The legendary Carole King wrote a song entitled "You've Got a Friend." In reflecting on that song, I think about the beautiful bond I share with my lovely best friend, Alexa Ray Karp. This friendship stretches back to my first year of high school in 2014. It all began in a very uncanny way. Alexa and I are separated by a year in age, and my skinny fourteen-year-old self would await a violent shove into my locker every morning by this sophomore, who would down the road become my best friend. From that day forward, Alexa has been by my side through the good, the bad, and everything in between. That is something that I will forever be grateful for. There are two characteristics of our friendship that I feel make it so beautiful. Firstly, we support each other. Secondly, we learn from each other. Those two characteristics have built a bond over the years that have made us truly inseparable, and without a doubt, I know that I can call Alexa my forever person.
Support is the trait of utmost importance that our friendship has to offer. In my years of knowing Alexa, I have been through many personal struggles. I have no ill-will aimed at my struggles because they have enabled me to become the person I am today. But, throughout every single one of those struggles, even when I would push myself away, Alexa would be right there, with open arms to pull me right back in, letting me know that everything was going to be ok. These moments were the factors in guiding me to see that what Alexa and I have is something special and not to be taken for granted.
Anybody that knows us knows that we are a package deal. Chances are, if you see one of us, you are going to see both of us. By luck, we attend the same college, and our dorms are right next door to each other. Even further, if you know us, you know that we are two of the most extra human beings that the world has to offer when we get together. It gets so excessive sometimes that our darling dear Mama Karp has to reprimand us with her infamous phrase, "Tone it down, people, ok!" Support is something that we do not take lightly. It is a known fact that in addition to studying to become a doctor, Alexa is a powerhouse belter and natural actress. I also enjoy being involved in the performing arts when I'm not studying to go into work within the Communications and Media field. So, naturally, when we perform, we have to be there to support each other. Some of our support tactics of the past include making fatheads, shirts with each other's faces on them, posters, and of course, yelling as loud as we can when we see our best friend up there doing something that makes them happy. In all of this, we realize that we are both talented in our own ways and have many different qualifications that we each bring to the table, and this enables us to celebrate one another for what makes us unique.
Affectionately, I call Alexa my "big sis" or my "sissy." Growing up as an only child, I never had an older sibling to look up to and confide in. But, when I met Alexa, that all changed. Aside from my parents, who I love dearly and have done so much for me, Alexa is another person who has taught me so much about life. It is an absolute honor for me to be able to call myself her my best friend. Alexa Karp is a natural at everything she does. Every day, I stand in awe of everything she accomplishes and the person that she is. She is one of the most driven human beings that I have ever met in my entire life. In return, she pushes me to be the best version of myself that I can be. Through this all, I have learned that your life is your life, and with the right amount of persistence and hard work, you can steer your life in any direction, achieving your goals and desires along the way. Alexa is living proof of that. I'm so incredibly proud of her, and to this day, with the most significant amount of respect, I can say that being her "little bro" and her "JJ" has been and continues to be one of my biggest blessings in life.
"Winter, spring, summer or fall,
all you have to do is call
and I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You've got a friend."- Carole King
As scary as thinking about the future is, I take great comfort in knowing that Alexa will be by my side through it all.
Love you the most, Alexa!