We Have a "Clean" Speech for Whatever You're Feeling
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One of the most popular parts of Taylor Swift's 1989 World Tour was when Taylor would be on the b-stage (which is the end of her extremely long catwalk that lifts into the air and rotates as she sings and dances) and makes a speech before her moving song Clean. I, personally, waited until my show to listen to any clean speeches or performances of the song which made it that much more special for me. These speeches mean the world to the fans as she covers every troubling situation you could be in. Here are a few for whenever you're feeling anything.

(thank you to wildest-swift on tumblr for documenting all of the clean speeches!)

When you're feeling sad...

"And the thing, you know… the thing about happiness is that I’m so happy looking at you right now. I really am. And I hope that as many of you out there as possible are happy looking back at me right now. Cause, um, here’s… here’s the myth about happiness. The myth is that we’re gonna be happy all the time, because that… that isn’t true. And I think that for us to be expected to feel happy all the time would be unfair. Happiness is fleeting, happiness is… it happens in these unique, rare, beautiful, fantastic moments – these little glimpses we get of it. Like right now, this is a glimpse I’m getting of happiness. Um, and I’m not always going to feel happy, and you’re not always going to feel happy. We’re going to go through these phases in our lives, some of which are like a bunch of rainy days in a row, some of the phases we’re gonna go through are going to feel like… like the sun’s never gonna come out, and they’re never gonna clear up. But, in those moments, um, when you turn to music and you turn to me, when you don’t understand what’s going on – just know that I turn to you and I think about you when I’m going through that. So we’re in this together, aren’t we? And, moving forward, when you are having those moments where you just don’t understand why things are happening the way that they are happening, or you don’t know where you are going with your life, or you lose someone that you never thought you would lose, or you lose yourself – I want you to look in the mirror and remind yourself of what you are, and what you are not, okay? You are not someone else’s opinion of you. You are not damaged goods because you’ve made mistakes in your life. You are not going nowhere just because you’re not where you wanted to end up yet. Here is what I want you to remind yourself of what you are. You are someone who is wiser because you have the bravery to make mistakes. You are someone who has walked through rainstorm after rainstorm and keeps putting one foot in front of the other. And here’s one thing I learned in 25 years of life – and I’m still learning every day – but I have learned that pain does make you stronger and walking through a bunch of rainstorms doesn’t make you damaged goods. It makes you clean." (June 2nd, Louisville, Kentucky)


When you feel like you're not enough...

"And it’s why you’re here tonight – because we all process pain the same exact way and we process joy the same way. We need a song that describes those emotions and when we find that song it’s like falling in love. Um, and you know I, I talk to you on the internet, and I talk to you when I meet you, and when we talk, it becomes very clear to me that every single person here could be going through something really tough, and really difficult, and you’re putting on a smile, and you go to a concert, and you’re being strong, and you’re powering through it, and you’re having fun in spite of whatever is complicated in your life, and I want to thank you for that, thank you for having fun with me tonight. Cause here’s the thing – in 2015, even if someone else isn’t trying to tell you you’re not good enough, or you’re not the right definition of beauty, or that you’re not the right standard of perfection – even if someone else isn’t telling you that, sometimes we look in the mirror and tell ourselves that. And there’s nothing that you can really do to stop having those bad days, and there’s nothing you can do to avoid those going through really tough times where it feels like… it feels like things are kinda pointless sometimes. And, um, it feels like you’re walking through all these rainy days and it’s never getting brighter. And I want you to know that every single one of us in this room has gone through that, too, and we will continue to have to fight those battles our entire lives. But…but, when this happens to you please, please if there’s one thing you to remember from tonight, I want you to look in the mirror – instead of telling yourself that you should be like someone else, or you should be something you’re not, or you should know the answers to questions that you don’t know yet – I want you to look in the mirror and remind yourself of what you are, and what you are not. Alright? You are not someone else’s opinion of you. You are not damaged goods if you’ve made mistakes. You’re not going nowhere just because you haven’t arrived at your final destination yet. Those are the things you’re not. Let me tell you what you are, alright? You are your own definition of beautiful, and worthwhile. That’s what you are. You are someone who is wiser because they made mistakes, and you are someone who I consider brave if you’ve taken the risks it takes to make mistakes in your life. That’s what you are. And, lastly, you are a person who has gone through tough times, who has had insecurities, who has felt out of place, who could going through any of those things right now – but instead, you decided to put one foot in front of the other, move on with things and go have the best time ever at a concert on a Saturday night. That’s what you are. And I am a person who has had things said about me that wasn’t true and I have read things on headlines that felt wrong, and I always had you to count on. And so I had the courage to move to a new city, and cut my hair, and go to London and write a song with an artist I had always admired – her name is Imogen Heap and this song that we wrote together is called Clean." (June 13th, Philadelphia night 3)

