One of the phrases that’s come out of my mouth numerous times since my husband and I separated is “my squad.” That being the term for your group of (usually female) friends that serves as a grown-up family circle for you.
While perhaps Taylor Swift’s antics have been the catalyst for that phrase becoming mainstream (whether those are intentional PR or genuine friendships, there’s no denying she’s played the game well), the concept is hardly new. Women have relied on circles of female friendships forever, and given my current situation, I am unabashedly leaning in, shall we say.
I walked by an ad tonight that referenced “Squad Goals.” Can’t say I looked closely, given that I can’t even tell you what the store was (paper goods? a bar?), but the phrase stuck with me. You know how everyone plays the game, Who would you invite to dinner? Well, I think the new variation is, Who are your Squad Goals? I’m feeling very childlike tonight, so I’ve decided to play! I think I’m really imagining a giant slumber party, though…
In no order:
- Barbara Streisand – she’s my entrepreneurial, producer spirit-animal. I deeply respect how choosy she’s been with her projects over the years, the fact that her entire career has been on her terms and NO ONE else’s. That’s something to which I aspire.
- Eleanor of Aquitane – if you’re not familiar with your history, this is the woman who birthed Richard the Lionhearted and his brother, Prince John. But her story navigating the power struggles of France and England over the decades is way more interesting than Robin Hood. (Note to self: let’s read her biography – soon!)
- Kate McKinnon, Kristin Wiig, Leslie Jones, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Vanessa Bayer, Sasheer Zamata – the ladies of SNL would make the party a whole lot more fun. We’ll have to play Cranium…
- Anne Helen Peterson – I love every article she’s ever written, and how she elevates pop culture into relevant, interesting academic analyses. Seriously cool Brooklyn cred, too.
- Julie Andrews – BECAUSE YES.
- Julia Stiles – my sister once asked me who I’d want to play me in a movie of my life, and Julia Stiles was my answer. I’ve been a fan of her since her stunning debut in (the still amazingly great movie) 10 Things I Hate About You. Her characters are always tough and smart but emotionally vulnerable. I can relate.
- Angelica Schuyler – if you know me, you know I love the musical Hamilton. But mostly, I love this character and the fact that she was a real person who really was that intelligent in a time that didn’t value women’s abilities. I feel like real talk would go down.
I’m sure I’m forgetting a whole bunch of awesome people, historical and contemporary, who I’d love to be in my squad, but for now, that will have to do. I can definitely spot a trend in that list.
However, the real reason I wanted to talk about squads tonight is because I overwhelmed with gratitude for my real-life squad right now. They’re the sisters I have turned to over and over during these last several weeks, and I could not be more grateful for, amazed by, and proud of my group of friends, even if most of them don’t know each other. Without further ado, here’s my real-life squad:
- Celeste – my NYC best friend. We met living in the same building years ago (and then tried to do Jillian Michaels workouts together at 6 am, hahaha). I’ve never had a “normal” best friend, and I’m touched that such an entrepreneurial, beautiful woman is mine.
- Sara – my penpal best friend. We met when I was on the cruise ship, on a very rainy horseback riding excursion, and somehow we became penpals after she disembarked. We talk about everything from God to the awesomeness of chemistry, though she way outclasses me on that subject – the woman works on oil and gas rigs! What a surprise blessing she is in my life.
- My entire PEO chapter – words do not capture how incredible this group of women is. Loving, elegant, intelligent, generous, hardworking, ambitious, fun – pretty much every good adjective you can think of accurately describes them. They have been so supportive of me professionally and personally. Everyone should have a sisterhood this strong.
- Ginny, Teri, Mimi, Rachel, Margaret, Bethany, Leslie, Cece, Nancy, Sarah, Diana, Cindy, Holly, Ashley, and probably like 20 more names that I can’t think of right now – all my Facebook friends from my extended family, high school, college, and life. So quick to reach out and check in, so prolific with the awesome article sharing and thoughtful discussions of important topics – it’s so nice to know that I have great friends no matter where in the world I go.
- And most importantly, Amy, Katie, Brian, and my mom – my “original” best friends, and those on whom I’ve leaned the most in the past few weeks. I could not ask for a more wonderful family. I mean, seriously, there aren’t words. “God putteth the solitary in families,” says the Bible – and truly, how can you ever feel alone when you have a family this awesome (and only a phone call away!)? See you in the miiiiiiiines.
Public shout-outs aren’t really my style, but my heart feels so full right now that I can’t think of any other way to express it. So thank you, each and every one of you. May I one day repay you for your role in my life.
So much love to everyone tonight.