I saw your show the other night in Edmonton (night 2, to be exact). My roommate Kris and I were in the pit by the B stage, and boy was it an absolute blast. We’ve both seen you several times before – I think this was number 4 for me and 6 for Kris. In fact, two years ago we went to both nights of the Edmonton stop of the Red Tour. So basically, we’re huge fans and love to see you perform live.
What I was really hit with while enjoying your world-class performance is just how much I am inspired by you. As someone actually older than you (though not much), it’s pretty amazing to see someone so young doing so much, and doing it how you want it done – not how people say it should be done. I love the way you are always pushing the envelope to make things more exciting, more personal, more interesting, more connected, and just more you. From the 1989 Secret Sessions to Taylurking, to Swiftmas, to the extremely cool concert wristbands everyone on your current tour receives, I love the way you do things differently from everyone else.
I feel as though this is something that is really important in my life right now. I recently left my job to start my own business as an event planner, and it is certainly a struggle (actually a huge struggle), but I need to figure out how I can set myself apart from the crowd, which is what you do so well. I need to push to do things differently from how they’ve always been done. I need to think outside the box and find creative ways to establish my business. Watching the way you conduct yourself and grow your business is incredibly inspiring for someone like me.
In fact, as a 20-something, I really feel that I’ve grown up with you. Each album you have released has resonated perfectly with what I needed to hear at that time. When I discovered “I’d Lie” at 17 years old, that story about a hopeless crush was important. Shortly after that, your debut album was adorable and fun and, you know, had a touch of revenge, which at 18 everyone probably needs. Fearless came out when I was 19. It was so hopeful, full of the fairy tales I hoped I would get to see come true. Speak Now arrived when I was 21, at an age when I still held on to that romantic ideal, but when I also understood a few things: that love isn’t everything, that people are mean, and that sometimes it’s important to take responsibility for your own actions.
Then there was Red. At 23 years old, Red was exactly what I needed to hear. The evolution of your musical style made this album slightly darker, and a little bit angry; it was perfect. Red reflected the awakening I had by that age about just how challenging navigating the world can be.
And now 1989 is exactly right, both in content and style. This album is all about how things can be bad and difficult and sad and can end, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have happened. Right now that is exactly what I needed to hear. We’re all stumbling through life and figuring it out along the way. We’re bound to make mistakes, but just because something is a mistake doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
So thank you, Taylor, for growing up with me and documenting these different time periods and mindsets throughout my life. I get you, and I’m inspired by you, and right now it’s even more important for me to take that inspiration and make something of my life… because if I don’t make my life awesome, no one’s going to do it for me.