“If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t ever change.” – Taylor Swift
Happy Monday, everyone! And it most definitely will be if you’re a Taylor Swift fan – her new album hits stores today! I’ve been a fan of hers since I heard her first CD when I was 15. So for me, there’s a certain nostalgia in getting all excited for her latest songs. Taylor saw me through my country music phase, during which I only wore cowboy boots and listened to Toby Keith on repeat (I will admit that this particular time was much better than my punk rocker phase, when I thought I was the next Avril Lavigne and abused the pink hair extensions trend – let’s not get into that now.) Taylor’s music also saw me through boy troubles, bouts of unrequited love, and all the not-so-fun stuff that comes along with growing up and discovering who you are and how life works.
I know I’ve blogged about playing my guitar here, but I don’t think I’ve ever written about what inspired me to take up the instrument in the first place. All throughout high school and college, I could barely make it through the day without someone telling me I looked like a brunette version of Taylor Swift. And while I remember being completely flattered by the compliment (especially when I believed I was a borderline-ugly Plain Jane), I also felt a tinge of resentment that I would never be able to strum a guitar like Swift because of my arm. I’ve always loved writing, and back then I used to pen a lot of (what I thought were good, at the time) songs about what was going through my mind and what I felt needed to be written down. So after a while, I got the crazy idea that I would buy a guitar and teach myself how to play it so that I could accompany the songs I wrote with music. I was set on playing guitar, so I knew I would find a way.
And so it began. Countless hours watching YouTube tutorials and reading guitar books (read: avoiding my homework) paid off and now, 2 years later, I still turn to my trusty 6-string whenever I need to sing away whatever I’m thinking or feeling. Times may have changed and some of Taylor’s songs might just be a little immature for me now, but I still consider teaching myself guitar to be one of the most validating and empowering feats I’ve accomplished in my life because I showed myself that I was capable of something everyone assured me was impossible.
So am I going to join all those squealing 10-year-old girls lining up to buy Taylor’s album today? Hell yeah. Just as soon as I get out of work, where I’m trying (and failing) to hide my excitement, kind of like this: