A Love Letter To My High School Sweetheart

A Love Letter To My High School Sweetheart

Throughout the rollercoaster of growing together, my heart will always be yours.

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To him,

As this is an open letter I need to give some background information, I first started dating my boyfriend my freshman year of high school. We met during marching band, and from there our friendship grew. At the time, I was an awkward 14 year old unsure of anything boy related. Throughout middle school I had always been overlooked, and when he and I began to talk I thought nothing of it.

With acne all over my face and braces, I had always been the best girl friend and nothing more. I had a crush on him, but in my mind there was no possible way he could like me back. As the marching band season progressed, we became close friends and when our season was over he asked me out (or I asked him out.. this is still up for debate). The following night he had a performance, and I being the awkward person I am, gave him a chocolate turkey. The most romantic gesture ever, right?

As our relationship has progressed over the years it is entertaining to look back on it. Pretty much when either of us bring up our first year dating we both simultaneously cringe, but we were so sweet and young. The awkward first kiss, hand holding, and puppy dog phase is far funnier when you remember how acne riddled we both were.

Neither of us had a relationship (well serious ones) besides each other, and everything was new to us. Addressing each other as boyfriend or girlfriend, HAVING to rearrange schedules so we could hold hands in the hall in between classes, and adopting him as my person were all new things. We obviously overlooked somethings, such as the simply exchanging phone numbers (we were 15, and primarily used Snapchat it was a low point ), but it didn't matter because we were both so happy to be together.

High school is a time many people become their own people, and one thing that happened with our relationship that doesn't always happen was we grew together. We each became our own people and changed over the years, but we still worked. The awkward preteens evolved into young adults in almost a blink of an eye. Before we knew it, he was off to college and I was starting my senior year of high school. One thing that is never fully recognized is how reliant you are on a person until they aren't at your beck and call. It took a while for me to come to terms that Facetime calls wouldn't be a nightly thing anymore and that my 7-5 schedule wouldn't always line up to his college schedule. These challenges were overcome and made seeing his smile even more worth it.

Fast forward a year and now we're both college students, lining up our schedules to see each other. One of the hardest things I found when coming to college was the lack of reliance on me. I had a mental breakdown with all of that, and didn't know what to do. I lost myself, and it took me longer than it should have to realize how to come back together.

My family had always deeply relied on me, and now that I was here it was as though they didn't need me anymore. I was convinced from this I needed to be independent, and I could handle myself. I mistreated it completely, and I needed to fall apart to realize what I had. You are the best thing I have ever had, have, and will ever have. I have grown with you the past four years, and cannot wait to continue growing with you.


Thank you for being my rock, my best friend, and my heart.

Yours forever,

Pipes

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade.

I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass, and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school, and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone, it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach:

Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off," and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake, I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself, not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, but you also turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It's about the players.

You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won't have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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To The Boy I Almost Fell In Love With, We Weren't Ready For Each Other

I don't think we were ready to be what we wanted to be for each other.

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Hey you,

Look who's showing affection now.

I know you've been wondering if I'd mention you. I didn't think I would, period. Not this soon, that's for sure.

I'll start by saying neither of us meant for each other to play even a little bit of a role in each other's lives. Not as meaningful as we did, at least.

But no matter how unsure I was, no matter how many times I wanted to block you and leave everything unsaid, I couldn't help fighting through it just to know you.

The time we spent together never felt like enough. And I can't even speak in past tense because you're still here sometimes. Like when I think of your smile and how every part of me craved and waited anxiously for it to make an appearance, especially if it was because of me.

I used to think of it more, back when I thought you'd realize you made a mistake. Back when I thought we'd pick up where we left off.

I knew when I met you I wanted to show you every side of me. But what caught me by surprise, just like most things about you did, is that every time a layer of mine shed, yours did as well.

There are pieces of me, naked and raw. Physically and emotionally, locked away in your brain that nobody else will ever see. At least not in the way you did.

The purpose you had in my life was slight, in the long run. But regardless, you had a purpose and I want you to know that. I forgive you. I hope you know that me, out of all people, knows we can't control ourselves sometimes. Sometimes, we fuck up. Most of the time, it makes no fucking sense. All of the time, we'll try to figure it out and never will.

I don't think I'm falling in love with you anymore.

I'm sorry for saying I've never felt that way before about anyone, that was a lie.

I'm also sorry for being 8 shots deep when I said it.

That morning, I wanted us to cross paths again. I didn't think for a second you'd ever make me an option. I kinda thought I was your exception, your "just this once" because that's what you were to me.

This morning, I'm not sure we serve a purpose in each others lives. Not yet at least. Or ever for that matter. I don't think we were ready to be what we wanted to be for each other. And because I don't wanna reach out to you personally, I want you to know that I can't wait to see both of our many dreams come true.

I'm thankful for all of the little trips we took, stories and giggles shared, secrets whispered, ideas we cultivated, heart palpitations, and everything in between.

I won't forget.

I also won't cowardly push it away, like you're doing.

I don't blame timing, the universe, karma or any of that bullshit for the way things turned out.

At least on my end, I knew when I met you it wasn't forever. I think at the end of the day we both knew we were going to be the inspiration we needed to keep moving forward. Maybe a little more inspiration than we bargained for.

And maybe a little more forward than we bargained for, too.

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