This blog post has been YEARS in the making! Like literally 9 years. I heard my first Taylor Swift song at age 12 and there was no turning back. Once upon a time, my crush bought me my first physical copy of a Taylor album (her self-titled debut) for my sixteenth birthday. He lived far away and on the long drive back home, I played the songs on repeat. Her lyrics swept me away to a world full of enchantment, romance, and heartbreak. When I was 16, I felt so alone. Like no one understood me or wanted to try. I mean, all teenagers feel like this at some point or another! But during those long days, weeks, months that no one would talk to me at school… Taylor was there for me. I’d play “A Place In This World” and “The Outside” over and over again and it was like this tiny little reminder that I wasn’t alone. That there was someone who would be my friend if our paths ever crossed, someone who already felt like a friend through her music, her songs, her words. It’s here where Taylor taught me perhaps the greatest lesson I’ve ever learned – how to love. Not just how to love a boyfriend or a best friend or your mom, but how to love someone you’ve never even met… how to make a stranger feel like they’re the most important thing in the world… how to truly love EVERYONE selflessly and unconditionally. How did she teach me this lesson? Quite simply, really…



This picture was taken backstage at one of Taylor’s concerts in 2011. It was her Speak Now tour and it was my first time EVER seeing Taylor perform. To say I was excited is an understatement. I CRIED. A LOT. I cried when we bought the tickets, I cried listening to her songs, I cried in the days counting down to the show… and I cried when we walked into the 14,000 seat arena. Annnnd I cried when she came on stage. Suddenly, during the second song, the impossible happened… a woman came up to me and asked if I’d ever met Taylor before. And then, I BAWLED. It had been in my WILDEST DREAMS to be handpicked from the thousands in a crowd to hang out with Taylor after her show. There were 14,000 people in that arena and we were 3 of the 20 picked to go backstage after the curtain closed. Taylor does this at every. single. show. she performs. Who even DOES that?! When it comes to Taylor, you don’t need the money to buy front row tickets or meet and greet passes to get the chance to meet her face to face… she genuinely wants to meet her fans, surprise them, hug them, love on them, and make them feel like they’re on top of the world. It was one thing for her to have us come backstage and get to take a picture with her. But the way she treated us was an entirely different thing in itself. She set up an entire tent backstage… with carpets, rugs, TVs, bird cages, props from her most famous performances on TV and on film, a giant journal for us to write to her… and her HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. Ugh. So good. But the best part was actually MEETING Taylor. She came back and hung out with us for 30 minutes or so… going around to each group to say hi and give hugs and take pictures.  You wanna know what she said when she turned to approach us?! It went a little something like this… “Hiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!! How have you guys been?!?!”

….Ummm… how have you guys been?! Taylor, we haven’t met before? Lol??? (-My thoughts.) We nervous-laughed and I think I managed to mumble “good” in the smallest voice physically possible for my vocal chords to produce as she came up and gave us all hugs and told us she was so excited to meet us. And I’m standing there thinking… what?! We’re excited to meet YOU!!! The gorgeous and talented and phenomenal celebrity! Yet here she was… telling us she was excited to meet US. In a real, genuine, excited voice and joyful demeanor as she bounced from me to my sister to my friend Savannah giving us tight hugs and just being the wonderful person she is. She stood and chatted with us, about Marshall’s dress deals, kitten bookmarks, and John Adams… excited and engaged and interested the entire time. Just making us feel like we were SO COOL when we were standing next to someone who seemed unimaginably larger than life just minutes before. She was so… personable. And sweet. And down to earth and intrigued by what we had to say and the exact opposite of jaded. It was something I will NEVER forget. I had never experienced someone I had never met before treat me so kindly and with such sincerity. It actually quite literally changed my life. It changed the way I saw people! If Taylor, someone who didn’t need to be spending her free time hanging backstage with crazy fans that didn’t pay to meet her, could go out of her way to treat complete strangers so well, I DEFINITELY could do the same. Meeting Taylor Swift was probably one of the BEST things that could ever have happened to me. It showed me that the wildest, craziest dreams CAN come true. It showed me that you’re never too busy to make someone feel special. And perhaps most importantly, Taylor taught me that you don’t have to have met someone to make them feel like you know them… like you get them… and like you love them. I could go on for days about all the thoughts and ideas and dreams that Taylor has inspired me to pursue… but this lesson is by far the greatest. Today, the day that her 5th album 1989 releases worldwide, I’m sitting here remembering that lesson she taught me 3 years ago. It’s one I will never forget and that follows me in my every day life. Taylor Swift, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

BUY 1989 ON ITUNES OR IN STORES NOW! Deluxe edition at Target gets my vote! :)

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