I met my soulmate a little over four years ago. To this day she is still my best friend, but more importantly, my soulmate. A soulmate is generally thought of as “the one.” You think soulmate, and you instantly think of a romantic partnership that will last a lifetime. But what if your soulmate is your best friend?

I started dating in middle school and have dated many different people since, but I never felt the level of comfortability, love and understanding until I met Emily.

We first bonded over music when I complimented the MGMT sticker on the back of her (incredibly dangerous) Jeep Wrangler. We didn’t hit it off as immediate friends until I invited her to join GrrlPunch.

Honestly, she was one of the first people I thought of when starting to pick the young people I wanted to work with. Even as a junior in high school, Emily had a strange air of mystery about her that made you think you could never really know her. Or, maybe she was just standoffish. I think it was both, but I loved it.

She was so cool and intriguing to me. Truly, I thought she would reject the handwritten note I slipped to her at lunch inviting her to join. The idea was too juvenile, and she was too cool, but then she said yes.

Now, she’s the managing editor, and I believe that that really proves that I am either psychic or always right.

Since Emily joined GrrlPunch, it’s been a quick four years of becoming fast friends. I realized she was my best friend when there was no doubt in my mind that she would always have my back.

I realized she was my soulmate after a late-night venting session with her on my living room sofa. My first thoughts on the idea sounded a lot like, “AWWW,” that then turned into inner turmoil on how this would affect my love life as I grew older. How can I find a man that can fill this woman’s shoes?

After assessing my worries about never finding a love as great as a soulmate/best-friend like Emily, I understood that there is a lot of beauty in this worry. How amazing is it that I have to worry about finding someone as wonderful as my forever friend. Honestly, it’s not a worry, it’s a privilege.

Over the past four years, we’ve spent a majority of our time together. There have been too many hour-long phone calls and FaceTimes to count. There have been numerous late nights where we shared feelings, fears and thoughts while stuffing our faces with Indian takeout. There were tons of afternoons spent working on this website and many nights planning events.

Emily will be graduating next semester and possibly taking a job elsewhere while I finish up school. It is terrifying to think of her leaving. I selfishly want her to stay in the same city so we can hang out forever, but I am proud nonetheless.

Emily changed not only my life, but my understanding of love and friendship. So, this month is dedicated to our managing editor, Emily Zachry, in the hopes that it can convey even the slightest bit of gratitude that I have for her.

This month, take the time to thank the soulmates that have consistently stood by your side. February is about love, but remember to love and appreciate your friends as much as your romantic partners.

This February, keep your friends close and your soulmates closer.

Much Love Always,

Lucy Hargrove