99 Firsts and Counting

When was the last time you did something or experienced something for the first time?

“Good evening Fellow Toastmasters and our dear guest. Here’s to another session in our Toastmasters Club.

To be your Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) is actually not the original plan. However, my Toastmasters experience thus far has showed me that whether we create plans or not, there will always be circumstances that bring us to where we are now. Joining Toastmasters was the first time I ever joined a club outside of school and the first club I joined that aims to develop one’s communication and leadership skills. I am fairly new as I became a member just last January, with this as my fifth session and in fact, I haven’t delivered my BSP No. 1 yet.

During my very first meeting, I was already given a role, again unplanned, to be the Ah-Counter, in lieu of my colleague who was a speaker that evening. After that, I got to take on the role of being a Grammarian, Table Topics Masters, and now, your TME. With just five sessions, being in this club has already given me a lot of firsts.

From our first word to our first step, from our first mistake to our first award, from our first crush to our first love, surely all of us have experienced many things for the first time in our lives – 99 times and counting.

Not that seconds, thirds, or fourths are not important for they are but there’s just something special about that first time we get to do something we’ve never done before – whether it’s to jump off a cliff, hike up a mountain, accept a job offer, or speak in front of a large audience. Some of these firsts may make you hope and want that it’s the last. Yet sometimes, all it takes is this first time for us to realize that something could be great and we’d like to do it again.

Fellow Toastmasters, when was the last time you did something or experienced something for the first time?”

This was my opening spiel in our recent Toastmasters session. Being new, I was not as familiar with everything that goes on in the club. However, I also saw it as an opportunity for me to try something new and as I didn’t know everything, a way for me to be pushed outside of my comfort zone. I did join after all, to improve my oral presentation skills, a part of my becoming.

Inspired by my personal experiences, the idea resonated with me deeply that it became the very theme for our session. I thought about my very many firsts and I looked back at the year that was with all the firsts it allowed me to go through.

[Briefly] taking on a role bigger than planned and getting hospitalized
As my current senior manager had to leave for personal reasons, I got to touch on a bigger role, extending from my current tasks to handling the entire unit up to achieving the targets set for Q1. Around the same time, I was hospitalized for dengue, causing my absence for about a week.

Organizing company events
Joining an internal org, I got to be part of the team that organized our company events, from the sportsfest to our Christmas party, among others.

Christmas Carnival (33)

Taking out my family for lunch dates
It feels nice to be able to treat the family to lunch dates from time to time, whether for a special occasion or simply to try a restaurant they haven’t been to before.


Hiking up a mountain
Invited by a friend and with a few others, we went to the Rockies of Mt. Maculot and it was there that I discovered things about myself, apart from feeling that sense of accomplishment for getting all the way there and seeing the amazing view of Taal Lake and everything else that surrounds it.  

Visiting a science convention
As a requirement in one of my brother’s subjects in school, we went to a convention organized by the DOST. It was a fun day for both of us, as we liked these kinds of things.


Taking a long vacation leave
Grateful for the opportunity to be able to go on-leave for around 11 days, I spent around half of them in Bohol with my dad, my uncle, my grandparents, and other relatives, to explore and truly take a break.


Adjusting to family life without my grandma and aunt
My grandma decided to move back to the province of Nueva Ecija and it was the first time in a long time that she simply wasn’t there anymore when I got home. My aunt of course, went with her, and as we were quite close, I had to adjust to the changes.

Traveling for work and being stuck due to a storm
I was already set to leave but I went to the province first to visit my grandma and aunt and pay respects to my late grandpa. What was originally meant to be a weekend visit extended to a few days as a storm came and flooded the streets making it unable for me to leave until the water subsided. I flew in to Davao a day late but stayed till the very last. I wasn’t able to travel around but I was grateful for the opportunity to go there still and I look forward to coming back.


Traveling solo
Unexpectedly, I was informed that I was to go to Cebu, for work once again, but this time all on my own. As this was a first for me to go on my own for work, I decided to extend a bit more hence it also ended up being my first to travel solo. There, I had new discoveries not only about the place but also about myself.

Going to the province for the holidays
Before, we only went to the province from time to time to visit other relatives. This time, it was different because it was like going to a second home where my grandma and aunt now lived so that we could spend some of the holidays together.  

Dec 20-23 2015 Christmas NE (27)

Cutting my hair short
Also seen in my earlier post, it was my first time to cut my hair super short, based solely on my decision. I cannot stress how much it felt empowering and I tapped myself on the back for that moment.

And these are just a few of the many firsts, surely exceeding 99 times and yes still, counting.

Thus, I end my entry the same way I did during our meeting –

“Thank you for a great evening and I hope we all strive to experience many firsts in our lives as much as we can, while we can.


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