It was the night before Valentine's Day. My boyfriend called for what I assumed was our normal nightly chat, but instead decided to shatter my heart by telling me he liked a different girl at school and we were over. This was fifth grade, my first boyfriend, first puppy love, and my very first heartbreak. I turned to the radio in search of something to soothe my little aching heart and found that Taylor Swift's "Teardrops on My Guitar" did just the trick. I cried and cried each night to that song until my crushed spirits began to heal, but this was not the last time that I'd reach out to Taylor to cure my relationship blues. All throughout middle school, high school, and during the entirety of college, I dealt with stupid boys who were clueless as to how to care for me, and would always end up running back to Taylor Swift when I needed to cry it out.
When I was 20 and ended my first real (and truly horrible) relationship, I streamed 1989 on a continuous loop and started to feel better.
As a pre-teen and teenager, Taylor's music did more than just ease post-breakup pain. Songs like "Love Story," "Mine," and "Sparks Fly" fuelled my dreams of the romance I hoped to find one day. "Mean" allowed me to forget about the kids who bullied me and inspired me to become the best version of myself no matter what. The amount of time I spent in my room with earbuds in or my boombox blasting her lyrics probably amounted to part-time job hours on a good week.
As I grew up, Taylor's music did too. When I was 20 and ended my first real (and truly horrible) relationship, I streamed 1989 on a continuous loop and started to feel better. I remember how I bawled my eyes out to "Clean" while I wondered if I'd ever get to a point where I'd feel that way. Spoiler alert: I did, and the first time I scream-sang along to "We Are Never Getting Back Together" in my car felt like a freaking baptism into a world without my shitty ex.
More than just romantic heartbreak, Taylor's music has been there to accompany me through every major life change, hardship, and loss. Even now, I'm able to relate to and feel understood through her music as an adult. "Soon You'll Get Better" has been a gentle reminder to me in times of grief or depression, and Folklore is already my go-to when I'm having a day where I need to fully feel my emotions. No matter how old I get, I still have such a deep attachment to some of the songs that helped me through my roughest patches that I'll occasionally shed a tear when I hear them.
I've found that grand romance I used to fantasize about, and I know it's right because he's never made me cry into a pillow at night to Taylor Swift. We're getting married as soon as it's safe to do so, and I'm not the least bit embarrassed to say that "Lover" is a top contender for our first dance song.
If I could tell Taylor how much she means to me and how much she's helped me overcome, I would. She's a damn talented woman, a gifted storyteller, and has healed so many of my generation's hearts. I know that no matter what, the first time my little girl comes home cursing a crush that broke her heart, I'll hand her some headphones and introduce her to "Teardrops on My Guitar."