For being my friend, first and foremost; even today I am happy to count you among the best of the people in my life. I can spend time with you knowing that no matter what, you will never judge me for being who I am and seeing you has only ever brought a smile to my face.
For being the person who I could talk to about anything, then and even now. For showing me how incredibly beautiful and lovely the world can be with people like you in it. And of course, for all the many firsts you have given me.
Thank you for teaching me how to drive, and for all the laughter that ensued because of how awful I was. I am happy to report I am still a “crazy asian driver”, but at least I can drive a manual. Thank you for all the fun trips, for showing me how much there was to explore around me. Because of you I can ride a horse and a tandem bike, without falling off either. Thank you for being my first valentine, you gave me my first bouquet of flowers and never forgot a birthday, anniversary or holiday. You always made me feel appreciated and still do when given the opportunity.
You were the first man I ever said “I love you” to, and what made it even sweeter was you saying it first, knowing I was too afraid to actually speak the words out loud. A simple kiss on the cheek, pulling my hair back from my face and whispering in my ear “I love you too”; that was how you got me to say the words that I can now say to you without a single bit of blush in my cheeks. Thanks to you, I’m usually the first person to say it to people that I love.
You were the first person that I fully gave myself to. Because of you my first time wasn’t rushed in the back seat of a car, or at some party while drunk- it wasn’t some disorderly mess with inexperienced groping or pushing. It wasn’t with someone I barely knew or with someone who would become a one night stand. It wasn’t with someone who would take for granted what the moment would mean to me even 12 years later. It was planned and sweet, it was an experience that would help me shape my ideas of love for many relationships to come.
You were the first person to break my heart for all of the right reasons. Our relationship ended so that we could grow. So that we could become the adults that we are today. You encouraged me to experience life and all that it could offer me, and that meant I would have to experience it without you. Thank you for letting me go. Because of all that and so much more, you will always be the one that every future love is compared to, because of that you will always be my best friend, and because of that I will always keep a place for you in my heart.
While many of my friends look at their first love and feel regret or remorse, I look at you and can only feel grateful for all of the wonderful memories that you have given me. My first love wasn’t perfect, but because of you it was memorable. It was an experience that helped lay the foundation for our friendship- one that I’m happy to say, is still going strong. I think that is the mark of real love, when it doesn’t necessarily end- it just becomes something different.