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I Love Taylor Swift

June 16, 2013

There I said it. There is no denying it anymore, not that there was really before…. I don’t love love her, I just love her. This is going to be a post where I will go on and on about how much I love Taylor Swift, so if you don’t love Taylor Swift, then you’ll probably want to navigate away from this page.

Last night AZ and I went to Taylor’s Toronto concert — yes we are on a first name basis. AZ and I had been counting down to this concert since November. I was so excited that I even did some “photoshopping,” which actually just involved cutting and pasting pictures into a word document. Click here for the humorous post I wrote back in November about buying our tickets.

Just chilling in the background with our sign, nbd.

Just chilling in the background with our sign, nbd.

AZ and I spent yesterday afternoon making our concert t-shirts. We perused Pinterest for the latest fashionable styles and started snipping away. After that came the paint. Then after that… we ate jello….

We left my house half past six to enter the subway station. At one point, we ran into one of our good friends from high school; she too was going to the concert. I should have guessed. She and I used to sing Taylor Swift songs together in grade eleven.

AZ and I weren’t 100% sure about the directions to the Rogers Centre, but we could tell by the throngs of cowboy boots-wearing girls that we were heading in the right direction. When we finally got into the stadium, we could hear the crowd screaming. I told AZ, “Listen to that.  Listen to them screaming for us!” She laughed. I always let my imagination carry me away.

At first, AZ and I thought we snagged up some pretty good seats. We had seats on the inside of the horseshoe, and it wasn’t too high up. We watched a couple of opening acts and speculated about their ages. Then an usher came and told us that we were sitting in the wrong seats. We had spoken too soon. Our seats were actually way up higher in the nose bleed section. We went from row 2 to row 22. But anyway, the higher seats weren’t that bad. Still got in all of the action.

After 1.5 hours of nameless opening acts, Ed Sheeran came out. He was uh-mazing. His playing was just so intoxicating — seriously. I love him. But not as much as I love Taylor Swift, of course.

I love Taylor Swift because she is fun and because she reminds me of my girly days. I don’t love her because she is a musical genius; oh no, on the contrary! I don’t think she is a musical genius at all. But I think she is fun, inspiring, and a good role-model for young girls. Her songs make want to get up and dance. They make me want to embrace that girly side of myself. Her songs make me want to wear giant, hipster glasses; tie my hair up in big pigtails; wear red lipstick and sing “Weeeeeeee are never, ever, ever getting back together.” In fact, whenever I’m having a bad day, all it takes to make it better is 20 minutes dancing to TayTay’s songs. That’s basically all I did last May and being at the concert reminded me of that.

Back in high school, everyone who knew me knew that I loved Taylor Swift. In fact, some of them even called me the “Asian Taylor Swift.” It was the long curly hair and the guitar attached to my hip. And also, all of my songs were about boys (even though I wasn’t dating one at the time nor was I utterly heartbroken). I even had my own YouTube channel. My greatest hit was “Hey Benjamin,” which featured a line in the chorus that I took right from Taylor’s Love Story: “This love is difficult….” I didn’t steal it. I was making an allusion.

Being at Taylor’s concert last night reminded me of all of those years in my childhood when all I wanted was to become a famous singer. But then one day, when I was eight, my mom told me that if I were to become a singer, I wouldn’t get to see my family all that often. She told me that life on the road was hard and that I wouldn’t get to experience a lot of normal things. When I was nine, I traded in that dream for the dream to become a pediatric oncologist. Ten years later, I would trade that dream in for the dream of becoming a writer.

I remember closing my eyes at the concert and imagining that the throngs of screaming girls (and the occasional boy) was all for me. I imagined the spotlight on myself and that that 40, 000 people had just bought tickets to come hear me sing. I imagined what it would be like to be Taylor for a day.

The song that touched me the most was the song, “Mean.” Before she started singing the song, she talked about being younger and thinking that as people grew up, they would stop being mean. She talked about people doubting her and bullying her. Her message to us all was that every where you go, no matter how old you are, there will always be bullies — people who will doubt you and people who won’t believe in you.

When she started singing, I felt tears rolling down my cheeks. That was very unexpected. I was expecting tears of laughter at the concert, not tears of sadness. I was crying because I remembered being young and being bullied. I was transported back to a period in my life when people told me I couldn’t do this or that and that I could never be this or that. I remember doubting myself and my abilities. In fact, that’s probably why I still doubt myself so much today. I don’t do it intentionally, I just can’t help it. When she sang, “Someday, I’ll be living in a big ol’ city, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean,” I almost broke in two.

A couple of days ago, I visited the Starbucks I always frequent for my afternoon cup of coffee. There was a girl there who was new, but she wasn’t new to me. I remembered her from elementary school. She was one of the girls who refused to play with me because I was weird. Because I had ugly clothes. Because I had a weird knack for daydreaming. Because I had braces. Because my hair was too long. Because I didn’t fit in. Now ten years later, she looked exactly the same, only with shorter hair. She looked at me with a peculiar eye too. I knew she recognized me, and I could see it plainly on her face when she asked me my name for the cup, and I said, “Tina.”

Yes, a part of me did feel smug that she was behind the counter, taking my order. And yes, a part of me did feel smug that I had the luxury of going to the café in the afternoon to write. Yes, I did feel good about myself. But I kept all of this to myself. I pretended that I didn’t recognize her and looked away. I didn’t want her to feel embarrassed. After taking my seat, I had an unsettling feeling about the whole experience. I didn’t like that I felt good about myself. If there were no bullies, then this kind of stuff wouldn’t happen. The girl and I would have embraced each other.

Let’s get back to Taylor: my point is, she’s great. Some of her songs really convey powerful messages to younger folks. Other songs… well, they’re just so fun! I’m glad my seat was at the end of the row and that the only person beside me was AZ because I was belting my heart out! I could hardly talk by the end of the night, and I’m surprised that I was able to speak today. When I got home that night, I showed my brother all of the videos I had taken.

“Ew! All I can hear is your crappy singing!”

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Pre-concert

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AZ saying something funny?

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AZ practising in the WC. Like I’ve always said… the WC has the best acoustics!

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At the concert!

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I guess sometimes it pays to have an iPhone….

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To remind me to keep on dreaming big:

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