Isn’t isn’t isn’t.
Seeing Taylor in concert on August 4th 2018, was a little bit of an ‘out-of-body’ experience. It’s really weird to explain the feeling, of seeing an artist who you remember since elementary school, seeing them in the same room as you, breathing the same air.
I promise I’m normal (well, debatable), I mean I’m usually never in ‘fan mode’ for singers, I just enjoy their music and that’s that. We’re all humans, we’re not going to put one above the other on a pedestal, just because they are known more than another.
But sometimes it’s hard to remember these logical things, when you physically see them. But even so, it’s never about the celebrity status for me. I think I got a little starstruck because this human that I’ve loved ever since I can remember is singing songs that I listened to growing up. As I listen, I am transported back in time to middle school, high school, my old houses, etc. I’ve been in love with her song lyrics for almost 10 years, and hearing her sing them live and re-live those memories, is pretty enchanting I think (haha).
The way that her words sound to me, the intense detail beyond meaning, collection of quick-witted words, metaphors, poetry, just everything about her writing abilities gives me chills. Her songs have embedded stories in them from the very beginning, and each song has one. There’s always such a high level of depth in them, honesty and vulnerability, that I haven’t seen in a lot of other artist’s music. Now I don’t know every artist out there, and obviously everyone’s style is so different, but she’s so personal in her songs. That’s really rare today, when everyone is on about hook-ups, parties, drugs etc. Every twinkle of emotion that’s written by her, is felt.
The fact that she gets scrutinized for opening up her diary to the world and expressing her feelings, I think is such a cruel response on our part as a society. Society encourages people to be who they want to be, to be their true selves, to explore parts of yourselves and that people will love you for you. And then to ridicule a person for the way they feel? I think that degrades the values that we are supposed to be learning. How are we supposed to embrace who we are and learn to feel the validity of our feelings and emotions when the second someone does, it gets burned down.
“When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” -Louis C.K.
I’ve never seen any other artist open themselves up so intimately as when I listen to Taylor’s lyrics. Maybe a lot of people can’t relate, but personally for me-a person who feels deeply, cares a lot, is very emotional-can relate to a lot of her songs. She just happens to have very strong emotions, which is the recipe of her creative genius because she harbours that, and turns emotions into bleeding song lyrics that everyone else who is bleeding, can mutually heal their wounds with. The imagery she is gifted with, is impeccable.
So if you can’t relate, go listen to Flo Rida or something. But don’t hate on people who are just different than you. I think the root of the problem comes down with people who don’t feel as much and deny their emotions, not understanding someone who takes those emotions and turns them into something beautiful.
I truly believe that by seeing that you’re not alone in this world with how you feel and the way you react to situations, can have the power to heal you.
To have someone be so vulnerable, to have someone pour out their heart and soul and say ‘this is how I feel,’ helps me to understand my feelings, and realize that they are valid. It’s almost like once people get uncomfortable with the level of emotions they can’t handle on you anymore, they label it ‘clingy’ ’emotional’ ‘too much to handle’. To have someone sing about the things you’re feeling, like feeling broken about not being enough for someone, like being obsessed at the thought of being with someone, rush of emotions, wanting things to last, knowing that it’s so totally normal to feel alone when moving out, in love with the idea of somebody, wanting something special like a fairytale etc.
Maybe it’s because I write a lot too, and have always had a fascination with poetry, with words and metaphors, that I appreciate every single word she puts together. But these words, this emotional relief is not only therapeutic to create, but to listen to.
I remember the first time I heard of her in Teardrops on my Guitar, I fell in love instantly. There was this girl that was pouring out all her feelings, and that insecurity-mixed together with my own insecurity- created this connection.
I still get chills listening to her old music. A Place in This World, Today was a Fairytale, Fifteen, Invisible, Love Story, Hey Stephen, White Horse, Fearless, and of course You Belong With Me.
I mean I know it wasn’t only me who wished that a cute boy lived beside my house and that the video could be my life. I re-watched it the other day, and it said it was from 9 years ago. I almost fainted. 9 years. 9 YEARS.
She has this gift of capturing a specific moment in time that people usually overthink. The first day of high-school, the beauty of your mother’s support, never wanting your sibling to grow up but stay innocent, moving out onto your own, that switch between being friends and just knowing you were meant to be, that new beginning etc.
She writes what she goes through, much like an author will write a novel about characters and situations that mimic their reality (or at least a part of it). Much like documentaries, tv shows and movies that depict real-life happenings. This isn’t new people, writers write about their life (shocking??)
