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There are different types of love in this world and I have been blessed with the best of them: the one shared between members of a chosen family. Sure, biological family is important but, at the end of the day, you didn’t have a choice to be part of itーat least, not in the way you did with your chosen one. And I know what you are wondering: what is a chosen family? Think about that group of friends that are always there for you, no matter what. It goes beyond the bounds of friendship; and adding the word best doesn’t seem like enough, no matter how many times you do it. 

My chosen family is small. It consists of only four people, but they are more than enough. These four amazing people know me better than anyone in this world and always have my back. There might be fights and disagreements or distance and lack of time to spend together, but one way or another, we always find our way to each other. And, for all of that, they deserve all the love and appreciation I can give…except I have never been the best at voicing what I feel and that’s why I’m writing this letter. This letter is for them, but for everyone else that is reading it, meet my amazing chosen family: 

First, let’s start with it’s oldest member. I have known this person since she was born, only seven months after me (and I specify because it is a constant fight we have). While biological families do not always go hand to hand with chosen families, she is the exception. Because we did choose each other. We both come from a big family. Our generation is a total of 20 cousins, and yet, she is the only person that makes family parties worthwhile. We were always attached to the hip, causing mischief and covering for each other, and in many ways, we still are. We share  many good memories and inside jokes. We’ll be partners in crime til the end of times and I could never ask for a better one. We always joke we are a copy of each other, but the truth is, we aren’t. She is so much more astounding. For her small stature, she has one of the largest presences I have ever seen. She makes me so proud of all she has accomplished and she always pushes me to face my fears and do better. So, thank you C., for always being there with a joke in hand, a lending ear and a “que se chave, what’s the worst that could happen?”, even when you are in a whole other country. 

Secondly, meet my lovely E. We met each other in first grade. At that moment, they were the new kid, and me, as a teacher’s pet, had to do everything to make him feel welcome. I would love to say that our epic friendship started right there, but the truth is that it took us some years to get there. We went through highs and lows but no matter what, we stayed with each other, eternal nap buddies. You all don’t even know how talented they are, and while I can’t be as present in the different stuff they do, I’m ready to cheer from afar, and I know they are doing the same for me. Adult life has not been kind to us, and sadly, we don’t see each other as much as we want to, but I know that, no matter what, if I call, he will answer, and that’s what matters. I’m super proud of you and you know I will always be one of your biggest cheerleaders. You are my favorite travel partner and I can’t wait to go to Disney with you again, because we will.

Third, the woman I never expected to be this important. We met each other by accident in a bakery in 10th grade. The only space left was next to you and your friends and you were kind enough to let us sit there. Now I know that it was not an accident, but destiny. While our friendship started because we were both hardcore Batfamily fans, I never expected to end up being like them, a mismatched family ready to cover each others’ backs. I could talk for hours with this beautiful person and never get bored; be it from light topics like fandoms to any other serious topics, even if they never feel heavy with you. Now, she simply knows too much to be just a friend, so there is no other choice than to be family. She is also the mother hen of the group, always making sure we are okay, even when she forgets to take care of herself. It doesn’t matter though, because I promise you D., that I will always be there to remind and pester you to do it. Thank you for always listening to my rants about my current hyperfixation and for all the discussions we have about them. Even when they are super out-of-pocket, I always have fun with them. 

Fourth, but never last, A., my life partner. We met in pre-kindergarten, and since then, she has been a constant in my life. Either luck or destiny, we always managed to be in the same group at school (even now at university we are still in most of the same classes). But our friendship didn’t really take until we both started reading, because of course it started with books. Who would have thought that owning Twilight would lead to  some of the best things of my life. Between stories filled with adventures, we wrote our own, creating a powerful friendship that will never break. She is the most loyal person I have ever met and will protect those she loves no matter what, and I’m super grateful to be on that list. She is the person I share my life goals with and I can’t wait to reach the dream of writing a book with her as a co-author. I could not have chosen a better person to share dreams with and I seriously don’t know how I’d be able to manage life and its complexities without this gorgeous girl standing by my side. A, you are amazing and a super badass, and I need you to never forget that. But if you do, it’s okay because I will be right next to you reminding you and helping you to fight your fears, just like you help me fight mine. 

There is a reason why my favorite trope is found family, and it’s all because of these four people that have changed my life in the best way possible. Once again, thank you for always being there for me, even if you all make me cry while writing letters. I hope everyone is as lucky as me to find their chosen family, because I, for sure, won the lottery. 

Love you always, 

Alana 

Alana is currently in her fifth year, studying Comparative Literature in the UPR Río Piedras Campus. She loves books, superheroes and mythology. Will sing any song that she knows (even if she can't sing to save her life) and is always tired. She dreams with someday writing a book.
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