"I’m just thinking about the fact that we have people here from so many different places makes me think about the fact that everybody here has, you know, different upbringings, or hobbies, and different things that they’re scared of, different things that make them happy. But the one thing that we all have in common is that when we feel great amounts of joy, or great amounts of pain, we turn to music. That’s why we’re in this stadium tonight, all of us. Which makes me think about what I said about feeling great amounts of pain, because, you know, we listen to music when we’re celebrating, but we also listen to music when we’re heartbroken, and alone, and scared, and confused. And, um, you know what’s so crazy about, um, about being happy, or trying to be happy, in 2015 is that we have so many ways that we can compare our lives to other people’s, and so many ways that we can find that our life maybe falls short of what other people have going on. So that’s something that we’re all battling as far as self-esteem. And I see it every single day when I… when I go and look at what you’re doing online. I see what you go through in a negative sense. I see, like, the things that make you feel terrified of the future, or, you know, when you look in the mirror and you’re not seeing what other people see – you’re seeing… this voice in your head is telling you that you’re somehow not special enough. You’re not cool enough. Um, and I think that, more now than ever, we absolutely beat ourselves up. And sometimes, you know, other people are mean, but the voices inside our own heads can be so much more cruel, because we don’t know how to turn them off. Um, and I think that what I’m trying to tell you is that it’s okay if you’ve made mistakes in your life – every single person in this 55,000 seat stadium has made mistakes in their life. You don’t have to carry it with you. And I would also like to point out, that looking at every single one of you, I’m very well aware that every single one of you may be missing someone, or might have just gotten really hurt by something, or you’ve got these ghosts and scars that you carry with you. But rather than dwelling on them, you got up, and you put on an outfit, and you went to a stadium to a concert, and now we’re having the best time ever instead of you dwelling on any of it. So no matter what you’ve been through – no matter what you’ve gone through that makes you feel like maybe you wish you hadn’t said that, you wish you had done that – just give yourself a break. Please, for me, take it easy on yourselves. It’s hard enough to live with what other people have to say. Please let the voices in your head be nice to you. And, um, please know that making mistakes doesn’t make you damaged, or tarnished. I think it makes you clean." (July 18, Chicago, night 1)

When you feel like your dreams just won't come true...

"I’m looking out into this crowd and thinking about the fact that it is one of the best crowds that I have ever played to. When I was a little kid, and dream about being a singer – I didn’t even dream about crowds that are this good. And I sit there, and I think about the fact that every single one of you who are screaming and dancing, and being amazing tonight – every one of you – every one of you might be going through something difficult right at this moment. Every one of you might be having one of those insecure days where you just feel like nothing you put on fits, nothing you do to your hair looks good, you can’t figure out where you want to go with your life – we all have these days. And maybe you had one of those days waking up this morning. But the point is, that you got out of bed, and you put on an outfit, and you walked out the door, and you went to a concert, and now we’re having the best time ever. And sometimes it’s not about things being perfect all the time. Sometimes it’s not about being happy all the time. Sometimes it’s about getting on with things, and putting one foot in front of the other. And I just hope, that when you do that – when you make mistakes, when you go through terrible things – I hope that you don’t see yourself as damaged. Because that is not what happens when you experience life. You are not damaged because you have scars, or because you have ghosts. That’s not what happens. What happens is, you become wiser because you have scars, and you become wiser because you have ghosts, and you become someone who doesn’t make the same kind of mistake twice. And if you make new mistakes, that’s fine. But I don’t think that making mistakes makes you damaged. I think making mistakes makes you clean." (June 21st, Amsterdam)

When you feel like you just can't get things right...

