I believe in holding on to first feelings—not the first feelings that you create, but the unexpected, first feelings that ebb and flow like ocean waves that constantly, from time to time, leave a distinctive wrinkle in the walls of your soul. Whether you are reading the newspaper on a Sunday afternoon or whether you are waiting in line for a cup of coffee before starting a new day, you are able to mentally sketch those feelings, close your eyes, and undergo the exact beat of your heart when you first encountered those exact feelings.
I believe it is those trifling first feelings that mold us into who we are, and without holding on to those feelings, we would not be the everyday, constantly changing people we are today. It is that first feeling of receiving a first paycheck, the first feeling of learning to appreciate the simple things in life, the first feeling of a thin layer of sun peeking through your bedroom window after a flood, the first feeling of changing for the better, the first feeling of biting into a freshly baked cookie, the first feeling of dipping into a swimming pool on an August day, the first feeling of rolling around in warm laundry, the first feeling of reaching an admirable goal, the first feeling of a cold breeze on your face, the first feeling of revisiting an old friend, the first feeling of finding your way back home, the first feeling of flipping through an old photo album, the first feeling of stepping back after finishing a piece of art, the first feeling of giving more than receiving, the first feeling of standing up for what you believe in.
But then there are those feelings we often try to shove in the corners of our hearts because they bring back moments of sorrow and discomfort. Those feelings are what tear us apart when the tiniest reflection creeps in and gives us a nudge in the chest. It is that first feeling of failing to reach a goal, the first feeling of accepting change, the first feeling of giving up, the first feeling of disappointing someone, the first feeling of losing a loved one, the first feeling getting skinned knees after falling off your bike, the first of dropping a clear glass cup, the first feeling of regret, the feeling of saying goodbye, the first feeling of waking up in the middle of the night lost in your thoughts, the first feeling of dissatisfaction.
Sometimes I wonder who we would be if these simple feelings, good and bad, were lost and never revisited again. Would we ever notice the small changes in life? Would life move on without looking back? Perhaps all we can do is press on, glance back occasionally, and never take these simple feelings for granted—for they speak for more than just a small wrinkle in the corner of our eye. They speak for our most silent thoughts. Ebb and flow.