Out of the Woods

I love Taylor Swift.

I know, grown women in their 30’s likely shouldn’t admit this, but I do. She’s beautiful & talented with wisdom beyond her years. Her album Red is one of the best written albums I’ve ever heard & if you listened to All too Well & didn’t cry the first time, then you have no soul.

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Taylor Swift writes about her life, which is likely why her music resonates. She writes about her joy, her pain, her adventures. Of course, people choose to dissect her lyrics to find the call out to her former loves (Red was widely speculated to be about Jake Gylenhaal), often to hilarious results (like the speculation that I Knew You Were Trouble was about One Directioner Harry Styles, despite their relationship beginning AFTER the single was released). Recent interviews with Swift show her continuing disenchantment with the world; she hasn’t dated in two years so she won’t be a punchline. She has security with her at all times & you must surrender your phone to enter her apartment building. This young lady has become jaded & I don’t blame her.

One thing Swift has stressed when promoting her latest effort 1989 (which hits stores 10/27) is that she’s sick of being labelled as the girl who writes diss tracks about her exes. Swift writes about her life. Sometimes she sees things a certain way. Swift was also quick to point out that famous men like Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars are universally praised for penning songs about their exes. Sheeran’s album + was written about a young woman he dated before fame, whom he writes about again on his latest effort x. But it’s his song Don’t, which he verbally assaults a former lover who cheated on him (later confirmed to be Ellie Goulding) that generated praise for his honest songwriting & fans took to social media to put Goulding on blast. Meanwhile, the same fans & reporters attack Swift for “calling out her exes” & her immaturity, often defending the alleged exes & claiming Swift deserves mistreatment from men because she writes songs about them. Swift took Entertainment Tonight to task for this & she wanted the music to speak for itself. So, when she released the track list for 1989, naturally they responded with excitement about the album, right?

Oh.
Oh.

I guess I understand Taylor Swift because I’m a writer. I write about my life. I write about my attempts to navigate through life without screwing it up, which happens almost never. If you are part of my life, I have probably written about you. The greatest compliment I’ve ever received was when someone told me reading what I wrote inspired them to be a better person (ironically enough, it was the person who once said the cruelest thing anyone has ever said to me). Although I don’t believe I have that power, it was nice to think that my endless drivel meant something to someone. But yes, I write about the people in my life. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes I’m not so nice. But, I write about my life, how I see events, the world around me. I try to keep it cute, but I wouldn’t be a very authentic blogger if I didn’t write about my life honestly.

However, I think it’s to a lesser degree than people think. A couple of years ago, I wasn’t happy. So, I wrote about my jaded feelings towards a belief system I no longer had (which I’ve reclaimed, albeit a bit smarter). I wrote about losing my faith in love (which I reclaimed by loving myself) & my ability to trust & songs on the radio & whatever caught my fancy…because it made ME feel better. But everyone thought it was about them; friends, family, former loves, everyone. But the truth is, none of you crossed my mind. I’m sure Taylor Swift isn’t thinking “that’ll teach him,” when she’s penning a song. She’s probably thinking “This makes me feel happy.” I know it’s weird, but not everything is a calculated dig. Writing is my therapy; it doesn’t always make sense. Sometimes I just need to put words out because when I’m doing it, I’m very at peace with myself. The same seems true for Taylor Swift. But for some reason, she’s painted as terrible & fans take up for Harry Styles & his innocence (meanwhile, Ellie Goulding remains on blast).

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The most beautiful art comes from real life. The character of Daisy Buchanan was inspired by F Scott Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda. Most of Edgar Allen Poe’s work was brought about from his feelings after the deaths of his parents, foster father & wife at various points in his life. The greatest songs were written about a concept or person that the writer was passionate about. Life inspires great works because it’s authentic & real & people understand it.

It’s funny, for all people do to dissect & discredit Taylor Swift, there’s at least one song we all relate to (my current one is Come Back…Be Here) & listen to when we’re feeling down, or romantic, etc. That’s because the emotions Taylor sings about are real. So, let’s stop wondering who she wrote about & listen to what she’s singing & enjoy her music. After all, music was written to be enjoyed, not analyzed.

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