"I think sometimes we get confused because we think things are supposed to be perfect all the time or we’re supposed to feel perfect, or act perfect all the time, and that’s not the case. I don’t think that’s the case. I think sometimes it’s… I think sometimes you get credit for just showing up and getting on with things, getting out of bed in the morning, going to school, going to work. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you do have to keep going. And, um, I think sometimes we can get confused and think that because we have ghosts, or because we have scars, or because we’ve walked through a bunch on rainstorms, that makes us damaged, or less than other people. But I think those things that I just mentioned don’t make you damaged. I think walking through a bunch of rainstorms actually makes you clean." (June 23rd, Glasgow)

"We turn to music, and that’s why we’re all here tonight. For the same reason. And, um, I think that it’s… it’s very interesting to look into your lives to see what you’re going through – when I meet you, when you write me letters, when you leave me comments. Um, and it’s so strange to me how every single person has something that they’re struggling with. There’s not one of us that doesn’t. There’s not one of us that doesn’t have deep fears, or regrets, or things they wish they hadn’t have said, things they wish they would’ve said, risks they wish they wouldn’t have taken, chances they wish they would’ve. And I think that it’s… it’s never harder to feel okay about yourself than it is in 2015. Um, and I’m looking at you, and I’m seeing every single one of you, individually illuminated. I can see every single last one of you. And I know, that just based on… just based on statistics alone, there’s probably a great amount of you in this 55,000 who woke up this morning and didn’t feel okay about yourself, and you thought, “I don’t like this outfit. I thought I did, but I don’t think this is good. And I’m not cool enough, and I feel like I’m being left out of this. I feel like I’m not enough of that.” But what I want to tell you right now is that, even if that was the case, and you woke up this morning, and your hair wasn’t right, or your body image wasn’t right, or you didn’t feel good about something the way you looked, or the way your life is – rather than wallowing in that, rather than focusing on it, and obsessing over it, and letting it drag you down – you pushed it to the back of your mind, you got dressed, you went out the door, and you went to a concert. And now we’re all dancing together and having the best night ever, aren’t we Chicago? I don’t think any of us can aspire to have some kind of perfect life. I think we can aspire to continue to keep going when our life doesn’t feel perfect. And that’s what you did if there’s anything that you’re struggling with, and you decided to go out and have a good time anyway. And I don’t think that, if you’ve made mistakes in your life, you have to let that damage you. I think you can choose to look at it as something that makes you wiser, and actually makes you clean." (July 19, Chicago night 2)

When you're comparing yourself to others...

"I mean, every single day we go online – and trust me, I love the internet, okay? Love it – but, every day we go online and we scroll through the highlight reel of other people’s awesome lives. But we don’t see the highlight reel of our awesome lives – all we see is the behind the scenes. We see every single moment, from when we wake up and we’re like “oh, God, not feeling my hair today. Not going to be a good day today for the hair”. We see our doubts, we see our fears, we see our concerns. You are the only one who is inside your brain feeling all of your anxieties and the voices who are telling you that you can’t be who you want to be, or that you’re not who you want to be, or that you want to be more like that other person over there. Let me tell you, people are mean to each other, but no voice is as mean as our own voices are to ourselves. Is it true or is it false? It’s true, right? Okay, so if there’s one thing that you come away from this night remembering, I want it to be this – every day when you look in the mirror, and your mind is telling you all the things you are not – if those things are that you’re not cool enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re not popular enough, you’re not successful enough, you’re not special, you’re not wanted, you’re not unique – those are not the things you are not. Let me tell you the things you are not. Okay? You are not somebody else’s opinion. That’s what you’re not. You are not going nowhere just because you’re not where you want to be yet. You are not damaged goods just because you have made mistakes in your life. Those are the things you are not. Let me tell you the things that you are. Would you like to hear the things that you are? You are your own definition of beautiful, and worthwhile, and no one else’s definition. You are wiser, stronger, and smarter because you made mistakes in your life, not damaged. And lastly, London, England, you are someone who is probably standing here tonight going through your own battles, fighting your own ghosts, trying to cover your own scars, stressing about your own stresses. But, rather than wallowing in them, you got up, you put on an awesome outfit, and now we’re all standing here together having the best time of our lives at a concert on a Saturday night. I realise that it’s not about being perfect, it’s not about feeling perfect. I think that sometimes it’s just about getting on with things and realising that you’re happy today. That’s all that matters. I just want you to know that one thing I have learned in 25 years, and I’m still learning, is that if you get rained on, you walk through a bunch of storms, life is constantly coming at you – that doesn’t make you damaged. It makes you clean." (June 27, London)

