I’ve written before about my dark years. AKA: the eight years that Taylor Swift played on a loop and her picture was plastered on every and any open space within a mile radius of me. At the time, I thought I was *musically living,* now I know I was really just missing out on a whole world of different sounds.
No worries, I was eventually cultured. Enter Spotify, which, not to be dramatic, changed the soundtrack of my future. And now, my favorite compliment to get is “you look like you listen to indie music.” Houndmouth, HAIM, and Hippocampus describe my life better than any pop, country crossover track.
But, as I danced in my nosebleed seat at the Taylor Swift Reputation tour, I couldn’t help crying (and singing) along as she played some of her classics. And I started thinking about the power of music to take you back to such a specific moment, or feeling. The thought has stuck with me, and no matter how many times I sit down to write about it, it’s still hard for me to put into words. It feels almost like a modern day time machine.
And in all of this, I started to think about how it’s not just memories and feelings, but the people you share music with, too. It’s why we avoid certain songs that remind us of certain heartbreaks and make playlists dedicated to people we love. There’s so much life tied into something that we just have to press play to experience.
I wasn’t expecting to be so emotional at the concert. I didn’t even think to wear waterproof mascara; most of Swift’s current songs are more sass and less sob. But, when she played tracks from her first couple albums, it brought me back to long car rides with the best of friends, fifty chairs in a circle around a campfire, and a time of my life when my biggest worry was how I was going to fit more magazine cutouts of Taylor into my shrine. Simpler times, to say the least. It wasn’t a sad, depressing cry. More of a, “wow, things are so different now and I’m so different now” moment.
Change is always confusing. Realizing things aren’t the same always makes us more reminiscent of the past. I love where I am now, but part of me misses where I was when the Red album hit iTunes. It’s okay, life goes on and it keeps getting better, but sometimes it’s nice to be brought back to who you used to be.
Stuck in my head: Long Live // Taylor Swift
Snap it: Rep Tour!