Ohana means family.

Disney inspired many of us with this iconic line, stemming from Hawaiian culture, but for me ohana means so much more. I can't begin to put words to how much ohana means to me and how much my ohana means to me.

As an only child, I grew up close with both of my parents and my extended family. My biological family means so much to me, because I was born into such a loving support system. Not only does my family supply me with endless hours of entertainment through stories I've heard a million times, and never get tired of hearing-- like that time when your sister put your toys in the fire, right dad? To good times during the holidays with our various antics. I look forward to every time I get to hang out with either side of my family.

My friends are another kind of family to me. I've got my high school family, my college family, and my Ohana (capital O intended). Some of my high school friend-family have been around since elementary school, but we all survived the public school system together and emerged as actual adults together. My high school family supported me during some of the most trying times, and they continue to support me now. I'm eternally grateful that they're still in my life.

My college friend-family understands how crazy I get after midnight (alternatively titled "mid-night thirty") and they get the privilege of living with my crazy self. Over the course of three years, I feel that these guys are just as close to me as the friends I've known since elementary school. I guess that's just part of the magic of college. My college family is like my family away from home, because they are just as supportive as my biological and extended family.

And then there's my Ohana (with a capital O). I have no words to describe the journey I have been on with these three people. My mom asked me this summer (after they stayed at my house for a week to surprise our youngest member on her high school graduation) why I seem to be as close with these three as I am with my other friends, if not closer. I still have no idea how to describe it, besides the word Ohana. Despite having only spent time with two of them twice in person, I feel like I've known them my whole life. If there's such thing as "friend soul mates," I truly believe these guys are my "friend soul mates." These guys are the Nani, Lilo, and David to my Stitch.

I'm forever grateful to be apart of so many families. I love all of my families in different ways, but thankfully I have a huge heart with a lot of love to give.

And family means no one gets left behind, or forgotten.