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That feeling in your stomach is unmistakable,
that pounding in your chest is hard to stop,
that cloud between your ears is slow to clear,
but when you finally arrive and start your job
on your first day it doesn’t take long
to find your feet and feel comfortable-
whether your job is in an office,
in a restaurant, in a factory,
at an airport, on your feet, behind a desk,
or being their to help and assist
lots of different customers in a shop,
it doesn’t take long for your natural gifts to take over
and for all the butterflies that have been fluttering
in your stomach to disappear.

You never forget the first day of your first job,
you never forget how much that first day
becomes a blur of many different emotions
that if you let them all get the better of you
it wont take you long to say you are never going to learn
all that you have been taught and told,
and you will probably even want to go to a corner and sob;
but if you don’t do that, if you don’t give up
even after making the first ten of the many
natural and necessary mistakes that you and everyone always make,
the more you will gain confidence and feel at-ease
in what you are doing, and in your own abilities,
and you will come to the conclusion
that what at first you thought was hard
and incapable of being learned
is actually a piece of cake.
The more you do something the more it becomes second-nature to you,
the more you work at what you know, the more comfortable you become,
and every time you start back at work after a day off
it will be like stepping back into an old pair of shoes.

For some people their first job is the job they have always wanted;
for some people, especially those who have just left school,
their first job is just the first step up a hill
to where they are supposed to be;
for some people their first job is their passion
and the thing that they do that they love
and have dreamed about doing since they were a kid;
for some people their first job is but the seed
that will one day grow and bare the fruit that will never stop
providing for their family, and feed all the branches that stem
and grow from you into your life’s tree.

Your first day of school is always the day you want to forget;
your first day of college or university
goes by so fast and you may not remember it all,
because your mind feels like it is traveling
at a thousand miles an hour in a supersonic jet;
your first day of work is like you are acting out
and saying the lines of an actor in a play;
your first day is the day you should try your hardest to remember,
because it can only get better afterwards-
so remember, your best day, in whatever it is that you do,
is always going to be your first day.

As the bell tolled ten,
as I stood at the twilight cloister between knowledge and faith,
staring up at a sculpture of a victorious St. Michael
standing over a defeated Devil,
inspiration came to me then and echoed through the space,
and I found myself there-after standing on another level.
The ground beneath me was like a river,
the rain did not stop falling for a second;
for an instant, I began to shiver;
when the chimes ended, I thought I heard my own inner-voice
say something, as if it were trying to respond.
There was no lightning-bolt that struck nearby,
but nevertheless I saw a flash of light
which I interpreted as being insight-
cloud and rain was all that I could see in the sky,
and even though it was morning it felt more like night.
I was transfixed by the university, by the nearby fountain,
by the stone spheres that were on the path before me,
and by the imposing cathedral-
even in this light everything looked so beautiful.
I wanted so much to understand what I was feeling,
but my heart could not tell me;
I wanted so much to share this inner-light with someone else,
but there was no one to be seen.
I stood for a few more minutes in silence,
and then I felt my feet and my legs
regain the knowledge of their function
and propel me on my path again.
I don’t think that I will ever forget that moment
outside Coventry Cathedral and Coventry University, in the rain,
as the bell tolled ten.

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