Filtering by Tag: taylor swift

Ten Months Sober

So, this is a writing blog. I rarely, if ever, get any sort of personal. Briefly, last September, I mentioned my life, and how much things had changed. Today, I want to talk more about that.

This time last year, things were wildly different. I was on the verge of quitting the job I'd been at for 8 years to take a brand new job, about to celebrate 7 years with someone I loved very much. Of course, there are no relationships without struggles, and a couple weeks after our anniversary, the struggles broke us.

And...well, I've been picking up the pieces ever since.

Little by little, I've been rebuilding my life. True, it's taking a lot longer than I wanted it to, but I've been told I'm too hard on myself.

I've been finding the good, though, amid the absolute devastation. I have found a group of friends who love and accept me just the way I am. They don't tell me I'm awesome and stroke my ego 24/7. If I need to hear something, even if I don't WANT to, they'll say it. Everyone should have friends like these people.

I've also been rediscovering myself. In a relationship, it's easy to lose yourself. It's easy to bend and twist and compromise yourself to be what you think the other person wants you to be, until at some point you look in the mirror and you're not sure you recognize the reflection. I'd spent so long trying to be this idealized version of myself that it was almost like I didn't exist.

Over the last ten months, I've gotten to know myself again. And you know what? I like me. I'm lighter and sillier than the woman I was within the walls of that relationship. I'm trying new things and going new places and learning to be independent. I've spent hours watching Supernatural and Friends and Gilmore Girls and Audrey Hepburn movies. I've had Ben & Jerry's for dinner one night, and then pizza for dinner the next twelve nights (all while losing over 40 lbs). I've hung out with my fabulous friends until the wee hours. I've spent entire days cuddling with my puppies and dancing to Taylor Swift. I have met new people, experienced new things, and I've found a confidence that had all but disappeared. I've started planning a life that is all mine. A life of love and laughter and travel and pizza and words and puppy cuddles and Dean Winchester (if only on my TV screen). I've learned that not only am I capable of being alone, I actually LIKE it.

And you know what else I've been doing? Writing. So much writing.

I went from rewriting the same novel for damn near 8 years, over and over and over, to finishing that novel and then whipping through an all new one. One that came so fast and easy to me, and that turned out so well that I'm astounded. I fell in love with writing again. I found my voice - did you know that's not just something people say? All those years I struggled with that one book? I have pinpointed why it wouldn't work. It was too serious. The follow-up book managed to be lighter, funnier, in spite of the heavy issues my characters are dealing with. I am confident that I can rework that first book and turn it into exactly what I've wanted it to be.

So, yeah. I got hurt. I got hurt in ways that left me shaken and doubtful of my worth as a human being. I felt crazy and confused and scared and stupid and alone. Some days, I thought I wouldn't survive the pain, thought I couldn't pick myself up and go on living. But here I am, almost a year later, still standing. And more than that, I'm stronger than before. Life is weird that way. Just when you think you can't make it, there are a million reasons why you can. One person can't - and shouldn't - be your everything. And it's okay to let go of the past and move on with your life.

As Taylor Swift sings in the song that has become my constant soundtrack, "The rain came pouring down, when I was drowning, that's when I could finally breathe."

And, I'm happy to report, that I am breathing just fine.

Dear Taylor

When I was younger, I was a huge music snob. Which is to say, I turned up my nose at anyone who could merely carry a tune. I liked "real singers." LeAnn Rimes (hello? Have you HEARD this girl sing?), Mariah Carey, Whitney, Celine, etc. I also searched out well-written songs and compiled a list of the best songwriters. My ears would scream in protest anytime the likes of Britney, Christina (who can sing, but her songs, or any of those boy bands came on the radio.

As I've grown up, I've gotten over the snobbery. Oh, I still appreciate a kick-ass vocalist and a gorgeous song, but I've also grown fond of Britney and the occasional cheesy pop song. Even so, my ears resisted Taylor Swift.

Oh, sure. Her songs are catchy. And she's freaking adorable. But songs about high school love and angst? Pssh, no thanks.

But the more popular this girl got, the more her songs assaulted me from the radio, the more curious I became. And so I listened. Actually listened. And you know what I discovered? This girl is a writer. Beneath those catchy hooks and Britney-esque singing voice, there are real-live, well-written songs. Beautifully crafted stories. Ms. Taylor Swift is one helluva storyteller.

So, today I'm going to share with you some of my favorite lyrics:

The way you move is like a full on rainstorm
And I'm a house of cards
You're the kind of reckless
That should send me runnin'
But I kinda know that I won't get far

from "Sparks Fly"

Music starts playin' like the end of a sad movie,
It's the kinda ending you don't really wanna see.
Cause it's tragedy and it'll only bring you down,
Now I don't know what to be without you around.

from "Breathe"

I sneak in and see your friends
And her snotty little family all dressed in pastel
And she is yelling at a bridesmaid
Somewhere back inside a room
Wearing a gown shaped like a pastry

from "Speak Now" (a particularly fun song that fits my Work-in-Progress perfectly)

And then the cold came, the dark days when fear crept into my mind
You gave me all your love and all I gave you was "Goodbye"

from "Back to December"

But sophistication isn't what you wear or who you know
Or pushing people down, it gets you where you wanna go
They wouldn't teach you that in prep school so it's up to me
But no amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity
from "Better Than Revenge"

Walls of insincerity,
Shifting eyes and vacancy
Vanished when I saw your face

from "Enchanted"

You paint me a blue sky
And go back and turn it to rain
And I lived in your chess game
But you changed the rules everyday
Wonderin’ which version of you I might get on the phone, tonight
Well I stopped pickin’ up and this song is to let you know why

from "Dear John" (I actually love this entire song)

Wasn't it easier in your firefly-catchin' days?
When everything out of reach, someone bigger brought down to you
Wasn't it beautiful runnin' wild 'til you fell asleep
Before the monsters caught up to you?
from "Innocent" (another song I love all the way through)

I could go on. It would seem that I've recently become a wee bit obsessed. I just find it fascinating, this superficial, teeny-bopper persona paired up with these songs that are just so well-written and, at times, pretty darn deep.

So, what do you think? Do you like Taylor Swift? What do you think of the lyrics I've shared? Who do YOU think is a fabulous storyteller?