September 7, 2023

Taylor Swift, my Therapist & Me: How One Song Changed my Life.

Hey there, kindred spirit!

Gather around, and let me spill some tea—or, in this case, maybe glitter—about the time Taylor Swift unintentionally became my life coach, saving me more bucks on therapy than I care to admit.

You’ve heard the whole “life gives you lemons” spiel, right? In my version, life was raining lemon-flavored glitter from a piñata I never signed up to whack. Sure, I adore a good sparkle, but not when I’m trying to dodge zesty, glittery globs of chaos in my anxious state.

Enter “You Need to Calm Down” sliding into my playlist like the cool aunt who winks knowingly as she hands you your first illegal cocktail at a family gathering.

If you haven’t attempted to scream-sing “…cause shade never made anybody less gay!” during a particularly rough week, I’d highly recommend it. It’s the audio version of a big hug from someone who gets it.

Now, I’ve had my fair share of “aha” moments—usually, they’re more like “uh-oh” moments, but who’s keeping track? Though nothing slapped quite like this track. Its poppy beats? Iconic. The message? Life-altering.

And the fact that it led me to an epiphany mid-jam in my cluttered office? Priceless.

See, for the longest time, I’d been a human sponge absorbing negativity, judgment, you name it. I’d take on battles that weren’t mine, adopting the role of peacekeeper even when it seemed everyone else was studying for their master’s degree in chaos creation. And darling, I was tired.

During one of my routine therapy sessions, nestled between a diatribe about my remote colleague, Nick (who introduced himself with a pickup line so cheesy I’m sure it came straight out of a 90s sitcom—like, come on Nick, you’re giving re-run vibes rn), and my occasional existential dread, I found myself quoting Taylor to my therapist.

“You know, Dr. Jenn,” I exclaimed, “Maybe I just need to calm down.”

Dr. J, bless her, leaned in with genuine curiosity. “Tell me more about that.” And so I did.

Taylor Swift, with her fierce advocacy and sassy lyrics, wasn’t just throwing shade. She was building an entire gazebo of self-worth. Her songs aren’t just catchy tunes. With every hit, she’s crafting self-affirming anthems.

Taylor taught me that assertiveness doesn’t need to be loud or hostile. It can be a shimmy, a shake-it-off (see what I did there?) attitude.

“You Need to Calm Down” transformed from a catchy track to my soul’s whisper. The next time Nick tried one of his cringe-worthy jokes over Zoom or dropped passive-aggressive comments in group chats, I’d just hum my anthem and throw in a winky emoji.

And with every snide comment or judgment thrown my way? My internal jukebox played, “…Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?”

This isn’t to say that every day is a glitter-infused dance party (though, goals?). But armed with the wisdom of Taylor’s words and Dr. J’s guidance, I’ve learned the art of choosing my battles and preserving my peace.

So, cheers to the unlikely mentors, to the Taylors sprinkling magic into our mundane, and to the songs that become more than just ear candy. May we always find the beats that help our hearts find their rhythm, even if it means turning up the volume to drown out the noise.

And to all of you, including Nick and his boundary-challenged sense of humor: stay calm and always channel your inner Swiftie.


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