Basically to have someone feel so much, it gives me peace knowing that I feel too much, and that’s okay. Because she went and turned it into art, beautiful masterpieces that affect so many people. I wonder if she ever knew the impact she’d have on people. Like when I think of my childhood I think of her. I remember having her song Hey Stephen in my little purple mp3 player (that only held 30 songs), walking on the field at recess time in elementary school and being completely in the moment.
She was the first and only person I bought a physical album for, when Speak Now came out. I think that one is still one of my top favourite albums, the songs there are just magical. The lyrics of Enchanted were my Facebook “About me” quote for like a good 7 years. I’m listening to the song now, and it’s still as enchanting as it was back then. She holds so many memories. She holds a part of who I used to be, my innocence, my ignorance, my blissfulness.
I’m just so proud of her talent, her strength, her kind soul and artistic mind. Seeing that same smile on stage, the exact same smile that I remember when she was like 15, was such a precious moment for me. Singing all the words to her songs, having Should’ve Said No as a throwback, it was just so special.
And now I’m listening to Mine again. She has a curiosity and fascination with the concept of love, (trust me I spent the whole day after the concert watching her interviews, I’m not kidding 12 hours of interviews). She understands the psychology of it, and paints such a lovely story of human relationships, connections, and their growth.
It’s really weird to have listened to these songs when I was like 8, pretending I knew exactly what she was singing about. Being sad about a relationship that didn’t exist (that’s the power of Taylor Swift). But it’s also puzzling to listen back to these songs after an experience, and have the words REALLY come to life for you. I remember listening to White Horse, and bawling.
I have to admit, I really think the softer songs suit her more than the more ‘pop-y radio-y’ songs. Songs like Shake it Off, 22, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, I Knew You Were Trouble, Bad Blood, Look What You Made Me Do etc. are fun, but they’re not what I gravitate towards. I gravitate towards Delicate (omg my fav!), Mine (the video is GORGEOUS teehee), Enchanted, If This Was A Movie, Begin Again (um have you watched the video?? It’s pure art!), This Love etc. I think the most soulful kind of songs suit her the best, but hey, I’m all for her exploring different! She remains the same because her lyrics still contain the same emotional intelligence and wit they have always had.
I agree, her Reputation album was so different than anything she’s done before. But I loved it. Of course I loved some songs more than others, but I realized that I really enjoy the savage Taylor. Sometimes you have to be savage and not feel guilty about it, sometimes caring about everybody and everything can be so detrimental. I love that she learned to laugh at herself and let everything go, and I’m beyond happy for her because she seems like she’s in such an amazing place right now, a place she deserves to be.
Because she’s only human. Sometimes we forget that these people have the same longings as any other: to connect with another soul. She mentioned that in the concert too, that to connect with someone is truly the greatest thing we all want and strive for.
The poem she had about why she disappeared hit me so hard. I always knew she was an amazing writer obviously, but it still surprises me because it’s like she’s constantly upping her game (how is that even possible??).
Here it is:
When she fell, she fell apart. Cracked her bones on the pavement she once decorated as a child with sidewalk chalk When she crashed, her clothes disintegrated and blew away with the winds that took all of her fair-weather friends
When she looked around, her skin was spattered with ink forming the words of a thousand voices Echoes she heard even in her sleep: “Whatever you say, it is not right.” “Whatever you do, it is not enough.” “Your kindness is fake.” “Your pain is manipulative.”
When she lay there on the ground, She dreamed of time machines and revenge and a love that was really something, Not just the idea of something.
When she finally rose, she rose slowly Avoiding old haunts and sidestepping shiny pennies Wary of phone calls and promises, Charmers, dandies and get-love-quick-schemes
When she stood, she stood with a desolate knowingness Waded out into the dark, wild ocean up to her neck Bathed in her brokenness Said a prayer of gratitude for each chink in the armor she never knew she needed Standing broad-shouldered next to her was a love that was really something, not just the idea of something.
When she turned to go home, She heard the echoes of new words “May your heart remain breakable But never by the same hand twice” And even louder: “without your past, you could never have arrived- so wondrously and brutally, By design or some violent, exquisite happenstance …here.”
And in the death of her reputation, She felt truly alive.
Did you get chills?? Man, I wish she could release this out to the public.
Click here to watch it!
Going to see her in concert made me want to meet her and be best friends with her. So I’m making a pact with myself, I WILL meet her one day. ONE DAY, it’s going to happen people.
I mean it’s true, we don’t really know people’s real hearts. We put up this image, this front that we want people to see, so we’ll never truly know how people are unless we get close.
But in any way, her words will always continue to enchant me.
Is it cool that I said all that? Is it chill that you’re in my head? ‘Cause I know that it’s delicate.
Isn’t it. Isn’t it. Isn’t it.