Stories for Taylor: My Story
I figured since I am posting all these stories of how Taylor has inspired her Swifties I should post my own so you (and hopefully Taylor) can get to know me a little better and find out why I became a devoted fan (I’ve never been this kind of fan of anyone before). Prepare yourself, this is personal and a bit long.
Taylor’s career took off in 2006 with her first album, and the story I’ll tell you begins that same year. In January of 2006 my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and my world was forever changed. I knew by that summer I would no longer have a father on this earth, which seemed unimaginable. I was 25.
Some things leave scars that never quite heal like showing your dad the place he is going to be buried, trying to find the words to tell him he can let go and not being able to do it, watching your mom kiss him goodbye in the casket for the last time, and trying your very best to get through singing at his funeral because he asked you to do it (but not really making it).
What people don’t tell you about pain is that you have to deal with it, feel it, and let it go or it just stays inside you, damaging you for as long as it’s there. Walking through a lot of rainstorms does make you clean, but you must actually walk through them, not run away.
But I didn’t know that and I was SO tired of hurting that I did everything I could get away from it. However, doing that built a wall around my heart and while I didn’t feel the excruciating grief anymore, I didn’t feel true connection, love, and joy either (that also included my love of music which was pretty much my identity in high school). I think that’s why I didn’t find Taylor earlier, I’d definitely heard her music and liked it, but nothing more. I’m sad I missed all those years.
Finally, a little over a year ago, coinciding pretty closely with the release of 1989, I decided that I wasn’t really living and it was time for a change, it was time to find me again.
I loved a lot of the music on 1989, but it wasn’t until I took my nephew to Taylor’s concert in Detroit that Taylor’s amazing presence and her music started to make its way through the cracks in my walls and into my heart. I loved that night so I decided to buy tickets to her first show in DC. That was the first night in 10 years that I finally danced again like no one was watching, I finally felt music in my soul again.
I found someone selling their tickets for DC night two and went again. It was a magical experience and like Taylor says, I was able to leave everything behind for those few hours. But more than that, I took some of Taylor’s magic home with me.
This was a turning point. It’s not like all that grief and trouble is gone, but Taylor brought music back to my heart again, she helped crack open that shell I’d built all those years ago. For that I will always be grateful. I’m finally walking out of the woods onto that beautiful beach.
Taylor, I love you for the amazing woman that you are, thank you for being you and for having the courage, drive, and determination to live your dreams. You are an inspiration to me and so many. I hope in some small way I can give to others what you have given to me. @taylorswift