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Square Ones: Preface

Origins, first days, fresh beginnings, the kick-offs.

Today, I got absorbed with how every time we start off with something new, at whatever age we may be, and whatever passage we are in, the first-day sentimentality runs synonymously amongst all of us, yet is such a direly personal experience for each of us.

Think about it; the first day at nursery, toddlers are either bawling their eyes out and emotionally blackmailing their parent, clinging ever so tightly on one of them, or shyly sat, nervously holding up a brave smile in one corner, homesick from the very moment of arrival. Whatever the reaction, the sentimentality of resistance to go to an environment outside the home remains in unison. I recollect vividly being the tantrum-throwing diva at my poor unsuspecting parents on my first day.

Given the time, I fell in love with going to nursery, learning my precious ABCs and growing fond of Miss Pinto (yes, I still oh so clearly remember her name, the way she looked and spoke.)

Then comes in the next phase, of starting the first day at elementary school with a stinging feeling of missing familiarity, nursery friends...and the same emotion carries on into high school where a young adult enters feeling beyond uncertain of which, 'gang,' would they be most fit in. I remember displaying my resistance by hating the uniform switch from New Dubai Nursery to Kindergarten Starters, and that despise being spilled over to the St. Mary's Uniform too. Of course, I would occasionally as a child, in my initial new environments make digs at the 'friends' I was surrounded by, or the lack of choices in canteen food. Secretly, I was lost, uncomfortably unfamiliar, and hadn't been able to make friends with who I could share my recess breaks or lunchbox with.

It didn't take long for high school to get more fun with every passing grade and build bridges of friendships that carry into my very present to date.

Then comes in an even worse change; the first day at university, with young adults tracing their way doubtfully, and ever so cautiously through the campus, with eyes desperately seeking for the comfort of the known, and wondering if they will ever fit in the culture, be bright enough, popular enough or significant enough. My first day at my university was one of the loneliest days spent - more so because I'd gotten accustomed to being 'that popular kid' from that it-gang from high-school; I realized I'd forgotten how to make friends, and instead expected for people to want to become my friend. That day, because of my resistance during orientation, I ate my packed lunch alone, in a toilet cubicle because eating all alone in an already grouped up food court was unimaginable. I'd remember thinking that I'd rather not be spotted at my vulnerable, lonely most.

Of course, that changed when I was surrounded by friends that accompanied my whims of bunking lectures and going for beers instead.

Then comes in the fiercest kind of first day; the first-ever job or internship monster where they've landed the opportunity but interaction is as awkward as awkward gets. Then again, that's the standard first day at any new office or an environment that is overwhelmingly new. There's always that unsurity of what to wear, how casual can your lingo be, who can you trust, would you ever fit in the work-culture and all of the works.

I remember my first working day being the kind where I didn't lift my eyes off the screen, not even for lunch, and just typed away in a frenzy to prove myself to be as efficient as efficient could be; too afraid to ask questions or even initiate a conversation with any of my colleagues. This has changed marginally because, well, we're all the same-same, just different exteriors.

Now on the flip side, I'm not ruling out the notion that there are opposite experiences to the ones that I have deconstructed above. Of course, there are people that might relate with a few, and might heavily disagree with them too. We are driven by a sense of knowing, comfort, and familiarity. The first sense that informs me of being in unfamiliar territory is my sense of smell. I have no idea how this happens, but every time I have entered a new situation, the way the place smells is the one that sets my awkward, cautious radar off, following which my other senses are alerted and set at caution.

All I am trying to lay out is that, for the social animals that humans are categorized to be, we're awfully resistant to change, and the similarity in our same-to-same but diverse kick-offs.

How so?

Today, in 2020, being a thirty-year-old, I still can't help but feel like that same tantrum-throwing little diva, wanting to cling on my mom & dad for comfort every time I have been put into a wholly new passage in life. Of course, with time being given some time, I eventually am able to satiate in the newness each of these phases has got me and built me to be in this very point in life.

However, I can't help but wonder, does that feeling of the initial resistance ever go away? Can we ever begin a square one barring any pursuing of the old familiar?

I'm still seeking an answer, and this is what I leave you with. What are your thoughts?

With love, and ongoing absorptions,

Stories By Giggles

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