If you know me well you would know that I don’t make friends easily, so I truly treasure the friendships I have like the gifts they are. Most of my friends have been my chosen family for years and years, and Kaiʻolu is my oldest and truest of all. I recently shared a bit about our friendship in my Hinamatsuri or Girl’s Day post where I detailed why I value her so much. Kaiʻolu and I met when we were nine years old as new and scared 4th graders at Kamehameha. She always says she was afraid of me at first (probably because puberty hit me like a bitch and I was bigger and taller than every other kid my age), but she approached me at the bus stop when I dropped some pixi sticks that were in my bag. Thanks to the old and new gods, our first meeting turned into 16 years of friendship through new siblings, family deaths, heartbreak, one big fight (which literally lasted only one hour…haha don’t mess with my new clothes again, Kaiʻolu), world travels to New Zealand, Washington D.C., California, and Maui, tests, big projects, band tournaments and concerts, different colleges across America, and every makeup look I adopted. I believe the last photo I posted above illustrates my extreme pubescent growth, which is why Kaiʻolu was fear upon first meeting. Because we’ve been friends for 16 years, our families have become close as well and we all gladly spend time together as if we were one large ʻohana. My favorite moments are when my family combines with Kaiʻolu’s and we can all catch up as if no time has passed at all (though we haven’t had those experiences in a while thanks to COVID). These types of friendships are so rare and so beautiful and I’m eternally lucky that on Kaiʻolu’s (belated) birthday, I can say that we’re still the very best of friends.