I didn’t think being this crazy was a good thing until I met someone as crazy as me. I didn’t think having people in my head begging me to tell their stories was normal, until I met someone who also did. I felt a bit embarrassed about loving food so much until I met someone who loved it just as much. I didn’t think I could be a leader of anything until I met someone who believed I could be. I couldn’t have become who I was today if someone like you hadn’t come into my life.

You helped me understand what was good about me when I saw it reflected on you. My incredibly creative, passionate friend, look at what I’ve become thanks to you. Look at what we’ve created together. We continue our traditions of writing to the death one month a year and watching shows together even when we’re miles away. We left our mark at our school and created friendships through writing that would have never happened if it weren’t for us. I’d never had created that club if you hadn’t been by my side.

My friend, I adore you and your adventurous spirit. You set out without a plan or a map and create adventure wherever you go. You have the fearlessness I can only aspire to have. You have the audacity that I have only ever read about. You’re the hero in your own story and it’s incredible because you don’t even need a katana to become invincible. You are invincible by just being you.

So you turn eighteen and you might be thinking “now what?”. You might be feeling like your age is a present but you don’t know how to play with it. I just have one thing to tell you. Be yourself. Eighteen opens the possibilities to endless adventures, adventures I hope to be a part of too. You have everything you need to make the world yours, so don’t think about it and take the world for yourself.

And we’re one year closer to seeing our books on the bookshelves, one year closer to you owning that boat and throwing our book release parties. One year closer to everyone knowing our names, and being asked on interviews about each other, telling stories about how we went on a dessert tour of SoHo, how we had a special restaurant where we’d only talk about writing, or how we read a kinky book together just to get a few laughs. All of those adventures await us. Are you ready?

It doesn’t matter, though, if you think you’re not, because I’ll be holding your hand each step of the way.

Like you did with me.

Happy Birthday, friend.