The funny thing about getting out of your comfort zone, is one’s inclination to either be more spontaneous or back out and turn around.
I remember my first stage fright. I was in Manila and in kindergarten where I was playing a “major” role of a tree and needless to say, I never even made it to the stage itself. A year after, our family decided to move back to the countryside which we Filipinos call probinsya. Pampanga was a whole other story as it was a new environment and I was more inclined to be on stage. It didn’t matter if I was a prop or was one of the main characters, I just loved the feeling of butterflies every time I stepped out. Since then, I was just more comfortable and my first stage fright was history.
Playing characters in a child’s play is one thing but it’s totally different when it’s having to step up on a bigger plate and the story is, well, your life. After deciding to move to the US and leave the Philippines a month ago, I went through the usual ordeal of week-long jetlag and arguably still on the homesick high. In the time that I’ve been here, I’ve experienced many firsts. My first winter. My first frostbite. My first subway ride. My first avo toast. My first time to be lost in Penn station. My first time to ask a stranger for directions. My first chocolate martini. My first time to add cats on my allergies list. My first macaron. My first time to travel alone. My first time to do a complete 360 of my life and just let things go its course.
There’s a thing about firsts – they tend to be the ones you remember most no matter how mundane or special they are. We either learn from them or live by them, either way they become core moments in our lives and they propel us into the way you want your life to be directed to. I’m not here to coach anyone on how to live their life because clearly I’m just starting to pave mine out again. Though in an event that you feel quite lost (which is how I am at times), always reel yourself back to the first thought why you even chose to be in that exact moment in your life. Firsts are important because they keep us grounded when all else is unstable.
So here I am, a 20-something Filipina who is probably experiencing too many firsts she can handle under a span of a month in a city she’s fairly new in, but all I can think of is that it’s all just up from now. Relish everything you experience and just welcome all the many firsts coming right your way – be it good or bad.
Photos by Chelsea Goodwin