On October 24, I had the privilege of attending Taylor Swift's "1989" tour concert in Atlanta. It was the first time I had ever seen her in concert; my childhood idol was in the same general vicinity as me, and my heart could not have been any happier.
After the concert's euphoria subsided, it dawned on me that I am among the generation that grew up with Taylor Swift. At first, I thought, “Huh, that's cool," but then I got to thinking… as she grew up, as she wrote these songs, I was about the same age as her, halfway across the country, feeling the exact same things and undergoing extremely similar situations. Taylor has always and always will write from the heart, and to be among the group of girls who can connect with her on an immediate personal level is, in my book, an honor.
I remember when her very first album came out. I was in fourth grade, hanging out in my best friend's room. She turned to me and asked, “Have you ever heard of Taylor Swift?" Pretending I did, I nodded my head, and my friend proceeded to play “Mary's Song (Oh My My My)," and I listened; with an open heart, closed eyes, and a sense of wonderment, I listened.
Ever since that day, I have followed all of Taylor's footsteps to fame, even the bad ones, with a true heartfelt appreciation for her and her music. She dated the boys my friends and I would rave about, she looked the way we all wished we could've, and she sang about things we all seemed to be going through.
I can vouch for every girl that I grew up with that we all connected with Taylor at some point in our lives; there was always some song about some boy and some crazy situation that seemed to reflect exactly what we were thinking and feeling. It seemed as though she somehow knew how to dip her pen into all of our lives and write a song about what she saw.
Her 1989 Atlanta concert was the first time I got the privilege to see her live. My best friend and I sat behind a cute girl who couldn't have been any older than 12, who was just as excited as us to see her heroine storm the stage… or at least it seemed that way, until my best friend and I were bawling our eyes out when Taylor decided to sing “Fifteen" with the audience and the little girl just sat there perplexed at what song she could possibly be singing.
Throughout the concert, she often turned around and looked at my best friend and I like we were crazy to be so enchanted at all of the lyrics. All of us Taylor generation girls belted out "Fifteen" and every other song at the tops of our lungs, because we knew. We knew what Taylor was singing about because we were those 15-year-olds singing about our best friend Abigail in class, just like Taylor.
To see the change between the girl she used to be to the woman she is now is breathtaking; I never have more hope for my future than when I think of all the things Taylor went through to get to where she is now; I am right there with her, fighting for my own happy ending and doing what I love most to be where I want to be.
Never in my wildest dreams would my fourth-grade self believe that the girl singing about teardrops on her guitar would take the world by storm and represent every single one of us Taylor Generation girls, fans of her music or not. You see, we're the lucky ones. No other generation has had a representative like this speak so openly about what all of them were going through.
We got the chance to have our hearts spilled out into song lyrics that we didn't even write, by a girl we didn't actually know. We got to go through all of our pains, joys, breakups, friendships, and personal discoveries with our best friend Taylor Swift narrating them all for us – that is something that no one else but our wonderful generation can say.
Taylor Swift has rocked our worlds, to say the very least. She has taken the world by storm and shown everyone what it is like to be confident, vulnerable, and inspirational in such a demanding business. She has given all of us hope and a hand to hold in our pasts and going into our futures. She had the heart to bring her fans into her fame and her life, instead of running off with her accomplishments like most stars would do. To have grown up feeling like I have a friend in her music is one of the greatest blessings I could imagine.
From the girls who drew heart-shaped tattoos on our feet, we love you, Taylor. Long live.