I moved to New York a few months ago. I'm not saying that I moved here because Taylor Swift did, but I'm not not saying that, either. And yeah, I'm a little bit behind on my "make Taylor Swift my new bestie" time table, but I've got plenty of time before she moves to the next city she deems cool enough for her (I'm guessing it's going to be on the moon). The good news is that in the meantime, I've assembled a squad of my own. We are mismatched and unlikely and various degrees of lactose sensitive, but we are every bit as cool as Taylor's legion of celeb friends, thank you very much.
Look, we'd all be lying if we said we weren't jealous of Taylor's squad. In the fall of 2012 when I read she was besties with Emma Stone, the FOMO was so intense that I actually, genuinely felt like I'd been robbed. I think I brought it up at the dinner table so often that my dad thought Taylor and Emma were actual friends I hung out with who were intentionally excluding me from red carpet events. It only got more intense over time, as she enlisted fave after fave of mine into her small army. Every time she uploads an Instagram it's like somebody stabs my heart, and I am weirdly grateful for it. I LOVE THEM AND I HATE THEM FOR NOT ALSO LOVING ME.
I get it, world. Taylor Swift's apartment is Mount Olympus and we mere mortals are only invited in under rare and exceptional circumstances. But listen up, y'all. While we wait to get invited into Taylor's squad, we're going to do one better: Become the Taylor Swift of our own damn squad. LEARN BY DOING, EVERYONE. LEARN BY DOING. Here's how to assemble your own Tay Squad:
Get outta your comfort zone
You know how Taylor met half her new squad? By hauling her whole life up to the Big Apple with nobody but herself. (OK, plus her two cats, who I strongly suspect are government operatives trained to protect her from the alien cat race of beautiful singers who dropped her off here 25 years ago and might well someday come back to collect. But I digress.) I'm not saying you have to make a change as whoa-worthy as that in your life, but you should push your limits. Go take a class in something you suck in. Go hang out in those cool parts of town you always meant to hang out in but never did. Why limit yourself to a Friendship Puddle when you can have a Friendship Ocean?!
Support, don't compete
Taylor Swift words to live by:
I surround myself with smart, beautiful, passionate, driven, ambitious women. Other women who are killing it should motivate you, thrill you, challenge you and inspire you rather than threaten you and make you feel like you’re immediately being compared to them.
So don't just make sure that you're finding "good friends". Make sure that you're being a good friend, and supporting their endeavors wholeheartedly, even in the instances when you want the same thing.
Treasure the old friends with the new
Don't be focusing on making a whole new squad and let your original besties fall to the way side. There is forever a special place in your heart for the friends that knew you pimply and hormonally wrecked as a teen, the friends who stayed up until midnight for Harry Potter book releases with you, the ones who still have pictures of that horrible sailboat romper you earnestly tried to make "happen" in the summer of 2008. That kind of bond transcends squad-ing.
Be your own weird self
In the time that she was single, Taylor became more Taylor than she ever was. "Life can be romantic without having a romance. I’m very attracted to how happy I am now," she said in an interview with Cosmo in December 2014. When she wasn't openly looking for a relationship, she had time to explore all her side projects, like water coloring and baking and looking adorable on beaches. Once she started doing stuff for herself, the friends all just started to accumulate. People are drawn to people with a strong sense of self, and the more you own it, the happier you will be in your friendships.
Make time for yourself, too
Taylor's journey in the past few years hasn't all been about squadding up, so much as it's been exploring herself. To quote Jess Day in New Girl, "If Taylor Swift can live alone in New York, just think what you can do!" You know who should be your best friend in any squad you're a part of? YOU. You should love yourself every bit as much as you love your friends, and there is no way to do that unless you pencil in some much needed Me Time to write songs about Harry Styles and pet your cats.
Be a ridiculously talented singer/songwriter with a prized loft apartment and a personality of glitter and greatness
LIFE HACK: Just become Taylor Swift. NBD. I believe in us.