Life and Love


On living in the moment.

If you’ve followed me at all through the past few years, you have seen my life flip, change and morph. Constantly.

My life has come and gone in seasons that made my heart leap, that left me broken and needing repair, that brought me close to the people I needed most. It has been thrilling, beautiful, heart-warming, gut-wrenching and overwhelming at times.

I’ve realized this: Every season has a purpose. The meaning for a restless night will appear when you need it most. It’ll make you think, “If for nothing else, this moment is worth it.”

Looking up at a dark sky raining with confetti last Saturday night, I felt that. I felt this overwhelming feeling of peace, of uninhibited happiness.

I felt it at a Taylor Swift concert, which, of the seven times I’ve been there, lie among some of my happiest nights. Last Saturday joined the list of moments that have made me realize why life is worth living, worth capturing, worth cherishing.

I struggle to put those moments into words.

A section of Taylor’s show helped me, though, when she read off a poem she wrote before one of her last songs. Toward the end of the poem, she wrote these lines:

When she turned to go home,
She heard the echoes of new words
“May your heart remain breakable
But never by the same hand twice”
And even louder:
“without your past,
you could never have arrived-
so wondrously and brutally,
By design or some violent, exquisite happenstance

Here. In those fleeting moments of overwhelming joy, I remember everything that led me… here.

Here. Standing with my best friends, who have stayed by my side through every broken moment, every uncontrollable laugh, tear and feeling of stress. Every dance party, car jam and 4 a.m. life talk.

Here. Looking around a stadium full of twinkling lights, like a sea of fireflies, overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. Stretching my arms to catch rainbow confetti as it floats down to the ground. Watching strangers for a few moments in the crowd, how their faces light up underneath the sparkling of fireworks.

Here. Dancing to music that has defined my life for over ten years. Spinning, clapping, jumping, swaying. Singing every word at the top of my lungs, serenading strangers and friends, fighting back tears, holding Maddie and Tony close while Taylor sings, “Long live the walls we crashed through.”


It’s a perfect place to be.

By laurenstockam

Lauren is a graduate student at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.

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