I can't believe it's time to purchase tickets for your Lover Tour. Your albums and concerts are a form of therapy to me, and seeing Lover live seems almost too good to be true.
Each album release perfectly aligned with milstones in my life. As you grew, so did I.
I'll never forget the first time I heard "Tim McGraw." I was hopeless-romantic-naive twelve year old girl with fantasies of love, heartbreak, and making those memories of my own. I was babysitting when the music video realeased. I sat there and cried, not even knowing who you were yet, but so mesmerized by your honest lyricism. I felt every word you sang, even though I hadn't experienced anything close to heartbreak yet in my life. I knew from that moment on that your music spoke to me. I couldn't wait to hear more.
When Fearless came out, I was just starting high school. This new and exciting chapter was ahead of me, and I listened to this album every morning while getting ready for school. I was finally experiencing the lyrics you sang about. I was fifteen with all these new, exciting ideas filling my head. That year I learned a lot, and "White Horse" helped me through my very first heartbreak.
Two years later, Speak Now came into my life. I was no longer that naive little girl, but a sassy teenager who would blast "Better Than Revenge" on every car ride. You showed me that it's okay to speak (and sing) what's on your mind. I was coming into my own, just like you were.
I had just begun my college career when Red was released. I watched the leaves change on my campus while I listened to you sing about them. I was trying to find myself and never related to a lyric more than your "All Too Well" lyric "...I'd like to be my old self again, but I'm still trying to find it." I was struggling with romance, but so were you so I did not feel so alone. I balled my eyes out at this concert.
As I entered my junior year of college, 1989 came out. You were trying something different while still being true to yourself, and I could relate to that. I was experimenting with my acting and didn't want to do what was always expected of me. I was thinking of my future career more and more every day, and "Welcome to New York" made me excited as ever to move there. I devoutedly listened to that album all year. With my end of my longest and most serious relationship, "Clean" became my anthem. I had lost my my first true love, but was finding myself.
Your Reputation album couldn't have come at a better time. I was under a lot of pressure my last two years of college, and I left there feeling ruined. My repuation was tarnished from endless gossip, rumors, and misunderstandings. I was angry and vengeful. I wanted to act out against those who hurt me, but instead I screamed the lyrics of "Look What You Made Me Do" and let that be my catharsis. Seeing you fight back against haters gave confidence again. I felt like my old self was also dead, and took that time to work harder to get closer to my goals. The concert was an unforgettable experience.
And then came Lover. Ah sweet Lover. By the time this album came out, I was back to my old self. My anger had disipated, and like you, I felt like I found "Daylight." The harm that others had caused me became a distant memory ("I Forgot That You Existed"). I finally made that move to New York City and began a new life with my own lover. He understands me and loves me-flaws and all. I never knew a love like this could exisit, but you were right- it is golden.
So thank you, Taylor, for giving me the gift of your music. Your words and stories have paralled my life and made me feel like someone understands. You continue to inspire me everyday. I pray that you see this one day. I want you to know how much I apprecite you and your music. Continue making your magic.
I can't wait to see you again, let's hope I get the tickets today!
Natalie Marie Walsh