Thinking back to around the time I was graduating from college (it completely blows my mind to think that that was over a year ago), everyone, myself included, was posting about the “lasts.” Last final, last class, last trip to the bars with friends – the list goes on and on. It’s easy to slip into that way of thinking towards the end of any era. However, this sort of thought process begins to overtake all of the “firsts.”
Presumably because when we do something new, like go to a different coffee shop or have dinner with a few friends after classes, we don’t necessarily know if they’ll become constants. When something becomes normal, at times it’s hard to focus in on how that routine came to be. Sometimes with friendships, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how you met and what you did at your very first hangout. By the time you’re a graduate and your friends aren’t around all the time anymore, it’s very easy to remember all the good times, but harder to remember what you did before you knew them.
Thinking in terms of firsts is quite optimistic, isn’t it? Because it is the active participation in experiences with full intention that they will happen again. Getting your first real job – that sort of rhetoric implies that it will not be your last, and in fact, there will be many more after it. I myself will be experiencing many firsts this very month. I will see the first of my friends get married. Many more are sure to follow. Additionally, I will be in a wedding for the very first time and have my first bachelorette party experience. I will read many books I have never read before – some I may read again, and some I may despise and sell at Half-Priced Books. There are also, of course, the firsts I don’t yet know about – people I may meet, restaurants I may go to, songs I may listen to that haven’t even come out yet.
Of course, you can’t know if you’ll wish to repeat a certain experience until the incident has passed, but it is an exciting way to go through life – to see any new activity as your potential new favorite thing. A shadow hangs over all of those lasts – trepidation at the thought of never doing this thing you love or seeing this person you care about the same way you always have. Remembering all those lasts is just as grim. Unfortunately, that’s been a big part of my life during the past year.
So. I’m accepting a new challenge – to find adventure in the mundane and to seek out the firsts. I have a To-Do List. As you’ve probably guessed, it consists of things I have to do. But I’ve also included things I don’t have to do – suggestions, if you will. Things I don’t do very often and things I’ve never done before. Random, fun tasks that will (hopefully) ensure that I am never bored, never tired of my life, never doing nothing with my days. After all, this is my first second year out of college. I better get my freaking act together.