By Nicole Baxter
I never understood the importance of having female friends until eight months ago. Before then I didn’t think it was that important. In fact, for years I felt that having female friends just set you up for nothing but drama and heartache. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say this just to say it; I say it out of experience. When I was younger, I had trusted my best friend with a traumatic event only to have her betray that trust and ultimately cause a lot of pain. Looking back even to this day, I cannot decide if it was that betrayal that caused me more pain or the actual event. It was then I made the decision to never allow myself to get close to another girl and hence began the wall I erected. I could be friends with females but to trust them was entirely a different thing. I didn’t realize then when I made that promise to myself, how the importance of having close female friendship really is.
If you were to tell me a year ago that I would once again trust and allow another female friend into my heart, that I would reveal things to her that have occurred but never told anyone (let alone things I would not even admit to myself) I would have told you that you were crazy. I am not even sure how it started other than it happened at a time that I needed it the most. You know the saying: people come into your life for a reason.
At first it was only little things here and there but soon I began to trust her more and more. All of a sudden I wanted to tell her everything even though it was hard and still today hard for me. The more I shared the more I began to see what I had been missing out on the last 20 years. I had closed myself off to others and now with her help, guidance and love I have begun to open my heart up and everyday it is opened a little more. She has encouraged me to go after the dreams I put off, picks me up when I get down on myself (which is a lot lately), always telling me to be to myself, and that I am powerful and enough.
At the same time, she also isn’t afraid to call me out on my shit either. She pushes me to really see inside of myself, guiding me but allowing me to find the answer on my own to something I have been avoiding. Opening up hasn’t been easy for me, which is part of the issue I am struggling with right now, but I would not change it for anything. It is in this friendship that I have found there really is a special kind of bond that women make with each other that is on a different level than with their spouses, boyfriends or friends of the opposite sex. Past experiences allowed me to believe that women were always at odds with each other, always having to prove who is better. I was wrong. The bond created between women, it changes you. They become like family and at times even closer to you than family.
When I think about this love that I have for her and what she has helped me with, I can feel a change in my heart, a lightness and a happiness that I can focus on when I am down on myself or having a good day. It is like pieces of the wall that I had put up so long ago are cracking and coming down. A new light is shining through these cracks and the love with it is powerful. It has given me the courage to allow myself to add other women of different ages in and to put faith in trusting them as well. I see now that women who are close confide in each other their dreams, hurts, passions, frustrations and truly understand what it is like for each of us. We can provide strength for each other during vulnerable times; empower each other on reaching dreams and goals. The length I see and know I would go to for the women within my close circle is a force in itself and I love them. We all need like-minded and inspiring women in our lives. I feel that I am becoming a better person today from finally allowing myself to become close with the women I have brought into my life.
Nicole Baxter resides in Queen Creek, Arizona. She is married, has two children and currently works as a Paralegal. She loves to read and write in her spare time. Her dream is to one day have a novel published.