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But First

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

As I close out The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I wanted to turn the page by reflecting on fresh starts of mine. It’s easy for me to get stuck on endings, so in the spirit of trying new things, I’ll highlight just the opposite. Big or small, these beginnings of the past week have brought—and hopefully will continue to bring—me happiness in some way.

  1. First time reading a book that explicitly studies happiness.

  2. First time eating at Xi’an Famous Foods.

  3. Those hand-pulled noodles are definitely famous for a reason.

  4. First time receiving a salaried paycheck. (!!)

  5. First time paying my own rent.

  6. Unfortunately not the first time contemplating how ridiculous NYC rent is.

  7. First time opening my own brokerage/retirement account.

  8. Figured I should live up to Girls Who Invest as a girl who actually invests.

  9. First time dropping an entire appetizer onto the middle of a table. At a work-sponsored event. Yes I still ate it.

  10. Note to self: Beware of flimsy tostadas.

  11. First time making a NYC Restaurant Week reservation.

  12. Chefs Club prix fixe, here I come.

  13. First time watching my sister attempt to floss over video-chat.

  14. “How do people have time for this garbage?”

  15. First time taking a hip hop class with her in NYC.

  16. First time talking to her about things she’s never talked about before.

  17. First time eating sushi omakase with her.

  18. First time paying for sushi omakase with my own money.

  19. First time running into a fellow Girls Who Invest scholar on my way to work.

  20. First time reaching out to old professors in months.

  21. First time being invited as a +1 to a food influencer event via Instagram.

  22. Wasn’t able to attend this one, but that’s okay. Now I can anticipate saying: “First time going to a food influencer event.”

  23. First time receiving dessert “on the house” because the waiter thought I was a serious food influencer.

  24. It was raindrop cake with syrup and red bean paste from SenYa.

  25. She was probably laughing at my strange photo-taking positions.

  26. First time talking with my sister about what I really want to do with my life.

  27. Writing, food influencing, and people influencing all made it onto my list.

  28. Kind business will somehow get me somewhere.

  29. Kindness is everyone’s business.

  30. Family is the grounding rock and the highest priority.

  31. Don’t know how everything will play out, but hoping luck is on my side.

  32. Fortune cookie wisdom: “Luck comes to those who are best prepared.”

  33. Cue Scar’s “Be Prepared” scene from The Lion King…

  34. First time trying chamomile ice cream sweetened with bee pollen.

  35. First time sautéing broccoli with honey. It was sweet.

  36. First time making a list of first times.

  37. First time making this kind of a list on a public blog.


So what about you guys—what are you firsts of the past week, month, or even year? Did you have any firsts today? Let me know in the comments.

P.S. Another one: First time explicitly starting a conversation with my readers (and hopefully, first time receiving a response because I did).

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