In light of her performance in Austin this past weekend, and the 10-year anniversary of her first album marked yesterday, it has been widely speculated that Taylor Swift will drop a Beyoncé-esque surprise album to celebrate. And while I’m not one to dig through statements made and necklaces worn to try and find clues for when/if new music is on its way, all this talk has been putting me in the mood to listen to the T-Swift discography (for the umpteenth time).
Over the years, the subjects of her songs have been widely speculated, yet never completely figured out, because let’s face it, no matter how hard journalists try, T-Sweezy’s lyrics will forever be the Gretchen Wieners hair of music.
In fact, one thing I’m sure no one has ever noticed about a number of Taylor Swift songs is that they are completely and totally about me.
And everyone, really.
See, for so long people have focused on who she’s singing her song about, instead of taking advantage of the song she’s given you to sing to yourself.
For no matter how many relationships we find ourselves in, the most important will always be the one we have with ourselves. And that relationship more than any other needs love and attention and the occasional emotional ballad or sassy clap back anthem.
Lucky for us, T-Swizz provides both. Here are a few of my favorites:
The Moment I Knew
Anxiety is a bitch, as is fear, and there have been situations and experiences in my life in which I’ve completely set myself up for failure, simply because I could not be removed from the fear I created regarding the outcome. In this song, Taylor Swift sings about someone who never shows up, leading her to realize the relationship is not right. When I sing this song, I envision that “person” to be a version of myself that would have been fearless (zing). Someone that would have jumped out of their comfort zone and tried new things. And I relate “the moment” to when I realize that I’ve let the fear win and it has cost me a wonderful experience. This is both a hard and important discovery to make, because while it admits to fear, it also kick-starts our journey to overcome it.
Taylor openly admitted she wrote this song about a critic who wanted nothing more than to tear her down, but for me, I need look no further than my own mind to find a similarly harmful voice set on doing the same thing to myself. What I love about this song is that T-Swift isn’t pretending that the voice isn’t there. She’s not denying that she has critics, or haters (whom we would later learn will just continue to hate hate hate hate hate), she’s calling them out and firing back with a banjo led monologue about self-confidence.
I take this song with me almost everywhere I go, because like Taylor’s critics, my negative self will always be there running its mouth where it’s not supposed to. But at the end of the day, when I’m feeling beautiful and alive and ready to conquer the world, I’ll be big enough so it can’t hit me, because all it’s ever gonna be is mean.
Quick PSA: I’m not sorry for all these cheesy Sweezy puns. Or for calling them that.
The other day I was getting ready to go out to dinner and was having one of those nights where nothing in my closet fit right. This top was too big, that one was too small, I was too fat, I was too short, etc. etc. After a while, I was on the verge of tears, convinced I shouldn’t even go out because I would offend people with my unsightly appearance. But as I sat on the floor, still looking at myself in the mirror and attempting to find every little detail of myself that I hated, I paused.
Why was I doing this? I had been so excited to get dressed up, so why had I ruined it by focusing so hard on the superficial? If something in my mind didn’t shift, we were going to have problems and we wouldn’t be able to solve ‘em. We’re talking some Band-Aid vs. bullet hole situations.
So, with another scan of my closet, I reached for an outfit that I knew I felt good in. And although it wasn’t made out of leather, and I didn’t walk down the street in slow motion with explosions happening behind me, I decided right then and there to wear the hell out of that outfit, just to spite that negative person that kept saying “no”.
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Me: We’re going to have a great day!
Negative Mind: No you’re not.
Me: You’re Right.
Me a few seconds later: No, you know what, I’M GOING TO HAVE A GREAT DAY.
Negative mind: But—
Negative mind: But—
Me: Why do I even listen to you? I really shouldn’t….like ever.
At the end of the day we could all stand to sing a few more breakup songs to that negative voice that tries to bring us down. After all it’s a just a hater, and it’s just gonna hate hate hate hate hate, and we’re the only ones who can truly shake shake shake shake shake it off.