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  • Writer's pictureRyan Swartz

You always remember your first.

Firsts are exciting. It's a place, a feeling, a song, a moment that you will never be able to recreate exactly how it was that first time. I think it's this inability to recreate these firsts that makes them so powerful. We all have many firsts we remember. There are the obvious, rather cliche ones like a first kiss or first...well you know. Anyway, here are a few of my firsts that stick out for me:

1. The first time I saw the Star Wars figure display at a Toys R Us.

To many, this is totally lame. To me, it was momentous. I remember it like it was yesterday. The year was 1984. I was with my best friend, Matt. We turned the corner and, BAM...there they were. It was a display that, in my memory, could be seen from space. We easily spent what seemed like 10 minutes but was probably more like 3 hours scouring through rack after rack trying to find all the characters that we loved from the movies. A happy memory, it was.

2. My first car.

Yeah, I know. This isn't that uncommon of a first. But it's just such a good one. Getting right to it, it was an '82 Topaz. The car was built when I was 5. 11 years later, it probably drove about the same as it did in '82: leaking power steering fluid and stalling if I didn't put it in neutral at a stop light. But it was mine. It was freedom. And, as it turned out, that car facilitated many, many other firsts as well.

3. The first night I realized I was in love with my future wife.

You hear this one a lot. It's usually some over-glamorized story about a momentously momentous moment where doves rained down from heaven upon you or some crap like that. For me, it was the briefest moment that would change my life forever. It was a look while standing in crowd. Just like that. And yet, no matter how brief and subdued, it was a moment that will remain right near the top of my mind forever.

4. My first day of high school.

Sheltered was an understatement. I had spent 8 years in a private school. My 8th grade class was 5 people large. Just like that, I went from being 1-of-5 to 1-of-1000. I knew 3 people in my school the day I started. Terrified doesn't even touch on how that felt. As I sat at my desk, the only person in my first hour classroom, I could hear everyone in the halls having a blast. This first is funny. Not like ha-ha funny, but just funny. I was pretty much preparing to do this same thing every day and never have another friend again. As life would have it, it took me a week, maybe two, and I had a great group of friends who would lead me to many other firsts, both good and bad.

I guess my thought on firsts is this: while you can never get them back, I'm content with not wanting to. I mean, let's face it, trying to recreate a moment in time is pointless. It's a thing only done on episodes of Friends or for people who can afford to buy the recreation. Even still, it's just not the same. I've learned through the years that there are so many more firsts that you can miss out on because you're stuck on past ones. Remembering them is great. Learning from them is better. But dwelling on them is tiny little increments.

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