"From talking to you, and learning what you guys are going through – it’s never been more clear to me that self-esteem and self-image and how to feel about your own self has never been more tricky than it is in 2015. Like, every single day, we have the option to go online and check out the highlight reels of somebody else’s life – all their most awesome experiences, all the times they looked the most awesome and they were doing cool stuff. That’s their highlight reel. Sometimes we have a tendency to see other people’s highlight reel and compare it to the behind the scenes of our own lives – our regrets, our ghosts, our scars, the things we wished we’d never would have said, the things that we said but would give anything to be able to take back – we see everything that happens in our life, but we only see the cool stuff that happens in other people’s lives. That’s where the imbalance is. So I guess, I guess it’s impossible not to look at other people’s lives and compare it to our own. And it’s impossible not to hear people that are mean to you. But I think what I wish that we would all do is be a little bit nicer to ourselves. We have enough going on in the world that can make us feel terrible – you’re not special enough, you’re not cool enough – we don’t need our own minds telling us that, too. So if there’s one thing that you do after this concert – take it easy on yourself, a little bit. Do that for me. Do me that favour, okay? We all mistakes in our lives. Everybody has scars, everybody has ghosts, everybody has lost someone who they thought they would never lose, everybody lost themself for a period of time. Every single person that you see here tonight is going through something. But rather than wallowing in what you’re going through, and dwelling on it, and letting it define you – you decided to get up, and walk out the door, and go to a concert and have the best time ever on a Monday night, didn’t you? I’m going to sing a song for you called Clean, and I hope you’ll sing along." (July 13, Washington D.C. night 1)

When you're regretting your mistakes...

"Sometimes when I’m looking at you, I start to think about every single individual story that is playing out, that has all converged to lead us to all be in this room. And with you all lit up like this I can see every single one of you, even at the top, I can see every person in this stadium. And I’m not naïve enough to think that just because you’re having an amazing time at a concert right now, that there’s nothing going wrong in your life. That there’s nothing you’re struggling with. That there’s nothing that’s hurting you, or haunting you, because that would be unrealistic. The fact is everyone’s got scars, and ghosts, and regrets, and things they wished they had done differently – things they wish they had said, things they wish they had never said, you know? And I don’t know what it is for every individual person. Maybe you fell in love with a person or a habit that was bad for you but you couldn’t quit. Maybe you trusted the wrong person. Maybe you never really feel like you fit in anywhere. Maybe you’re so confused about where you’re supposed to go in life and it overwhelms you and you feel like you can’t move. Maybe you lost someone you never thought you would lose, or maybe, the worst one – you lost yourself. Regardless of what is going on in your life that scares you, regardless of what is going on in your head that tells you you’re somehow, someway, not cool enough, or good enough, or special enough. Regardless of that, what I would like to make note of, is that instead of wallowing in those things and focusing on them and allowing them to defeat you, you got out of bed, and you went to a stadium on a Saturday night in the summertime of 2015 and now we’re having the best time ever. I personally don’t think that we should strive to have some kind of perfect life. I just think we need to stop comparing our lives to other people’s, and I think we need to stop being so mean to ourselves. Because the voices of other people who are mean to us are hard enough to ignore, but if you got it in your own head that something about you isn’t good enough, or just because you’ve made mistakes in your life that makes you tarnished or damaged goods – that’s wrong. That is not true. And I guess what I’m trying to say to you is, if there’s any part of you that is insecure about having made mistakes, I just want to let you know that I don’t believe that that is a bad thing. I think that sometimes making mistakes is the product of taking risks. But I also know that me standing here in front of you is the product of taking risks and making a lot of mistakes. So yeah, if you’ve gone through a lot of rainstorms and it seems like it’s never going to stop coming down on you, I want you to know that if you keep going, it doesn’t make you tarnished, or damaged. It makes you clean." (July 11, Metlife night 2)

When you're feeling insecure...

