Written for my sister. This is a letter to her first love. 

Letting you go creates a pain grabbing at my stomach, returning me to the first time we spoke.

I moved to Albuquerque in August just before starting my freshman year of high-school. I entered high-school leaving my Dora Explorer look behind and adopting a more sophisticated… well let’s just face it, I probably still closely resembled Dora. But you noticed me when I thought so little of myself.  You resembled everything I loved in a boy. Tall, handsome, funny, and interested in me. I noticed the way people gravitated towards you. You made them feel significant in a setting where most felt worthless. I held you in high regard, and for the first time put a boy on a pedestal.

I love you for the way you fall in love with everyone you meet, but I also despise it. You repeatedly find solace in things and people that hurt you. The momentary high drives you. I see the amazing you and I hold on to that for the night. But I’m tired of disappointing each-other the next day. Holding our worth in each-other only to find we’re significantly flawed. It’s a rollercoaster where the high feels like forever, but the drop in your stomach, as everything plummets, reminds you no one can sustain you forever. I’ll never regret loving you, because through it I learned the importance that comes with loving myself.

Suddenly you’re worth and motivation was held up in all the ways I loved you. I convinced myself I needed to be all those things for you. But I’m only human and at 18 I’m certain I don’t know it all. I’m certain I have a lot of growing to do. I’m certain our current foundation will crumble.

I don’t want to find myself consumed with our arguments anymore. I don’t want to make each-other sad another second. I want growth. With all the cheesiness I can muster, I hope you find God. I hope you find him in all the places you feel empty. I hope you ask hard questions, and I hope you find answers. Don’t settle for anything that doesn’t nourish your soul. I’m setting out on an adventure; to ask all the questions, visit all the places, talk to all the people, and meet myself at the end. I don’t know what the future holds for us. But I’m confident we’ll be ok. You’re not alone. I believe God loves you regardless of what you do, but through understanding your purpose in him comes this natural maturing and love for yourself. Whatever you do, wherever we find ourselves years from now, whether traveling on a boat together (like we planned), or meeting again after years apart only to find we’ve both found “The One”, I hope we can laugh together at the fickle plans we made at 18.

-Aubrey Cofield