I'm going to admit something that I'm not particularly proud of - I used to be one of those people that really intensely disliked Taylor Swift. She always seemed a tad self-involved and vengeful and just kind of annoying. The cherry on top of this ice-cold hater sundae: she allegedly dated A LOT of really attractive, super talented, and undeniably desirable men. One of whom I have been in a very serious imaginary relationship with for quite some time now (Those of you who know me won't have any trouble determining who that is). All in all, it was just irritating and yes, I felt a little jealous. Which is really incredibly hard to admit.
But recently, I've had a bit of a change of heart. October 2014 marked the release of Taylor's newest album, 1989. And I found myself singing along to her latest hits despite my greatest efforts not to. Swiftie or not, she's one talented chick, and her new pop style album is absolutely wicked. So, I did a little research. Watched interviews, read stories, etc.
An Instagram of mine from approximately 31 weeks ago. My love of cookies is not a new thing. Good ole' chocolate chip.
An Instagram of Taylor's from approximately 14 weeks ago. Her love of cookies, also not new.
Chai sugar cookies with eggnog icing. Ummm...yum. Major points for creativity here.
Taylor Swift is not perfect. I am not perfect. No one is perfect. Taylor Swift has certainly made mistakes. She’s said some things and done some things that perhaps weren't really all that smart. But for goodness sakes, who hasn't in their younger years? The difference between her and the rest of us is that Taylor had to make those mistakes with the whole world watching. And oftentimes, she isn't given the luxury of moving forward from them as those of us not living in the public eye can. That stupid thing you said to your ex? Well it just withers away with the passing time. For Taylor? It’s forever recorded in the annals of YouTube history. That time you tripped and fell and it was like, super embarrassing? Try doing it on stage in front of thousands of people. That guy you broke up with years ago? He’s just a part of the past. For Taylor? There’s a new gossipy headline to read every morning. I know if I were under that amount of scrutiny, I’d lose my sanity and promptly crawl into a hole somewhere.
But here’s what really changed my perspective. In a recent interview she did with Rolling Stone (you can find it here), T-Swift said this about her band of outrageously beautiful, successful, driven and talented female bffs. "It's like this blazing bonfire. You can either be afraid of it because it's so powerful and strong, or you can go stand near it, because it's fun and it makes you brighter." That triple scoop hater sundae I mentioned earlier? Reading this made it melt away in seconds. What a show of strength, I thought. Instead of feeling intimidated or threatened by these equally beautiful and gifted women, she gravitates toward them, in search of only friendship. She does not feel that their achievements or talents belittle her own. Instead, they lift her up and inspire her. I really appreciated this side of her that I’d never seen. Perhaps it wasn’t there before. Or maybe I just wasn’t looking for it. I can’t really give you an answer on that one, but I do know that I’m glad I found it.
I don't know Taylor and I most likely will never know her. I do not dislike her. I also do not idolize her. But I do respect her a great deal. I admire her bravery and her confidence. I admire her for the way she handles her uber celebrity status and her overwhelmingly unprivate lifestyle. It can't be easy. But her fire, it just keeps on blazing. So instead of shying away from it, I'm gonna walk my ass over to it and sit the fuck down for a little while. And while I'm there, I'll enjoy the warmth, soak in all the light, and let those raging flames make my own fire burn that much brighter.
Much love, thanks for reading, and as always…