"I’m looking out at 45,000 people who have an individual set of hopes, dreams, fears, wishes – every single person here has something that they’re afraid of, or has something that they’re trying to block out in the back of their mind – whether it’s somebody who five years ago who told you that you weren’t cool, or you were annoying, somebody who didn’t invite you to something, somebody you loved who turned around one day and changed their mind and said, “I don’t want to be with you anymore” and you can’t get it out of your head. Or maybe it’s just the voice in your own head saying like, “you don’t look awesome today”. And it’s absolutely extraordinary that we’re all walking around with these fears and with these insecurities, and what I find to be the most extraordinary is that every single person here decided today, “I’m not going to let my mistakes or my insecurities keep me from going to a concert and dancing all night and having the best time ever.” I am proud of you for that, because the thing about mistakes – that people will tell you all the time – is that the facts is that a lot of clichés are true. You cannot live your life without making mistakes. The only thing you can control is how you handle them afterwards. The only thing you can do is make sure that your mistakes are ones that you will never make again – that your lessons are lessons that you have learned and you will not repeat. No one can ever blame you for making new mistakes, because that means you’re taking risks. The only time when mistakes will take you down a notch is if they become your behaviour pattern, and we don’t learn from them, and we let them become our identity. But I don’t think… I don’t think that you’re going to do that. I don’t think that you’re going to let your mistakes be ghosts that haunt you, because you’re here tonight, aren’t you? And so we’re gonna go out, and we’re gonna go make the rest of the mistakes we’re gonna make for the rest of our lives, we’re gonna hope that we don’t make too many of the same ones. And um, we’re not gonna be defined by them. And we’re gonna remember tonight that we’re gonna be more kind to ourselves, aren’t we, Vancouver? Living your life, making mistakes, does not make you damaged, or tarnished, or anything like that. I think that they make you wiser, and they make your smarter, and stronger, and, in the end, you become the opposite of tarnished. And I think making mistakes, and learning from them, makes you clean. So if you know the words to this one, by all means, sing along." (August 1, Vancouver)

When you're trying to stay strong...

"I look out and I see how incredible you’re being, and so open, and so, um… so excitable, and all these wonderful things that you are – you know, dancing around like crazy, and screaming the words to the songs at the top of your lungs, and dressing however you felt like dressing, and, um, you know, making signs, all the things that you do. And, um, I never want anything… I never want anything bad to happen to you, I… I just think you’re amazing. And, um, so I guess if there’s one thing that you remember from tonight – you know, I keep up with you online, and I see the good things. I see what you’re… the sings you’re making for the shows, what you’re gonna wear, all that. But I also see the hard, terrible things you have to go through when people say things to you, and leave an anonymous comment, and tell you that you’re not good enough, or whatever. Um, people say and do very thoughtless things, and, um, it’s inevitable that, at some point, someone is going to be careless and cruel to you. And just want you to remember one thing. You are not the opinion of somebody who doesn’t know you or care about you, okay? I was in London, um, a few years ago, and I was really struggling with, um, trying to process what mattered to me, and whose opinions mattered to me. You know, I had people commenting constantly on absolutely every aspect of my life, and sort of dissecting it. And I made a decision a couple years ago that the only opinions that really count to me are the people who want to spend time with me. Your opinion is the only one that really matters to me. And it was upon that realisation that, um, I met up with an amazing singer-songwriter named Imogen Heap, and I played her this idea I had for a song called Clean. Will you sing this one with me?" (December 12, Melbourne night 3)

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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