I’ve always been excited about firsts. First day of spring, first loose tooth, first time to ride a bike without training wheels, first time behind the wheel of a car, first “real” job (and more importantly first paycheck, and the first time I got to say to someone, “I’m picking up the tab”). First concert, first team event, first win, first time to see my name in print. First date, first kiss, first time I gave myself completely to someone I love. First mortgage. First time I held my babies, their first smiles, first steps, their first words, and the first time I caught myself saying words I thought I’d never say (I think they were, “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about”). The first time I passed the mirror and saw my mother looking back at me. The first day after a life-shattering loss, when I realized, “I survived. I will never be the same. This is the new me on the first day of the rest of my life.”
One of my favorite firsts is the first day of school. New classroom, new locker, new teacher, new friends, maybe even new school. New shoes, new lunch box and a new set of supplies, including unsharpened yellow #2 pencils, a Pink Pearl eraser that didn’t have teeth marks in it yet, and a notebook full of fresh white paper ready to be filled with new thoughts, new homework assignments and fresh doodles (which may or may not be limited to the margins). That first day was filled with apprehension, giddy anticipation, childlike wonder and hope about the people I’d meet, the things I’d learn, the skills I’d acquire, and the experiences that would shape my future.
In the inevitable course of events, I’d scuff my shoes playing kickball at recess, my lunch box would smell like bananas, I’d forget my locker combination, my pencils and eraser would have teeth marks in them, and my notebook would have graphite smudges on the paper and cover. No matter. These were a small price to pay for the education I was getting in and out of the classroom. I still love learning and am always looking to try new things, hear new ideas, read new books, acquire new skills and meet new people.
So it should surprise no one that I am undertaking a new project, “Now I See” media, a platform for all kinds of learning: podcasts, blogs, teaching videos, essays, poetry, music and graphic art. We’ll be celebrating people of vision who are creating new things, starting new businesses, exploring new frontiers, expanding their boundaries, publishing their stories and ideas, composing music and setting trends. If you would like to share an “eye-opening” experience that changed the way you see yourself, your world and your place in it, I’d love to hear from you!