Year of Firsts

On New Year’s Eve of 2015, I was alone in my apartment. I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I bought a bottle of white wine, sat down with the bottle and a wineglass, and thought about the past year.

In January of 2014, mere weeks after I had moved out of my parents’ home and left religion, I had said to a friend that 2014 was my “year of firsts.” So at the end of that year of firsts, on the eve of 2015, I decided to make a list of all those firsts. I started and continued at random, as thoughts occurred to me.

By the end of this list, I was full-on drunk and half-crying. I could have gone on and on, but when I got to the last item on the list, I… well, I decided I had more important things to do 😉

As my fourth year draws to a close, here’s that list. Some items are monumental firsts, some are tiny. Some are related to leaving religion, some are not related to that at all. Some are coded in a way only I could understand – which I have a tendency to do even when writing in my personal journal…

I had intended to make this a yearly tradition, but on the eve of 2016, I was frantically finishing a paper to submit way past the deadline and I had no time to celebrate of reflect in any way. And on the eve of 2017, I drank champagne with my roommates and we watched episode after episode of a ridiculous Japanese comedy show well into the morning.

So this didn’t become a tradition – but I’m really happy I have this 2014 list.

For better or worse, below is a snapshot of my 2014:

  1. first apartment
  2. first cry in shul
  3. first bus ride on shabbos
  4. first pants outside
  5. first roommate drama
  6. first meal pair for shabbos
  7. first modern dance show
  8. first Broadway musical
  9. first missed day of work
  10. first study abroad
  11. first college dorm
  12. first time in UK
  13. first shrimp
  14. first calamari
  15. first wine in a bar
  16. first Korean food
  17. first bought alcohol (not counting Cleveland)
  18. first bought pots and dishes
  19. first crying to a credit card rep
  20. first college class taught
  21. first conference grad paper
  22. first online to date
  23. first crush on someone I thought I had a chance with
  24. first male friend
  25. first full drunk
  26. first drunk text
  27. first hangover
  28. first TV marathon day
  29. first heartbreak
  30. first love – unrequited maybe
  31. first poetry reading
  32. first party
  33. first tattoo
  34. first bookshelf put together
  35. first phone bill
  36. first flashback
  37. first adolescent fight with parents
  38. first atheism
  39. first protest march
  40. first feminism argument
  41. first pub trivia
  42. first bacon
  43. first cheeseburger
  44. first McDonald’s
  45. first Wendy’s
  46. first office
  47. first academic blog
  48. first (and last!) Indiegogo
  49. first built bookshelf by myself
  50. first time in a cathedral
  51. first Catholic candle
  52. first admitting bisexual
  53. first gay bar
  54. first REAL self-respect and like
  55. first buffalo wings
  56. first joint birthday party
  57. first girlfriend fight
  58. first girl talk sleepover
  59. first Moleskine notebook
  60. first Victoria’s Secret
  61. first acceptance for publication
  62. first asking a guy out
  63. first Skype
  64. first Stonehenge
  65. first Christmas tree
  66. first red shoes
  67. first red lipstick
  68. first big ring
  69. first hair dye
  70. first Halloween
  71. first open-toe shoes
  72. first leggings
  73. first printed t-shirt
  74. first short sleeves
  75. first open neckline
  76. first jeans
  77. first short skirt
  78. first drinks with professors
  79. first angel ornament
  80. first grad school committee member
  81. first medieval castle
  82. first German dictionary
  83. first honest talk with Mommy and Tatty (but separately)
  84. first email exchange with Mommy
  85. first ER visit alone
  86. first belt
  87. first concert
  88. first violin
  89. first colorful socks
  90. first really hating someone
  91. first wineglasses purchase
  92. first coasters purchase
  93. first pedicure
  94. first brownie
  95. first Indiana Jones
  96. first used bookstore visit
  97. first full-day exam
  98. first sex dream


2 thoughts on “Year of Firsts

  1. Lovely post! Would I be correct in saying 2014 was a year of growing for you? 🙂 Wishing you love and strength as you continue to grow. All best for the New Year!

    Oh, love the “first poetry reading”. I’ll keep that in mind, and perhaps follow up on how is poetry reading now going. 😀 Take care…

    1. Oh, most definitely, 2014 was a year of terrified growing 😉

      I did a few poetry readings in 2014 and 2015, but stopped after that. I prefer not to actually read my poems aloud, it turns out. And since I have the luxury of writing poetry as a hobby rather than an attempt to be “a poet,” I can get away with that 😉

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