We think of firsts as one-time only things. And we assume they’re the domain of the young, the uninitiated. Maybe ‘maturity’ is just a bitter word for loss of whatever makes us find the new.

And yet, the universe is hardly finite. Time, unpredictable. It’s a lifelong journey of self-discovery. True, surprises start to land more like shocks, the older we get. But they’re still firsts of their own kind. The leaving behind of something in the past, a pruning or editing of self. But you can only edit or prune the already voluminous. Why worry that it diminishes you?

The first time you laugh after you’ve cried is cremation. It can be a shock, yes. Like sunlight hitting your eyelids even before you’re completely awake.The first time you make love after heartbreak is surgery. It’s painful. It’s necessary. You’ll heal. You’ll recuperate. You’ll be helped. You’ll learn to receive help.

The first time you fuck after being ghosted is an exorcism. We let go of our monsters with pain.The first time you trust after betrayal is a bungee jump. It’s wild & it’s exhilarating. It can hurt to feel again but it also hurts good.

The first word you speak after tasting disappointment is a purge. Let it all out. There is hunger under that & contented satiation in the future.This picture is from the first time I stepped onto sand since the pandemic began (Dec’20). I’ve known this beach my whole life. But by the time this picture was taken, I was a different person, scrubbed fresh of old worries that seemed insignificant, stripped of the baggage of midlife crisis. Only glad to be alive. I padded across the sand, tasted the salt in the air & felt the sea breeze in my hair. I was feeling, not remembering. And that is a first. Even if it’s a first after.

3 thoughts on “The First Time After”
    1. @Madhavi_J: Thank you. I’m happy if that came through to you too. Also, you’re the first comment on my new site so thank you and welcome in!

    2. @Madhavi_J: In the bustle of moving domains, I’m afraid I missed out replying to your comment! It turns out to be truer than I thought. Thank you for visiting!

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