Taylor Swift is all the talk of this week as her fifth album 1989 was released on Monday. I’ve been a huge fan of Taylor Swift for a very long time and naturally I pre-bought and fangirled like a beaver on crack when I got that notification that 1989 was ready to be downloaded, I felt like I was waiting all my life for this album, and was not disappointed. Perhaps it’s because TSwizzle and I are the same age, but her albums usually seem to be exactly what I want to hear at the given time. Fearless and Red are two albums that I felt spoke to me at the point I was at in my life when they were released and now with 1989, I truly have an album which I could see as the current soundtrack of my life.
“I was born in 1989. My life inspired me. But this time I was not broken and devastated, but on the rise. Now it’s all about my life. I say with my album: ‘Begin to live your own life.’”
I love this outlook, because for most our lives we envy others and try and live a life that is not our own. I see it so much among my peers and even in myself sometimes, we have this idea of how our lives should be or how we want to be and many times it doesn’t fit us, our personalities, our situations but we force ourselves into this mould of what a 25-year-old successful woman should look like, should do, should own, instead of meeting ourselves where we are, inspiring ourselves and making the most out of lives.
Since the release of 1989, I’ve read many music reviews on the album and perhaps synthetically there can be many criticisms that could be made by professional music critics but for me, a long time Taylor fan, I simply feel as if she hit the ball out the park. Lyrically with 1989, Taylor sways away from just heartbreak and unrequited love and all the pains of being young, and she explores more adult topics like sex, mistakes, responsibility, freedom and having fun. If I kept a diary, it would sound like a Taylor Swift album.
Even though I am a couple of months older than her, I can’t help but admire her: the kind way that she treats her fans – leaving personal responses to them on Instagram and Tumblr, the way she revels in the fact that she isn’t as great of a dancer as most other pop singers, and I love the fact that she admitted that her previous views on feminism was born from ignorance and she said she was wrong and has since spoken up about how the media treats females and the importance of feminism.
“I wish when I was 12 years old, I’d been able to watch a video of my favorite actress explaining in such an intellectual, beautiful, poignant way the definition of feminism,” Swift said about the power of Emma Watson’s speech. “I would have understood it and earlier on in my life would have proudly claimed that I was a feminist, because I would have understood what the word means. So many girls out there say, ‘I’m not a feminist,’ because they think it means something angry, or disgruntled, or complaining, or they picture rioting and picketing. It is not that at all. It simply means you believe women and men should have equal rights and opportunities.”
It could also be because Taylor has taken a break from the serial dating and has since said her priorities are her career, her family and her friends and hopefully love will follow, and that is so similar to my views on the subject. She has said in numerous interviews that she chooses friends who can inspire her and she can in turn play a helpful role in their lives, and lately since I’ve been revising the relationships in my life, Taylor’s words have echoed in my mind more than once. And what a plethora of friends Taylor has – Lena Dunham, Ed Sheeran, Jaime King, Emma Stone, Lorde, Selena Gomez. For reals, one of my goals in my life is to be friends with Taylor Swift.
When I was 19, the Foreword in her Fearless album encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone, and take chances, and now six years later she is still inspiring me but this time to learn from my mistakes, to begin every day anew and to have the courage to change.
Thank you Taylor!