I know sometimes when I tell my story of how daily first time experiences got my life “unstuck” people think, “That’s just what happened to her. That journey would never work for me.” Even I might believe the life changing results of my “year of firsts” was just an anecdotal experience if I didn’t hear from readers all over the world about their own transformational journeys.
Shannon’s Journey of Firsts
Shannon just started her own journey in Southern California while grieving the death of her boyfriend. Her email just touched my heart and I asked her permission to let me share it with you.
I just discovered your book three days ago. It was as if I was meant to find it.
On April 5 of this year (so just a little over 5 weeks ago) my beautiful, kind, handsome, strong, loving boyfriend passed away suddenly from an unexpected sudden illness. He was absolutely the love of my life. We were supposed to get married and spend the rest of our lives together. I was with him 24 hours a day for the duration of his hospitalization (almost a month) and have been utterly lost and at times haven’t even wanted to live since his death. I am a young, healthy, vibrant woman who should have a lot to look forward to and yet nearly every day since his death, I have thought to myself that I am looking forward to the day when I die and can join him. That is some crazy shit. I am amazed that I genuinely have had thoughts in which I have looked forward to death – not suicidal, just thinking that it will be nice when everything is over.
But he would never want me to give up. He would want me to fight. He was a second degree black belt in karate and although extremely gentle with me, he had the heart of a warrior.
I have completed three days of firsts. I went to Sedona. Amazing. I created a spaghetti and meatball hat for my friend’s son to use as a prop in a poetry recital – that is an absolute first!! Perhaps most importantly, I have made lists. Beautiful lists of possible firsts for the future. I’ve posted my ideas on Facebook and am getting tons of support from my friends – some of whom want to try out some firsts with me.
I just want to thank you for writing this book. What a simple little idea this is, but it is brilliant. Of course I will have dark moments ahead as I continue to mourn the loss of the love of my life but I also have so many things to look forward to now that I wasn’t aware of just a few days ago. I have no words that can convey to you how I feel right now, as I actually have found a way to look forward to what the days ahead have in store for me. Thank you for helping to give me hope once again.
In some ways, I was surprised to read Shannon’s email; that she so quickly started to feel better. Yet, I remember too, as soon as I started my journey of firsts, life felt full of potential and surprise again. Just the process of creating the list is the first step in mentally making a positive shift even if we have a long way to go before getting our life “unstuck”.
Sometimes when we are mourning or feel lost we are searching for something to grab onto; to bring us back to our best selves.
Firsts can be that purposely self-invented “life raft” that floats us back to the surface while we learn to swim again.
Thank you, Shannon, for sharing your story.