There are few things more satisfying than a good belly laugh. I’m talking about the deep sort of laugh that takes over your entire body. The type that forces your head to fall back, tears to stream from your eyes, while stealing your breath and rendering you incoherent; the type of laugh that physically hurts, and leaves you aching afterward. As painful as it sounds, there are few things more satisfying.

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I knew right away she wouldn’t like me. She embodied authenticity with her tattoos and loop nose ring. I, however, was a walking stereotype with my highlighted hair strategically pinned to appear messy, feeling edgy in my Keds. One of us seemed to belong, and the other one of us was me. It was my first day at the cafe and she, of course, was the barista who would train me.

This girl, I came to find, knew no strangers. She seemed to have a sort of magnetic force that drew all types of people to her. It was not her appearance or her talents, though she was both attractive and talented. She seemed to have an uncanny ability to see the best in everyone — strangers and friends alike.