Dear Karley:

I know you have seen this a lot lately, but congratulations! Your recent announcement of getting to work at Yellostone led me to screaming and crying in the middle of Walmart. In other words, I am super duper proud of you.

You getting to accomplish your dream of working for a National Park not only shows your passion, but also the incredible power of The Odyssey. It is crazy and at the same time amazing to witness the things you have done over the six (!!!) years I have known you.

Recently, but especially since I saw your Facebook status a few hours ago, I have been thinking about the first weekend I met you. Remember that? I was the awkward freshman who was quiet at first but was forced to get out of her shell. You? Well, you were the senior who drove an SUV that you referred to as "the Tank" who loved Bullet For My Valentine. While I am no longer a freshman but still awkward, and while you do not drive the tank, our friendship has stayed the same. I am so glad that you took me under your wing. While I did not know it at the time, I was so glad that we met and shared a room in that somewhat shady hotel room. You were my "senior buddy", and I was your "lil freshie." Even though we have obviously grown away from those titles, they still stand today and I love you for it.

You have seen and been there for me in times when I needed a friend. It was not just in desperate times that I was deep in my battle with depression, but also when I had a dumb question, like "what lens should I get for my camera?" I never felt like I had to ask so much as I just had to just tell. You grew from the cool senior at Amplify retreat to the older sister I never knew I wanted. It was a chance meeting, yet one I am so grateful for.

Now, you get to leave Louisiana and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and head up to Wyoming. There, you will get to nurture your love of photography and nature. Basically, you're going to be living your dream. In stories, it's called the "happily ever after." But for you, it;s not the happily ever after because you get to keep on going. You get to keep on living that dream that you so longed to achieve. I am so proud of what you have accomplished, and I know that you will keep doing. I know that so many people are going to miss you as you do this, including me. But know that all of us at home love you always and will always be here for absolutely anything. You're the best and will change the world one day. Like the geysers and waterfalls at Yellowstone, your future is endless.

"Tank" you for your awesome years of friendship,

Your lil freshie