An Open Letter To My First Love

An Open Letter To My First Love

"I Loved You Like Nobody Else. Why Did You Leave?"
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Everybody describes their first love as the boy/girl they met in middle school, high school, and perchance even college. For the longest time, I assumed and was under the influence of social ideals that your first love is hypothetically supposed to be the first guy/girl you fell in love with.

Lately, I grasped onto the fact that isn't the case. Your initial love is the first person you fell in love with. You don't have to date this person or be irrevocably infatuated with them. You merely need to just love them with your whole heart. In my case, mine was my best friend.

I know some people have numerous best friends throughout their lifetime, but you always have that one best friend. You can tell them whatever without hesitation at all, they might as well move in with you since they're at your house so much, that kind of best friend. This is an open letter to that person.

To My Original First Love,

We overlapped paths at an early age and we didn't know it from the start, but we would turn out to be the best of friends. You were my go to, my shoulder to cry on, the person I could vent to, and more. We did the whole shit and shebang together. You basically lived with me at my house, but I didn't mind it.

At that age, I had no idea what love really was. The only kind of love I had ever known was for my family. It wasn't until recently in my life I realized that the boy I spent maybe 3-4 years with isn't my first love. You were.

My time was mostly prioritized by spending time with you. Going to the movies, the mall, the skating rink, the bowling alley, etc. My world revolved around you. Even when I had a boyfriend, or you had one and our time together dwindled, you were still my best friend and I still went to you for literally everything.

Do you remember our tradition we established back when we first became friends? I do. When we first became friends, your first time at my house was Christmas Day. After that, it was our mission to make Christmas Day an annual day that you must come to my house and spend the night for. It was our thing.

Even though I had undeniably no idea what love was as a child, looking back now, that's precisely what I felt for you; love. I loved you like nobody else. I could tell you everything that was troubling me without hesitation or fear of being judged whatsoever. You helped me with issues I faced, and I did the same for you. You made me beyond happy and I went out of my way to make sure you knew your worth to me...

However, this letter doesn't end with the happy ending that is/was anticipated...

Maybe all of that wasn't enough to make you stay. Did I need to do more? Or less? What did I do wrong?

I know you're gone and I should not even hesitate to look back into the past, but my mind is full of questions that continuously go unanswered. Why did you leave? What did I do that was so awful that you couldn't just bare the sight of me any longer?

If two people are truly best friends, distance does not mean anything. That's just a number.

I loved you, but did you love me? I went out of my way for you and expected nothing in return. I defended your honor whenever peoples' mouths opened to speak ill of you. If you needed something, I was there. If you wanted to talk, I was there. If you needed a place to stay, I was there. I was there from the start of our friendship and I stayed until the end.

You hurt me worse than what a boy or any other friend could ever do. We were friends for years, but all it took was several hours to destroy every bit of it.

Even though our friendship ended long ago, not a day goes by that I don't think about you. I wonder what you're doing now, how your life's going, and what your new friends are like. What are your plans for life? Have they changed or are they still the same as ever? Do you have a boyfriend? If not do you like anyone? What's their name? What is your new school like? How are your classes and are they easy or hard?

What is your life like now that I'm no longer apart of it?

Not a day goes by that I don't think about you.

Every time you cross my mind, I have to push the thought away from my conscience. It's not that I don't care about you because I do. I truly do. It's just that you didn't want me anymore and like a mother who doesn't want her child any longer, you gave me up to someone else.

You left me all alone with nowhere to go. I was your new toy you got from Christmas but once you wore me down and shredded away my new toy looks and feel, you threw me out. I was your favorite toy that you didn't want anymore. I became a puppy who had been rejected by the only owner he ever loved and I was devastated and didn't know what to do and where to turn next.

You were my first love and gave me my first broken heart, but as all first loves go, they teach you a lesson.

You taught me that even though people seem genuine on the outside, that doesn't always mean they have good intentions. You taught me that no matter how good you are to people, they will still be bad towards you. You taught me that even though you can give someone the world, they will still take you for granted.

Do you know how hard it is? Knowing we aren't best friends anymore? Did it hurt you as bad as it did me when you left, or did you feel nothing at all? Do you know how hard it is trying to replace you with someone else and getting scared they're going to turn out just like you? To leave and not feel one ounce of guilt?

How could you do that to me? How could you leave me? Did you believe all the lies your friends told you? Did you leave because you never liked me to begin with? Did you leave because I couldn't give you more than what I did? Did you leave because I hurt your reputation? My question stands broadly as ever and in the shadows: Why? Why did you do it....

We had a lot of great times together and I will forever treasure the time I was able to spend with you.

I would be there to aid you as quickly as possible if all you did was snap your fingers. If you clapped your hands for me, I would be there. If you told me to jump, I would ask "how high?" I did do all of those things at one point in time.

Not anymore though.

I tried to claim you back as my friend and I attempted to text you every day, but how can you keep a conversation with someone when they give you one-word answers and don't open your message until days later? The answer is you can't.

When you left, you took all the love I had for you as well as the love you had for me. When you left, you said goodbye for good. At that moment, you were never going to come back no matter what I said or even tried to do. In turn, because of you, I can't be best friends with anyone or even friends with anybody without worrying if I'm just being the fool again. I can't be happy and have friends anymore.

If I did have true friends after you, I've pushed every single one of them away in fear of being hurt in a constant cycle. There was only you, and there will never be another like you and because of you, I can never have a normal friendship with anybody for a long time.

My guard has been on high alert since you broke my heart. I have never been able to love another like I did you. You were the first of your kind and you certainly were the last also.

Maybe you were a lesson, maybe you weren't. I'll have to find out on my own. We chose different paths in life and when you chose yours, you didn't want me to walk beside you this time. But perhaps we will cross paths again someday when I'm better for you and you're better for me.

Cover Image Credit: Leah Flanigan

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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