Everyone knows your teenage years can be more trying than any other time in your life. The fluctuations in hormones, learning to maneuver an unfamiliar adult body, social awkwardness, and overwhelming peer pressure are nothing less than torturous. It’s during times like these that having the right group of friends can make or break you into the person you will become. There are few truths greater than the saying, “you are the company you keep…” Fortunately, I found myself in good company. The friends I surrounded myself with sought to be, and became, great people. Whatever challenges, insecurities, or doubts that kept them from making themselves better I witnessed them overcome and eradicate them. That group of friends just so happened to be all female–my girls.
Honestly, friendship is genderless. Men and women can be friends–best friends even. I was your stereotypical troubled teen; angry with the world, and even angrier with myself for not “measuring up.” It was me against the world, and with hubris, I believed I stood a chance. Unsurprisingly, not only did I fall flat on my face; I fell on my face; through the floor, and plummeted towards Earth’s core–that proverbial “rock bottom” everyone eventually learns about. In my light – less gloom, swaddled in despair and loneliness; there I suddenly found myself in the care of five amazing women.
We’re taught that women are nurterers, that us men are to take charge and save the day. Here was “No Man’s Land.” True enough, I agree no woman can teach a man how to be a man, or even grasp the threshold that is manhood, but they can make you into a good man. You’d ask how they could accomplish such a feat? It’s simple they showed me their hearts. They looked beyond all my flaws, doubts, insecurities, and rage to see the man I could be. With their loving kindness I saw the best in them and to a greater degree the potential goodness in others. Then, and only then, I saw myself in oneness with the world around me–wonderfully flawed and bluntly authentic.
In return my girls gained a watchman. A male friend who knows a woman’s worth, ready to defend and lend a helping hand. I taught them “the game” and all its trade secrets ensuring no man would cheapen them, and they’d see themselves as I do–beautiful, not just for show.
I have no doubt life has a few more major battles in store for me. This time though, I’ll race into the battlefield proudly, finding comfort in the trenches alongside Warrior Queens. So yeah, to say it simply…I love my girls.