Since August of 2014, one of the greatest influences on my life has been Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989.
I was sixteen when a new album was hinted with the smashing of elevator buttons. It was the tail end of my summer vacation, right before I would enter the upperclassmen ranks at school. I was young, naïve, and felt like high school was going to last forever.
The day the album released was the first time I deliberately skipped class. My best friend, Maddie, and I went to Target as soon as it opened and bought a physical copy of the album. On the way out, we took a picture, which later ended up on Taylor’s twitter:
Taylor was right, we couldn’t find our chill that day. We were excited, and passionate, and wildly oblivious to the chaos that surrounded us.
And I owe at least part of those passionate three years to 1989.
Words have always meant a great deal to me. I think that’s why I’m so in love with writing. I see the power that words carry across every aspect of life, and finding ways to describe what we feel through those words is fascinating to me.
With those words, 1989 described so many of the breathless, fierce emotions I experienced as my life took one drastic turn after another.
1989 proved to me that I was not alone when friends left, when intentions were questioned, and when I had to crawl out of a hole into a life I hadn’t planned on.
1989 helped me understand that I am not the opinion of someone who doesn’t know me.
1989 solidified my love for New York City, and was my soundtrack as I watched the skyscrapers emerge from an airplane window.
1989 reminded me that sometimes people leave, and you may never understand why, but that some come back.
1989 told me that even if a relationship ends, it still meant something. That no one should feel regret about loving someone, even if it all came crashing down.
1989 gave me a timeline of music that will always remind me of high school. I saw the tour three times during my senior year, all three shows being a whirlwind of emotion, screaming, and undeterred happiness.
1989, more than anything, gave me something to lean on.
The words and experiences I have because of this album have helped define some of the most joyous and most devastating events in my life. The past three years have been pivotal for me: I graduated high school, moved out of my house, lost and gained relationships that I never would have anticipated, and I had to conform to a new routine in college (to be honest, I’m still trying to figure that out). It’s been a rollercoaster of change, discomfort, and longing. But it’s also been full of laughter, support, and love.
1989 was the soundtrack on that rollercoaster. On the good days, the music made me dance, and on the bad days it brought comfort. It made me smile. It made me sing.
And it always made me dance, even when dancing was the last thing I wanted to do.
So, cheers to you, 1989. You will always hold a special place in my heart.
On to the next one, my friends.