I’ve got fond memories of sitting on the bus heading to marching band competitions in the seat behind the emergency exit while I ate LaffyTaffy. My friend and I would share headphones and listen to music, everything from Kesha’s “Take it Off” to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” But the best of all the music was none other than Taylor Swift.
Belting out T-Swift music was—and still is—the perfect way to pass time. Back then I thought that “Haunted,” “Back to December” and “Picture to Burn” were personally written for me. For most of the songs, I even had people that I pretended that I was singing them to. I’m sure every other girl and T-Swift fan did the same thing.
Prior to "Red" and "1989," I didn’t have any of her albums—only a random collection of songs I’d accumulated. I put those songs on a CD and jammed out to them in my car or on road trips. But those two albums replaced all of those songs and eventually found their way at very back of car’s CD case.
The other day I pulled it out. Immediately “Back to December” came on and memories came flooding back. Memories of high school and what that song once meant to me, but now I just wasn’t into it. So the next song, “Better than Revenge,” came on and I was like, OK, this is cool. Eventually kept going on and I reached my favorite, “Haunted.”
But the blasé feeling came back.
Don’t get me wrong, T-Swift is like royalty to me—I listen to her music religiously because she’s one of five singers/bands that I tend to rotate between. What I realized is, though, is that I’ve matured.
Nowadays, “Shake it Off” or “Wonderland” comes on and I’m immediately into it. I like to write and one of my most inspirational songs is always “All Too Well.”
I’ve somehow found this place where Taylor Swift’s older music seems young and I can’t relate to it (as much, because it’s still T-Swift and all her music is fantastic). The thing is, she’s matured, too, and it just so happened to have occurred along a similar timeline as me—even if when she was singing about being 22 I wasn’t even out of high school yet.
I think that back then Taylor was only represented by her music. But now, Taylor represents Taylor. Her music is just something that comes out of that. She’s her own being and she has so much more to offer than I think people realize: empowerment, confidence, positivity, humbleness. Her music has come to reflect all of that because she’s been writing songs that are more powerful and filled with more depth.
When I realized that, I took out that CD, put in "Red" and started jamming, even with the well-known head banging from the Grammys a few years ago, to “All Too Well.” I got into it, loved it, and realized that I’ve grown.
Not just because I’m not on a bus living off of LaffyTaffy and trying to use my telepathic powers to put music into others’ heads so they know my feelings toward them, but because I realized I’ve gotten over that phase.
Then again, maybe I haven’t.