June 7, 2012 by
Categories: Acceptance

A lot of emphasis is placed on firsts. First kiss, first car, first serious relationship, first job, first apartment, first house, first child…and the list goes on.

I am currently standing at the front of an empty classroom waiting for my students to arrive for the first day of a research methods class. It is the first class that I have ever taught. I am both excited and nervous…mostly because I have been preparing for this day for a while and really want it to go well.

Why is it that we place so much emphasis on firsts? Or, perhaps more importantly, why is it such a big deal when a first does not go the way that we want it to go?

I think it is because we realize that we cannot relive a first. Sure, we can go back and try again, but we all know that it is not going to be what we had originally envisioned because it is not really the first time.

That thought places so much pressure on us. To be honest, none of my firsts have gone the way that I thought that I would go. Some have proven to disappoint me and some have blown me away and left me feeling incredibly grateful.

I think that in order to come to terms with the true nature of firsts (that is, their unpredictability), we need to embrace our humanness and the fact that we live in an unpredictable world. Every first will not go the way that we picture it in our heads but that does not mean that it is an utter disaster.

Today, I am standing in front of this classroom with an expectation of growth…not of perfection. This is my opportunity to mold myself into the teacher that I hope to one day be. It is a first but it will not define the rest of my career.

There are so many more firsts in my life that I am looking forward to. I know that they will not all go perfectly but I know that I am going to do my best to take away something valuable from every experience.


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