Growing up, I always heard the phrase "blood is thicker than water," and I always believed that family is the most important thing in the world. What I didn't know then was that the phrase is actually much longer and is meant to say, "The blood of the covenant is much thicker than the water of the womb," meaning that the promises and bonds that you keep between people you care about are more important than simply being related to a person.
I'm not saying that family isn't important, because it is. A family who loves and appreciates you is a blessing, and you should never take your family for granted. However, your friends that you make throughout life are also extremely important and should hold a place in your heart.
Personally, I have two loving, kind, intelligent people I get to whole-heartedly call my best friends. I have grown up with them, have watched them develop in to the people that they are now, and have truly come to appreciate every minute we spend together. These two people are the friends I have chosen as my family. I know everything about them, like they know everything about me. I know about their past, their present, and their future. Having friends that make you feel like you can be your true and absolute self is one of the finest pleasures of life, and these two people make me feel like that every day.
It's hard, sometimes, when you feel like you are alone and even your true family can't help you with what you're struggling with. Sure, your parents are always going to be there to offer advice to you and lend a hand when times get tough, but they may not always be able to relate to exactly what you're going through. Times like these are when I turn to my best friends, my chosen family. They always know what to say, even if it's just saying something to help me get my mind off of whatever I'm stressing out about.
All in all, I really just want to say thank you to my best friends for being my family away from family, if that makes any sense. It's always nice to have multiple people to turn to when you need advice, need someone to talk to, or just need someone to go on an ice cream date with. Thank you for putting up with me through the good, the bad, and the ugly. I don't know how I'll ever repay you.