I believe there are two kinds of people. There are those who deem the world as cold; who magnify the negatives to such an extent that the pleasurable things in their lives are so belittled they don’t even seem to exist anymore. Thus, falling into the ceaseless spiral of hopelessness and self-pity.

Then there are those who make me proud to be human, who regardless of the dark, endlessly appreciate the light they are given; who choose to fight; who choose to win; who choose to love.

Thank you, best friend for choosing and helping me to choose love. Not a soul has touched my life quite like you have. I am beyond proud and privileged to know such a person.

1) You have persevered through hardship and heartache with nothing but that beautiful smile on your face.

You have never once asked “why me?”, but instead “how do I overcome this?”

In the most horrible times of betrayal and abandonment, when you had every right to break down, you made do. Whenever shit hits the fan, you do what you must to keep your life moving, whether it is submerging yourself into your career or spending time with those who make life worth living. You continue to love life and the little, but notable things it throws at you. You confide in the path that has been paved for you, although you do not always understand it.

2) The more people that do you wrong, the more kind you become.

You truly are what it means to be the bigger person- constantly letting go of unpleasant memories and emotions and not letting thoughts of retribution and revenge get the best of you. You do away with hate because you know holding onto it will only create a life of anger and resentment, and that is not a life you are willing to live. You unleash your pride and continue to forgive, which is the purest, most beautiful form of love.

3) You take care of everybody, but also yourself.

I don’t know how you do it. You somehow manage to tend to me, your brothers, and our friends, without losing your mind- while still taking care of yourself. You are the person I call at 3 AM when I need to be picked up from some sleazy party. But you are also the person I feel comfortable spilling my soul to.

4) You rely on no one. You are building your life with your own two hands.

While you are big-hearted and generous, you are self-focused when you need to be. You are an extremely driven, grounded person who knows when and how to get shit done. The dreams you have will come true because I know you are going to make them happen.

Your confidence and independence continues to amaze me. You have let yourself grow through the pain into the best, strongest, and most indestructible version of yourself.

5) Your intentions are nothing short of pure and your heart is worth its weight in gold.

I know all that truthfully matters to you is that you live a joyous life, and there is nothing more wholesome than that. You are blessed with beauty, ambition, and the ability to create happiness in a world that seems to constantly try to bring us down. You deserve- and I know you will have- the most blissful, content rest of your life. That’s my best friend. Go best friend.

6) You have shown me that good friends are a special kind of family.

While so-called “friends” lie, betray, come and go, you stay. You have always stayed. Thank you for showing me the remarkable value behind true friendship. Thank you for always lending an ear, but also holding me accountable for my actions and never sugar coating anything I needed to hear. Thank you for investing in all parts of my life, through the laughs, smiles, anger, and tears. Thank you for instilling your exceptional sense of optimism in me. Every single day I become a little stronger and a tiny bit more like you.

I picture us at sixty years old- you are an incredible, devoted mother with daughters who have grown up to be just as blithe and stylish as you. And we are still the best of friends, sitting on your front porch in California, still making fun of dumb boys and planning our next nail appointment.

I love you, Liv. Thank you simply for being you.