A letter of appreciation to my bestie of 12 years

The universe has blessed me with a handful of loving, intelligent, creative, and all around extraordinary people that I am proud to call my friends. I feel so lucky to always have them on my team, and to have the opportunity to also be on theirs. I can’t gush about them enough, obviously, but I wasn’t always as privileged as I am now.

As a kid, I never really understood how different I was. All I knew was that I liked what I liked, and that was that. So what if the other girls my age had stopped playing with Barbie dolls, and had never even heard of Jareth the Goblin King or Monty Python? I never imagined that my interests would make such an impact on my social life until my friends started dropping one by one. Apparently playing pretend in your backyard isn’t cool anymore once you hit the double digits.

Fortunately for me, fate stepped in just in time and saved me from tackling my teenage years alone.

With my stuffed toy puppy, Legolas, in tow, I attended the birthday sleepover of a classroom friend. She has always been a really nice girl, and I still keep up with her on Facebook like a proper childhood school pal, but I really wasn’t sure of who else would be attending, so I had considered not showing up at all.

Of course, I was the only one there with a stuffed animal, but I showed him off anyway, finding more pride than shame in bringing him along with me. There were a lot of confused 12 year old girls there, wondering what the hell I was talking about when I told them his name was Legolas, but the pretty blond haired girl behind me began to practically glow with excitement. She knew what I was talking about, and since that moment she always has.

There’s not a creative memory in my mind that isn’t somehow linked to her. From that birthday party on, we were a pair. We discovered fan fiction, DVD extras, Runescape, and Snow Patrol together. We entered each other’s imaginations and found new and more magical ways to put our creativity to work. We conquered high school drama (both on and off stage), our long distance friendship when she went off to college, and getting settled into most intimidating phase of life, adulthood. Even apart, we did it all together.

And, you know what? We still do.

In April of 2015 we published our very own fandom diary, Fanspeak Files, to the web. As co-founders and partners in crime, we work on harnessing each other’s creative potential, along with expressing our own. With full-time jobs, it’s liberating to have a project to come home to that is so dear to our friendship. After a few years of resting our heads hours, and sometimes continents, away from each other, I feel that this project has strengthened our bond and transitioned our relationship from childhood best friends, to forever best friends.

This month we celebrate not only our 24th birthdays together, but a major bestie milestone: 12 years. Half of our lives side by side, traveling in the out of control, flying Ford Anglia of life, taking turns in the driver’s seat.

We haven’t just explored this reality together, but discovered new ones in our imaginations that we continue to visit from time to time. From movie premieres, book releases, and theater auditions, to late night fan fiction and brownie binges, it’s a love thing. I can only hope that I’ve done for her, all that she’s done for me.

Happy birthday, love. Here’s to us, and everything we’ve created together.

Rebekah Kibodeaux is a Hobbit/Hufflepuff hybrid with a love for all things entertainment. With a passion for storytelling that just won’t quit, Bekah contributes to several online publications, alongside photographing her favorite people (and dogs) and working on her first novel. Your can follow her babbling @bekahbabble and @fanspeakfiles. 

[Image via CBS]