“You won’t understand what I mean now, but someday you will: the only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are—not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving—and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad—or good—it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.”
― Hanya Yanagihara

The short story is this: I am so lucky to have you in my life at all, let alone as a best friend. But there's a longer story, too. There are so many things that I admire about you, and I could thoroughly embarrass you by listing them off here―your immense talent, your unique vision about the world, your unending curiosity, that's just a minuscule portion of the incredible qualities you possess―but the thing that I want to talk about today is one that has had a huge impact on me in such a short amount of time that I couldn't imagine my life without your influence: your integrity. Someone once told me that they defined integrity as "the alignment of your heart and your mind" and I can't think of anyone in my world who is more conscious of that alignment within themselves and others than you are. You truly think about the world and the people in it with the most generous spirit, all without budging on the things that matter to you and make you who you are. That's what I call integrity. I could go on for ages about how trustworthy you are, how emotionally available you are, and how those two things make you the perfect person to talk to about anything on my heart or mind. But rather than drone on about it, I just want to appreciate it. And it's not all serious talks and trust and building each other up. Our friendship is a huge piece of my personal happiness: the jokes, the things we share, the synchronised dance moves and all the inside jokes I won't spill here. You make me smile all the time. I hope you know how amazing you are and the joy you bring to people; it's not just me, I know that, because I witness it in how you interact with all your other mates as well. You are a true gem, and I am so excited about what the next year will bring for you and grateful that I will get to be a part of it. Happy birthday, my darling. (OH BY THE WAY, I FAQN LOVE U, YA BITCH.)