Monday, August 3, 2015

Road Tripping With T-Swift

One of the annoying repercussions of a break-up is that the things you enjoyed with him are tainted. It's great to make memories, until suddenly those memories are cropping up all the time and you're just like, "Can you not?" If you've seen Inside Out (which you absolutely should), it's like Riley realizing that playing hockey on the pond is no longer a completely happy memory. Thanks, Sadness. I have always been a Taylor Swift fan (haters gonna hate). "Teardrops On My Guitar" was one of the first songs on the radio that I was obsessed with. (The other was "Ladies Love Country Boys," which just goes to show that sometimes our youthful obsessions are very, very wrong.) Her sound has certainly changed, but she is one of about four artists that I will pre-order an album for, no questions asked. There is a Taylor Swift song for every emotional situation.

On my first date with my last boyfriend we sang, "We Are Never Getting Back Together" in the car. It was delightful. We always had a thing for texting song lyrics back and forth as if they were actual conversation, and my favorite night was when we spent hours texting nothing but T-Swift lyrics to each other to express how we felt. It was like something out of a YA novel. Seriously, so sweet. I often walk around on my lunch break at work listening to music, and lovestruck Taylor songs soon became a staple. Joseph & I made jokes about how she and I were both obsessed with cats, and I only semi-ironically shipped her with Ed Sheeran.

When the relationship ended, I couldn't listen to Taylor Swift anymore. It hurt too much. I'm not sure why she was the thing my mind chose to represent everything good that I had lost, but it told me, "Nope, this girl's music is something you can never have again because it belongs to Joseph now. Sorry, tough luck, thanks for playing!" 

This made me angry. It's one thing to have the movie theater where he first held your hand ruined. Nobody cares about Provo movie theaters. Ruining the music you have loved for years? No. That is not okay. It couldn't stand, and I set out to recondition myself to stop freaking crying every time the first strains of "Style" came on the radio.

The eight hour drive to my family reunion in Yellowstone last week provided the opportunity for me to force catharsis. I pulled out of my driveway at 7:14 on Thursday morning with "Tim McGraw," the first song from her first album, playing. My plan was to make myself listen to her entire discography in chronological order. Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989. Every song. No skips allowed. Crying would result in the song being played again until I could handle it. I needed to reclaim these songs, to prove something to myself. I can't really explain why, but it was important to me.

I'm proud to say I only cried once, and it wasn't even on a break-up song. "Never Grow Up" always hits me right in the feels. This is not to say that I didn't tear up a time or two, but I decided to let these slide. I almost caved when it got time to insert Red. I've always said that album was written for people in love. "State of Grace," "Stay, Stay, Stay," and freaking, "Everything Has Changed." I wasn't sure that I could handle it. I knew if I made it to 1989 I'd be fine, because that album was written for single girls. But Red? Red was tough. But I put in the cd, and I made it. (Guys, it's the little victories. I don't know why this was such a big deal for me.)

As someone whose mood has recently been careening from "Last Kiss" (seriously, "Last Kiss" might be the most relatable sad song in the world) to "Shake It Off" (which never fails to make feel awesome for at least a second) and back depending on the hour, it was actually helpful to ride the emotional roller coaster in it's condensed form. By the time the last song from 1989, "Clean," played, I did feel another step closer to okay. Taylor Swift is mine again. And to me that's not nothing. 

Also, I saw thirteen of these trucks.

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