Talking ‘Squads’ &
Introducing The Elgin Avenue’s first ever contributor . . . !
Today I am so excited to share a brand new post with you from The Elgin Avenue’s first ever contributor!
I am so delighted to introduce you to the wonderful Chelsea Becker. I got to know Chelsea and her beautiful writing through a number of pieces Chelsea wrote, which I found myself nodding along too, and thinking “gosh, this girl gets me!”.
As The Elgin Avenue and my businesses grow, it’s hugely important to me that this welcoming corner of the internet remains nourished and loved. I treasure you, and want you to continue to read uplifting and inspiring content every week.
Chelsea is coming on board as The Elgin Avenue’s first contributor and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share her first article with you. Chelsea and I are working hand in hand on every piece and each of the topics we share with you is something which rings true in my life, and hopefully yours too!
I am so excited to introduce Chelsea to you, here’s a little ‘get to know me’ from Chelsea herself . . .
Get To Know Our First Contributor! Chelsea Becker ❤️
Since graduating college, I’ve been writing and also run a company called becker editorial.
Other than working, I enjoy spending time at the beach (I’m a true California girl, born and raised in sunny San Diego!) with my fiancé Ken and dog Cal, watching sports, being active, and brunching with my girlfriends.
I recently turned 30 and have to say it’s my favorite chapter yet, other than the fact that I can’t have a glass of wine without being hungover the next day, ha! I’m really excited for life as a 30-something and what’s to come.
I’m truly grateful for a passion that spills over into my work and can’t wait to get to know everyone more!
How To Define Your Squad Criteria
As we get older, life gets more demanding – it’s just a fact, right?
Jobs come with more responsibility, love lives get serious, free time tends to lessen, and one of the biggest shifts that I’ve experienced is true friendships become even more invaluable, and fair weather friendships begin to fade.
Somewhere along the way, your world doesn’t revolve around going out with friends 24/7 or binging on reality TV every night. You don’t have time for the seven different groups you used to hang with. Even keeping in touch with certain people via text message starts feeling like a chore.
“it can get a bit confusing when it comes to knowing which relationships are valuable and worthy of your energy or which ones should live in acquaintance land instead. The key, in my opinion, is developing a squad criteria.”
And while that’s totally natural, it can get a bit confusing when it comes to knowing which relationships are valuable and worthy of your energy or which ones should live in acquaintance land instead.
The key, in my opinion, is developing a squad criteria. One that you keep in mind as you journey through the ups and downs of friendships. A checklist of sorts – similar to the kind you’d make when finding a partner. Because limited free time, and energy, makes filling those moments with only the people who lift us up, bring us joy and genuinely create a loving friendship, a necessity. We all owe that to ourselves!
Here are a few things that have stood out to me along the way . . .
4 ways in which I define my squad criteria
1 – No icky feelings
If I have lunch or a scheduled Skype with one of my closest friends, I simply can’t wait to see or hear them. It’s a natural excitement that occurs when a friendships feels good. The best part of my day!
On the other hand, there are certain dates that don’t feel the same. Ones that I stress about – How can I cancel? Perhaps she’ll cancel? – and feel…icky. There’s no looking forward to it and instead, feelings of anxiety and dread hover.
Sound familiar? Some friendships simply aren’t meant to happen or to last, and that’s 100% fine. Your gut will tell you when you should remove that friendship from your priority list; it’s pretty amazing how our instincts take over. I’ve even found that the other person rarely seems to mind – they are likely feeling the same and the forced friendship is happening on both ends. Relief for everyone!
“My most treasured connections are ones where we have similar big goals”
2 – Take the ego out
When I look back to trying my hardest to keep in touch with relationships that didn’t necessarily flow, I notice something they all have in common. My ego was attached.
Maybe that person was popular and I felt cool being friends with them, maybe she was a gossiper and I wanted to stay on her good side, maybe I’d been friends with them for 25 years and felt guilty not keeping in contact.
Instead of connecting friendships to your ego or others’ expectations of you, I find it’s much more fair – to yourself and them – to be in friendships for nothing but internal contentment. Be in a squad or friendship because it’s making YOU TWO happy, not anyone else.
3 – Establish deep interests
My most treasured connections are ones where we have similar big goals (living a balanced, intentional life), values (being a kind person), and lifestyle choices (pushing each other to stay active and creative with our free time). Ones that radiate positivity and optimism vs. negativity and judgement, because that’s incredibly important to me personally. Friendships that bring out my strongest characteristics, even when I’m dealing with something tough.
Maybe your values are being a mega #girlboss and you connect best with people laser-focused on building their business. Or maybe your lifestyle choices involve rescuing animals and volunteering every weekend, and that’s where you’ll find your star squad. Whatever your values and goals are, it seems like building a squad around those things is a smart place to start.
4 – Make it worth it
Your squad should always been worthy of your time and vice versa.
Worth the deep soul connections that make you feel like you’re not alone in certain circumstances, worth the belly laughs that double as a workout that only true relationships can give us, worth the hangovers from too much champagne at dinner the night before, and worth every tear you wipe from each other’s cheeks in times of support.
At the end of the day, relationships take effort, but the good ones are always worth it.
What’s Your Take?
No matter how difficult, remember that your life is full of decisions that you’re in control of, and the people you surround yourself with are one of the choices that affects you most. Simply do not settle for the ones that don’t bring out the absolute best in you – you deserve more than that!
I’d love nothing more than to hear from you. What’s your squad criteria? What’s your journey with friendships looked like? Do you agree that getting older makes for less but stronger relationships? Does your ego get in the way?
Love Chelsea x
P.S. A note from Monica: This week’s episode of Let’s Discuss Show is all about friendships too! Click here to listen via the website, or search for: ‘Let’s Discuss Podcast’ in iTunes or your podcast app.