Today is Celene's birthday! What surprises me every year when we reach our joint birthday season is that I can count the birthdays we've had together on one hand. It always strikes me odd, because even though our concrete memories together are somewhat sparse, there's a deep sense of shared history in our friendship. We have so many inherent similarities in character and being that a part of me feels like I remember things we did together many years ago as kids, even though we met in college.

Celene isn't a boastful person, so she hasn't shared the great personal success she's had in the last year on the blog. She's started her own company, grown to be an esteemed professional in her current career, raised a puppy into a nice and sweet dog, and so much more. One of the things I admire most about Celene is the ease and grace with which she accomplishes all things--even something as intimidating as becoming an entrepreneur. She is precise and intuitive, visionary and poised. And yet, despite all her ease and elegance, she is the living opposite to carelessness. Everything she touches is marked by care and warmth that is so natural and so subtle that it's easy to miss.

As a friend, Celene is at once a quiet listener and a unabashed challenger. She's not a crutch of a friend--she regularly encourages me to shed things in my life that aren't serving me, but still allows me to complain about them over and over again if I'm not ready to let go. She's smart and she's funny, and a supremely good judge of character. Oh, and she's a fab dancer. Sometimes I wish we'd grown up together so she could've taught me some rhythm. Just a little bit would've been nice.

I read once that a friend is someone who rejoices in your success and laments in your sorrows. It seems so basic, but it really is hard to find someone who really feels and experiences what you feel. Someone who's along for the ride. Someone who when you really have to pee during the traditional USC senior year fountain swim says, "Just go behind that bush. I'll stand guard. Just go. I am going to watch you have a baby one day. Watching you pee is nothing."

As Leslie Knope of Parks and Rec says to her BFF Ann, "you good-looking, elegant baby turtle. You wild, majestic unicorn. You transcendent, little seahorse." Happy Birthday.

Love, A


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