Aunt Tracy- for always supporting me
My first real memory of you is from all those times we got lost. I don’t remember where we were going — maybe it was one of the countless times we went to Jersey Junction and the playground—but I remember we made up a system: “this way” was code for left, and “that way” was code for right. Thank you for always making time for me, even when I was an annoying, vivacious child. Whether it is rescuing me from being bombarded by our family or coming to my lengthy competition, thank you for always supporting me.
Ella Kelly- pour m’écouter et préoccuper de moi
Now that I have thoroughly butchered that sentence, thank you for helping me through all my other foriegn language struggles. Buddy, you may only be 5’3, but the impact you have had on me these past years is larger than the tallest kid in school. Your firecracker energy sparks my motivation and ignites my own happiness. When I have had the trashiest day, you burn up all my negativity with your genuine concern and sympathy. I know I talk a lot and say little of meaning, but you never make my words feel worthless. You truly listen in a way that is going out of style; you listen because you care about every mundane detail of my day—or maybe are just really good at acting like you do. You listen to hear what I have to say, not to prepare what you are going to say next. Thank you, Buddy, because you make me feel important.
Linus Kaechele-for being my hype man
I think I could post almost anything on my private story, and you’d slide up and tell me how amazing I’m doing. I have endless appreciation for all the small things you do that have boosted my confidence more than you know. So, now it’s my turn.
Linus, you have such a gift. The way you use words… how can you write something so flowery and euphonic while still cutting straight to the point? I am so proud of the way you integrated straight into journalistic writing with ease while still keeping all your sentences just so you. You bring so much joy to me and everyone around you, and it shines through in your writing as well.
I’ve always wanted a nickname, so thank you for bringing a smile to my face every day when you call me Neyney.
Megan Fox- for being a lil’ cutie inside and out
I know I dragged you into that partner jazz class at dance camp, but I don’t feel bad. It was the first time I started to really get to know you, and I’m so glad you let yourself get pulled into it. Thank you for your constant hard work and positive attitude—it doesn’t go unnoticed. Don’t ever stop being you, hon!
Natalie Mix-for being a bubble of giggles and joy
Even on your sleepiest day, you are the most animated person I know. Your spirit and attack are so refreshing. Something about me inherently understands you; we both talk excessively, get excited over the small things, and have the same quirks. Your bouncy personality brightens my day, so thank you for just coming to TCT every day.
Katie Woods and Julia Kirkman- for being my soul sisters
I can’t imagine life without either of you. I’ve never connected with anybody else as I do with you two. No matter what it is, I never feel as if I have to censor myself—tone myself down. The comfort and belonging you two bring is immeasurable.
My dear, lovely Katie, you are a phenomenon. I don’t really remember how you entered my life all those years ago, but I do know we had to sit on opposite sides of the alphabet rug—troublemaking always spawns a good friendship. At this point, I don’t know where my “me-ness” ends and your “you-ness” starts. Honestly, I’m grateful for that because your “you-ness” makes me a better me. Thank you for letting some of your passion, goofiness, and confidence rub off on me.
Juju — my wonderful, saucy Juju — your friendship hit me like lightning. One minute, we were just two outsiders, two strangers. Now… Julia, I break down every time I think about leaving for college, every time I think about how I won’t see you every day. Your cynical humor, hugs, and kindness—among the other things that make you the unique and special individual that you undoubtedly are—proved that friendship isn’t like cheese; it doesn’t need to age to perfect.
Thank you for making me whole.