pieces to camera for a couple of years by then.  

But something happened the moment I heard the count-down through my ear-piece, (the very fact I was wearing an ear-piece enough to make my knees shake) - the sound of the music signifying the news was about to begin sent me into a near-meltdown. 

My heart began to beat so fast I thought it would burst right out of my chest. And as I heard my cue, the words I’d so meticulously prepared escaped me. 

I spoke what felt like gibberish, seemingly without knowledge of the words I was saying, as if in slow motion, wishing the ground would swallow me whole.

It wasn’t until I watched the tape back that I realised I did in fact say something that made some sort of vague sense, and relayed the message I was supposed to be delivering.

Not all firsts are awkward though.  They’re definitely not all unpleasant.  In fact many of the most amazing experiences of my life were firsts.

The first kiss. 

Few could argue against the awesomeness of the first kiss, especially when considering the simplicity of the action compared with the intensity of feelings it evokes.

The first time I laid eyes on my children. 

Painful in the lead-up, but the most magical, memorable moments of my life.  If I could relive those experiences, I’d do it in a heart beat.  

But you can’t relive a first time. It’s simply not possible.  

Firsts can be scary too.

The first time I realized everything wasn’t always going to be ok. 

When the doctors told us the routine scan for an “uncomfortable” feeling wasn’t ‘nothing’, it was a tumour in my mother’s kidney.  The first time I would have swapped any and all of the good things in my life for her to be ok.

Firsts can play with your emotions too - in fact they often do, leaving an imprint on your heart that remains with you forever. 

The first time I experienced a relief so strong that the feelings are just as powerful in memory as they were at the time - the tumour turned out to be benign after all.

Firsts can be life-affirming too. 

As clichéd as it sounds, turning 30 marked the first time I felt truly comfortable, truly confident in myself - to be myself, trust in myself and feel strong enough not to compromise that sense of self for anything, or anyone.

Now, time to grab a couple of chips and see if anybody turns up!

What have been your most memorable first times?


  1. The most memorable first, for me, was my first REAL kiss with my first REAL boyfriend...

    Standing outside of our English classroom, on the 9th of February 1998. It was the start of recess, and he hugged me. I still don't know how it went from hugging to kissing, but the next minute he's kissing me and my brain is screaming at me:

    "OMG! OMG! OMG!!!!! He's kissing me! I'm kissing him! OMG! He tastes like cookies and cream icecream! OMG! Hey.... where'd my bubblegum go? Crap? Did I swallow it? Has he got it? What if he swallows it and chokes? What if I choke? OMG. I'm going to choke and then he's going to laugh. OMG. What do I do? How do I stop him?"

    Pathetic right..? I was only just fourteen, with no real experience with boys aside from unrequited crushes, so it was a HUGE deal.

    1. haha. I was 14 when I had my first kiss too!

  2. Congrats on your new blog!

    First are usually awkward for me. I can very much relate to the dinner party scenario. I'm always organised and waiting, waiting and then when someone arrives pretend I'm still getting there! We are funny creatures aren't we?

    I remember the first day of school term each and every term was always awkward for me too. Going back after holidays it seemed to take a while to get settled, well at least until recess!

    1. I know, it's hilarious. That's why I much prefer to attend parties than host them!

  3. I loved this Nicole, great anology. I think my most memorable first was my first date with my husband. We had a bit of a song at the Opera Bar and he 'accidentally' groped my boob (to this day he 'claims' he was going for my shoulder!) :-) x