Okay y'all, L and I did shape each other's personalities to the degree that that's inescapable when you're good friends with someone from the ages of 7 to 17, but come on. I was not a blank slate and she was not my second grade Svengali. I would not be the same person at the age of 36 that I was at the age of 6 whether or not I had ever met L. My parents have just always preferred to blame the bits of my personality that they don't like on my friends. And okay, there's some truth to that, but it's also a chicken and egg question: these are the friends I've had because I chose them, for reasons of my own, because these are the people that I have wanted to know and love and be like. I chose you all, and you chose me, and we shape each other but you are not the cause of me.