This is the fifth in my series of 30 posts to friends, mentors, and teachers who have inspired me over the past few years. I hope you enjoy.

Dear D,

I wasn’t sure what initial to give you, but since your nickname always makes me smile. I’ll go with “D.”

There was this wonderful moment while I was listening to Gabby lecture at Kripalu, when she said, “Guys, all this happiness/spirituality stuff doesn’t have to be so SERIOUS!” It was an ah-ha moment for me. DUH. I’ve spent so much time this past year making sacrifices and ditching old habits, but I was missing a crucial tool: kicking up my feet and have a good time! I  realized that taking the time to go to a concert (S. Bareilles next week!), meeting new people at farmer’s markets, or pushing myself to try a new kind of yoga is just as important to finding my ‘flow” as getting a good night’s sleep or avoiding gluten.

And D, you have been one of my greatest teachers in the fun department. Your zest for life — whether it’s in the hockey rink or on the dance floor — is sky high. You wake up kind of jazzed about life everyday, and you aren’t afraid to laugh at yourself. You don’t let life play you, ever. When needed, you can diffuse tension with just a gesture — all the more evidence to me that on some level you’re highly aware of the energy in a room. I have many memories of being out in bars, or at parties, and seeing the effect you had on other people…you infuse your hilarious sense of humor into everything you do, and I remember counting myself lucky dozens of times to have you as such a close friend.

As senior year of college was winding down, you made the tune below our friends’ theme song, always making sure it was one of the last songs we heard before leaving the mods. Thanks D, for all the outrageous laughs and killer dance parties.

Because really and truly: It’s good to be us.