The first thing is often the most difficult.
The first word of an essay, the first day of school, the first post on social media. I think it’s because it is the first thing people are going to see from you as a person and, as is drilled into us from a young age, first impressions count. This means there is a pressure for the FIRST of anything to be the best version of it. It doesn’t matter as much if the second, or third, or ninth, or twenty-seventh versions are a bit crap because look. You’ve proved you can do it if you really want to and that’s all that matters.
Also, because it is people’s first impression of you, we all have this bad habit of thinking this means the post or act needs to sum us up as an entire human being. All the complexities, contradictions, uncertainties and crap-bits-you-were-sure-were-hidden-away should be reduced down to a single sentence or phrase that is broadcast to the world. We are all literally shouting into a void and hoping to void doesn’t laugh at us.
This is counter-acted by the fact that the first thing you do is often the worst. It is the first try after all so often you have no idea what you’re doing and just copy someone else and hope they don’t notice. Looking back at old Facebook posts is a cringe-fest worth of awkward teenager trying desperately to fit in.
So here is me, shouting into this void and this time I’m going to try something new. I’m going to shout with honesty.
Hello everyone. My name is Abigail Houseman. I hope you like this blog. I hope you like me. I’m not promising anything profound, or life-changing, or even particularly interesting to anyone outside my social circles. But if you find yourself reading and thinking ‘That wasn’t half bad’ then that’s enough for me. Baby steps everyone, baby steps.