To My Passion Panther

Subject: To My Passion Panther
From: Passion Panda
Date: 16 Feb 2017

Dear First True Love,

We were 17.
You sat next to me on the first day of our senior year in high school and I instantly was crushing.
You were kind of a nerd, artsy and the class clown.
I was the “new girl.”
You always put a smile on people’s faces, whether they thought you were weird or hilarious…
…mostly weird.
YOU always brightened MY day.

Looking back at our beginning, I always used to ask myself:
“Why did it take so long for you to ask me out?”
“Why didn’t you respond to my text messages over winter break?”
“Did you even notice me before I had to share your chair with you at open mic night in the library?
“Was it intimidating to talk to me?”
“When did you realize that you felt the same way I did?”
(I always worried too much, and my mind always raced when I thought of you)

Fast forward two years, I ended up being the one to break it off in the end… and I’m so sorry.
There will never be enough words to let you know how sorry I am.

But, I wanted to write this open letter to say “Thank You.”

Thank you for being the first.
Thank you for being the first to say “I love you.”
Thank you for always being there for me, even when you physically couldn’t be.
Thank you for the endless hugs and shoulder to cry on as I was going through the roughest time in my life.
Thank you for setting the bar high for all the men to walk in (and out) of my life after you.
Thank you for (eventually) forgiving me and becoming my friend again.

We were just too young.
Neither of us did anything wrong, we just were in the phase of our lives where we needed to find ourselves.

I do believe timing is everything, and our timing never really worked out for us. From being 17 in high school, living with our parents, having curfews, our first jobs (you at Walmart and me at the car wash), and having to spend time together in class, after school getting wendy’s frosties, or on the weekends walking the canal wondering if the ducks swimming by us had ‘duck drama’ and what those conversations would be like… to being 19 and at two separate colleges 6.5 hours away from each other, taking hours to say goodbye to each other every time I came home, because I didn’t want to leave you again.
I can’t help but think of my first year anniversary gift to you, where I made a booklet of 365 reasons why I loved you. All those reasons still ring true… and I have never been able to put something together like that so easily and quickly before (or since).

Thank you, for teaching me what happiness really feels like… and being my inspiration to strive toward that happiness, that free-ness, and being the best version of myself I can be for my current relationship.
Thank you for opening up my creativity and putting me in touch with all my emotions.
Thank you for looking me in the eyes and showing concern when I wasn’t acting myself.
Thank you for understanding the real me, the person I was, and the person I’m growing up to be.

Thank you for continuing to check in from time to time to let me know that I’m making you proud, that you still think about me and wish me all the best. All those cliché holiday texts to the random nostalgic texts of something that made you think of our time together.

Most of my friends look back at their first true love with regret.
I don’t regret a single moment.
I was the lucky one, I just wanted you to know that.
I’m sorry for any pain you ever experienced, and I’m so happy you’re still in my life.

My current boyfriend and I have been together now for almost as long as you and I once dated… you two met earlier this year and I couldn’t help but watch you two bond over the power rangers and your (ugh) mustaches. You truly have such a kind heart and soul, and are a bigger person than I ever could be.
I would have been so awkward if I was face to face with the person who owns your heart now. Because were the longest relationship I ever had and it makes me sad that that’s one thing you and I eventually won’t share anymore.

But, our memories are irreplaceable.
And I’m glad we are continuing to make new ones.

Even though I never got to experience the “real world” with you…
You were the realest thing I ever knew.
I’m so grateful to have gotten to know you in this lifetime.

Thank you for being a blessing,
-Your Passion Panda