I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and especially after the Grammys, and seeing Brené Brown speak on Sunday, this has really been on my mind. Don’t get me wrong. I love Taylor Swift. I could listen to her songs on repeat for days. I even flew to Tampa to see her in concert. I think she is classy, positive, and fabulous. I love that she has brought new awareness to the power of female friendships. But I also think she’s given the rest of us unreasonable expectations for our #squadgoals. Before you tune out, hear me out here.
What originally sparked this thought was a conversation I had with a long-distance friend of mine who happens to be one of the most generous, caring, kindhearted, and easy to talk to people you will ever know. I am lucky to even think of having her in my squad. And she mentioned how hard it was to build a squad in a new city, which I totally agree with, and it got me thinking, she does have a squad – and she’s got an awesome squad. She rolls deep. She just has a squad that she may not be able to take awesome Instas with ever other week, or hang out all together for a massive sleepover, or bake cookies together whenever. And that’s okay.
Our squads these days – much like Swifty’s – are spread across the state, country, time zones, and world, and we keep up via text, phone, email, Snapchat, GroupMe, and more. Taylor has one up on us because she lives a life many of us don’t get to imagine, which involves a lot of travel that I know has to be tough and may also bring her some unique opportunities to see her friends. I have no idea how she gets to keep up with her squad, but I bet even for Taylor, it takes work. The rest of us, we’re often rooted in one place, which means when we have long-distance (or even next-town-over) squad members, it can feel like we’re all alone or like we don’t have a squad.
But we do! We have high school friends. We have moms, sisters, aunts, cousins, grandmas. We have college friends, people we met in the coffee shop line, people we met walking the dog, who knows how you met your squad but they are sprinkled throughout your life and they are there for you when you need them. We just don’t all have the ability to make awesome music videos with our friends. Or bring them out at our concerts to surprise all of our adoring fans. And that’s okay. But side note: how awesome would that be? In the middle of a big presentation at work, can you imagine what it would be like to bring out one of your best friends and say “and here to entertain you next with her fantastic skills in accounting/psychology/insert your friend’s profession here, is my girl Taylor!” That would make every workday ten times better.
And you know what? Sometimes all you need are a few really close friendships to help you get through the good times, the bad times, the tough times, and the wacky times. As Dr. Brown said on Sunday night, the number of people whose opinion of you matters shouldn’t fit on a piece of paper larger than 1” by 1”. Who really matters to you? Who do you know you can turn to?
So don’t despair, you are awesome and you have a squad. Think about who’s in your squad. Treasure them. Send them an extra funny Snapchat, or a heart emoji, or a handwritten letter. See if you can go on vacation together this year. Or just try to call them next week. It may feel like it’s hard to make new friends as an adult, because it is, but cherish the ones you do have and you never know when you’ll make new ones. You may not be able to see your squad all the time, but trust me: they’re there, and they’re so glad you’re there too.