firsts (the alone edition)

Having married while I was in college, and then had babies shortly thereafter, I've rarely done anything by myself. So this trip has been a big one for me—it's the first time I've gone somewhere unfamiliar alone (Salt Lake City and Denver don't count because I've lived both places). So here are some firsts from my first day of travel:

-First cross-country flight alone where I am sitting between two super-tall men who both have a “big stance.” You know what that means? They have like 3 ft each between their two knees and I had no space at all for mine, Everytime I fell asleep I woke up to find myself with the outside of my thighs resting on theirs—as if they were trying to squeeze me out of even more of my legroom. It was a long long night.

-First taxi ride alone (I was really scared, which is crazy because I know it's a totally normal thing) but to be in a car alone with a strange man? Weird. I don't think I tipped him enough, but it cost more than I thought and I didn't want to dig back into my cash stash as we were standing on the street corner at 5:30am in a dodgy area of downtown Boston.

-First view of the Charles River alone (the taxi driver doesn't count)

-First stay in a hostel alone (nice experience, though I did spring for the private room)

-First aborted attempt to buy a T ticket myself (someone had to bail me out because I was totally oblivious and didn't know that I needed a Charlie card....). Oh, and along with this one goes “first aborted attempt to get through the T gate myself.” Had to be bailed out of that one, too.

-First ride on the subway alone. Grabbed myself a pole by the door (it was rushhour) and did just fine.

-First chichi Harvard tea & cakes reception(!) alone. When I checked into the Harvard Special Collections library this morning, they handed me an invitation to this event. I went, knowing that it would be something to blog about. Discovered that even though I walked in looking a bit like a drowned rat (having traversed Harvard yard just moments before in a pouring rain with a hole-y umbrella), people were nice to me anyways.

What are your recent "firsts"?


bibliogrrl said...

How wonderful!I have yet to travel alone, so I'm jealous.

Mine this week were quite fun, though. I rode my first tandem bike as a stoker (on the back). I couldn't captain because we could not lower the seat. next time.

I also rode my first (and hopefully last) fixed gear bike. Not as fun. I like being able to coast, thank you very much.

Have continued fun on the trip!

debra said...

In April, I took my first train ride to visit my daughter in NYC. It was the first time in 20 years that I had done something for my self by myself.
The 12 hour train ride was wonderful---traveling rather than "getting there."
Enjoy the rest of your firsts!

This Little Light said...

Navigating the waters of being the parent to a 16 year old son with a girlfriend. That opens up territory that we just have not crossed before. Interesting journey...

catbonny said...

I went on my first adult vacation with my boyfriend this summer and felt like that was a big deal.

My first cross country trip alone driving from the east coast to cali was a huge one. I always wore a hat at truckstops.

When my mom left chile before I did that was the first time I spent the night alone in another country, I thought that would be excitng, but was a little scared.

galen dara said...

brava, jana!
hmmm... I'm kinda coming up blank for some 'firsts' that I am just accomplishing recently... oh wait! how 'bout this: just bought a guitar (total first) and can now strum my first song (woohoo!)

glad to hear your trip has been so eventful :)

Craig said...

So did you already come through Salt Lake?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Bought a house by myself. It's funny, I couldn't have done this a few years ago and now I just throw myself in and trust that things will work out, that help will be there when I need it and it has been. Many, many kind people in my life and I'm thankful.

Anonymous said...

I volunteered to work on my first presidential campaign.

Vote Obama!

Vajra said...

A reminder of Cali


Unknown said...

one of my co-workers saw a female cop on the NYC subway handle the guys with the spread legs thing...

she walked up to one, swung her nightstick so it hit the edge of the seat under the guy, and said something like 'you're not that large', and the guy got the hint.

Being a guy, it annoys me when guys do that too.

WrathofDawn said...

How brave of you! I'm an old hand at travelling alone now but remember the early years well. Travelling alone for the first time makes you feel very insecure.

I had to introduce myself to a group and say a little bit about me in French for the first time in about 25 years recently. Boy, am I rusty!

Anonymous said...


I think mine are and will be a lotta fun & wonderful! Here's a teeny list:

-First time teaching in a Native Lakota tribal school (the fabulous Oglala Lakota College)--i LOVE it

-First time learning some Native Lakota language & arts (next semester)

-First time going to Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico in a few weeks

-First time preparing serious academic and creative fiction for publication in a few months

-First time seeing turkey, chipmunk, buffalo, some snake & turtle species, family of grouse, red fox, burro, antelope, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, & other 'animalia' in the great plains wild!

-First time reading Twilight (though I can't say I'm a fan)

-First time really considering the excitement of having children past 5 minutes (chuckles---yes, it's true--bambinos may be an actuality very soon).

These are just a few i find profound enough to announce.
thanks Jana! Always a pleasure digitally.

xoxoxoxo--kiri close:o)

Maureen said...

Recently accepted a new job in my company that is one of several newly-created positions. So new, in fact, that they not only don't have a solid job description for me, they essentially told me I'll be helping them write it! Exciting, kinda scary, tough getting out of my comfort zone (I was one of the senior people in the office I'm leaving), but I'm really looking forward to sinking my teeth into the challenge. Blazing trails, creating collaborations across disciplines, working in a brand-new field - can't wait!

Anonymous said...

got married and had sex for the first time!

jana said...

That is indeed an exciting "first"!

Thanks to the rest of you for sharing yours, too. :)