If life has taught me anything, it has taught me that those who are related by blood can be no closer to us than a stranger on the street. It has also taught me that blood isn't always what defines what we consider family and that family can be defined by those we choose to share our life experiences with.

Nine years ago today, I met a stranger who I now call my sister.

We met halfway across the world. A new girl was joining my class. She had sidecut bleached bangs and colored hair. She wore our school uniform in a way that made it look like it was customized just for her. Her name was Cat. Pfft "Cat," I thought, this oh so cool American girl was going to be the new popular kid. Little did I know that I was going to end up living with her a few years later in California; crying over sad movies, raving on the summer-long beaches, running around music festivals. I had no clue back then that she would end up being one of my best friends.

Cat joined my desk cluster. In all honesty, I was not excited. If anything I was already jealous of her. She pulled off the uniform well and she did half of the school workload because she couldn't speak Thai! Until today I don't remember what made me decide to start speaking to her. Cat is a talented girl and I secretly wanted to be her friend.

She and I ended up bonding over my first concert (Green Day). We had similar musical tastes and we both just enjoyed each others company in general. Eventually, she moved to the states to continue her education.

I was planning to go to America for the longest time, but never really decided when. Cat and I came up with an evil plan for me to come live with her until I finished high school and because we're both big brats, we got our way! In 2011 I moved in with her and her mom.

They say to never move in with your friends because being friends is completely different from actually living with a friend; yes that is a fact. I mean, we'd never have full-blown fights but I was so frustrated at how long she used to take showers and I'm sure I did plenty things to annoy her as well. We were both competitive people, we strived to do best in everything we did. Like everyone, we had good days and bad days with each other.

I knew our relationship was slowly molding into a sisterhood when I felt the need to crush every boy in her way, also we started sharing clothes and not returning them. Competition morphed into encouragement and instead of jealousy, I had an overwhelming feeling of love for her.

Despite our petty fights, she motivated me to do better. Cat has been with me through every important stepping stone of my life since then. From moving to the states to my first real heartbreak. She's been the emotional support I needed when times were tough. Our relationship has shown me what true friendship means.

Next year we'll hit our 10 years friendaversary but do you even count the years if you're already family?