In today’s culture, there is such a heavy emphasis placed on “firsts.” Everybody is in competition with one another to see who can get their first cell phone, their first car, their first job, their first taste of alcohol, their first whatever. The biggest first, however, has traditionally been one’s first kiss. As early as 12-years-old, I had began setting deadlines for myself in regards to what goals I wanted to reach by a certain age. By 14, I would have at least found a boy that I was interested in that reciprocated the interest. By age 16, I would have had the almighty first kiss. By age 18, I had hoped to have been on many dates with a few boys, even if they didn’t lead anywhere. That’s what high school was for, right? Flash forward from my wishful 12-year-old self to my more mature, realistic 19-year-old self. Each deadline that I set has passed and I have yet to achieve any of the things I had wanted. I’ve never been on a date, I’ve never kissed anyone, and never found that person of interest. I’ll admit, it took a lot of tears, many late nights of wondering what in the world was wrong with me, and a few doses of tough self-love, but I’ve finally reached the conclusion that none of those things should be, or should have been, a top priority.
I look back and realize how much happier I could have been if I hadn’t been so caught up in the messy web that is high school dating culture and just focused on my personal happiness instead. I wonder if I held myself back because of this, but amazing Jennifer Aniston has said, “There are no regrets in life, just lessons.” Every experience (or lack thereof, I suppose) I’ve had has shaped my beliefs and driving forces behind how I make decisions today. I consider myself an independent person, someone who can make her own decisions and be confident in them. I’m also open-minded and never quick to judge, a quality that I will say, I do quite love about myself. I find, however, that my most redeeming characteristic is my patience. I am never impatient at crowded restaurants, I have patience for myself when I can’t quite get something right (even if I would like to have succeeded on the first try), and I have patience for the person who is taking so long to give me my first kiss. This patience has opened my eyes to a multitude of little tidbits about life that I wish I could share with every person who has ever felt a little impatient at times.
1. Your worth and the amount of love you have for yourself should not be measured by how many people you have kissed.
You are loved by so many people and not having been kissed does not mean you are unwanted.
2. There are so many more important things than waiting for your first kiss.
Make friends, find or specialize a hobby that you love. Find your passions and the person you’ve been waiting for will come when you least expect it.
3. Never give up hope.
I’ve been at some pretty low points in my life, but the one thing I never gave up was hope. If you have hope, you have a world of possibilities.
4. It’s natural (and so tempting) to compare your “progress” in life to your friends and your peers.
Don’t. Comparison will only make you feel worse, and, to quote my favorite author F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Life is much more successfully looked at through a single window, after all.” Looking at only one aspect of somebody’s life can give you the impression that they are better off, but open all the windows and I guarantee you’ll find a couple skeletons in the closets.
5. Nobody is better than you and you are not better than anybody else.
Everybody is on their own journey and it is our responsibility as a collective society to help each other make the path a little smoother, not set up roadblocks along the way.
6. You’ll find him.
Or her. Believe it.
To conclude, firsts are a natural part of life. It doesn’t matter if you’re the tortoise or the hare. They both eventually reached the finish line.