Dear Taylor Swift:
You wouldn’t recognize me if you saw me on the street, but I’m one of the 60,000 Seattle fans who went absolutely crazy at your concert on August 8th. So many things have been in my mind since leaving Century Link Stadium that evening, and I knew that the best way to explain them was to put pen to ink (or in this case, fingers to keyboard).
You’ve probably heard people say before that your music is the soundtrack to their lives. You’ve probably heard girls say that you were that friend who offered them advice at 4 in the morning when that boy broke their heart. That advice may have been delivered through headphones, but it was just enough to help her get up in the morning, strap on some heels and put on some red lipstick, ready to conquer the world again.
I count myself among those who sing and dance to your songs (we’re talking top of my lungs, completely uncoordinated but don’t even care if the neighbors hear or coworkers see sort of shaking it off). It doesn’t matter if I’m facing Trouble or having a Long Live kind of moment. Whenever I hear your music, I can’t help but turn up the volume.
Last year I made a New Year’s resolution to do something I had never done before each month. It was amazing. (You should totally try it if you’ve never done that before…but who am I to give you advice?!) I experienced things like learning how to make beer, spending Christmas and my birthday in a different country, experimenting with new haircuts and taking a painting class (which of course makes me Georgia O’Keefe). Come November, I decided that my “new thing” for the month would be to treat myself to my first big name concert. People said that it didn’t count because I was buying a ticket for an event that wouldn’t happen for another nine months, but I ignored them. This was my resolution. I was making the rules. The ticket that I bought, was of course, for your 1989 World Tour, and I made that purchase with no regrets. (Strange for someone who always buys EVERYTHING on sale.)
And so began the long countdown to August 8, 2015, when two friends and I made the trek from Richland,WA to Seattle, WA. The funny thing is that we had bought our tickets at different times, so I was in a different section from them. It was okay though, because although we were all on the floor, I was a few sections closer. (Hehe) I’ll spare you the details of how we made signs and t-shirts in a feeble attempt to get into Loft 89, but suffice to say that it was one of the best moments of my life! It didn’t even matter that I’m a big Denver Broncos fan and I was in the home of the Seattle Seahawks (Loved it when you brought out Russell Wilson and Ciara though!)
You had two great opening acts, Shawn Mendes and Vance Joy-both of whom I wasn’t very familiar with, but there’s definitely something I love about a man with a guitar! What a great way to open the show! You really care about other people seeing their dreams come true. Only a kind soul would invite a 17-year old back onto the stage so that he can hear 60,000 people sing Happy Birthday to him.
The show was everything I wanted it to be and so much more. Under cloudy skies and light drizzles, you popped onto the stage as the crowd welcomed you to Seattle. Everyone around me rose to their feet, and for a fraction of a second, I was completely disappointed because everyone around me was AT LEAST 10 feet tall. Barely hitting 5 feet, I couldn’t believe that I was going to spend this show that I had been waiting for staring at the back of other people’s necks. But then I thought, “NO! I am not going to let this ruin my evening.” I spent the majority of the evening on my tiptoes. Thank God for the giant screens. My feet were throbbing by the end of the night, but it was well worth it. I sang every word of every song at the top of my lungs and also made a mental note of your set list because my best friend made me promise to tell her which songs you would sing. (She’s going to your show in Shanghai, and she wants to be prepared.) I lost my cool when you were up on that platform. I was thrilled at how close you were, as you sang some of your classics! Really, who hasn’t played Mean when she’s in the line of fire or sang Love Story in front of the mirror (or if she’s me, on the back porch doing hand motions when she thinks no one is looking).
But one of my favorite moments in the whole show came when you were sitting in front of the piano, giving a pep talk to 60,000 people as they cheered you on. You talked about the importance of having good friends with you (I believe the young’ns refer to them as “squads” now). You made it clear that when we’re in relationships, we have the clear option to leave or we can…stay. Your mashup of Wildest Dreams and Enchanted reminded me why you’re at the top of the charts every time you release a new song. Your talent is so pure, and every time you pounded on the piano and threw your head back, I was impressed. (I’m the kind of girl who has to sit and think “EGBDF” every time she looks at music.) Watching you play, I couldn’t help but think “Wow…she doesn’t even have to look at the keys!”
You’re so much more than just a musician and performer. You are an icon. You are a trendsetter. You are a role model. Every time you bring a microphone up to your lips, it’s like you’re whispering, “Don’t be afraid to dream big. You CAN make it.” Your music tells us that it’s okay to fall in love. And it will be okay if your heart gets broken. You don’t just tell us that it’s ok to celebrate our successes. You also bring balloons and bake the cake for the party.
I love your music, and you inspire me so much. You are an exceptional performer who cares about other people and is genuinely grateful for her fans. I can’t wait to see where you go in your career, and without a doubt, you can still be selling out stadiums when you’re 50 years old. And God willing, I will still be in the stands.
Thanks for reminding us that paper airplanes aren’t the only things that can fly.