As many of you, I still remember the day I became a ‘Swifty’ fan. There we were, a motley group of core team leaders, on a middle school retreat trying to survive. After an unplanned all nighter, the mist of Axe body spray clinging to the air, and no coffee to be found in the AM- we needed motivation to continue onward, fast. A friend of mine pulled out his phone to share a spark of joy with us: the screaming goats “Trouble” song. This brought us laughter to the point of delirious tears. We even ended up working the song into a skit for the kids somehow, so what if it was not as funny for them as ourselves. This retreat goes down in history for me, but not for any amazing talk, teen, or game. It marked a stunning moment in my life, when I began to see the talent of the one and only Taylor Swift. You are probably snickering at this point, but hear me out.
These past few months I have been thinking about how I can be so quick to judge others on social media without even knowing them. Of course, the people who fall victim to this most often are celebrities with their big flashy lifestyles. We all get their Snapchats, Instagram, and Tweets revealing so little about who they truly are as people, human beings with inherent dignity. Maybe it is them forgetting their own value, but most of the time it is the way we choose to see them and draw our own conclusions. Christians including Catholics are called to remember the value of others, to see the goodness in others, to find the light in the darkness. We should always keep looking for the way the Lord is working in and through another person even if that person is Taylor Swift.
I should pause and I say, I know people have mixed reactions to how T-Swift has managed her musical career and her personal life. Some enjoy her country songs, some only her pop songs, others are stuck in-between, and still others are indifferent who do not care or like her at all. I can understand having such different opinions, but I think she still deserves our respect.
I have been thinking about her journey, as this week marks 10 years since she came on the scene. #10YearsOfTaylorSwift What a difference time can make in one person’s career, when one works hard and time is used wisely. I find it interesting how she has not only influenced the music world with her talent and her personality but despite the negative attention that follows her I still see five ways Christ shining through her.
From her beginning with a mop of curly cues to the jet straight bob we see Taylor rock today, it is safe to say Taylor is not afraid to make a statement. While bringing up her hair style might seem like an unimportant detail, it can highlight one very significant fact. Taylor is comfortable taking risks without losing her true identity. Taylor’s openness to the adventure of life reminds me to be more open to the risks that God has in store for my life. Keeping an openness to God's plan for our lives is all he asks of us. He has been so open with us, we see this even in his body language on the Cross. His arms are stretched out in love of you and me. The least I can is trust in His plan. Who knows, the next step for me might be to get a haircut too! Haha
We have all seen her grow up and transform in the lime light which could not have been easy, but she has kept her cool through it all. I greatly admire this quality about her. At least for me, I am challenged to not be afraid. It is natural for me to want to keep myself, well, to myself. To close up, to not invite others to know me in a deeper way. Some of that is being a bit introverted, but some of that is fear preventing me from witnessing to others.
3) "Love Story"
As much as her method of what seems to be umm “serial dating” is not the healthiest way to find love, even in this, you can tell she is just searching for an authentic love. She wears her heart on her sleeve.
4) "Shake It Off"
If you have stuck through this article this long, I trust you have at least seen the headlines of how Taylor carried herself in good situations and when someone was being treated unfair, even herself. From her first performance to now, she has kept to her roots. We have seen the way she handled Kanye West treating her with disrespect and how she has remained patient. Nothing seems to phase her. Taylor seems to have this stamina for kindness. This is not so simple when someone and in Taylor’s case, producers, fans, etc. are being annoying. I am not sure what Taylor does but for me praying while in an uncomfortable situation can really help give me strength and might work for you too. I can always grow more genuine in how I treat others and how I carry myself.
5) "Out of the Woods"
It is safe to say TSwift does not hold back her talent or treasure.This is a strong take away, for me, in seeing her navigate life and helping others financially “out of the woods.” As she says, “It’s not generosity if you are the one benefiting.” I think the key is to be genuine in how we present ourselves, almost to the point of being generous of ourselves, our time and space. You, like me, might not have millions of dollars laying around, but we can all give in creative ways, and there in this authentic gift of self, is the crux of joy.
Overall celebrating #10YearsOfTaylorSwift is well deserved on her part. She has proven that she is not a passing artist, but someone who will last through the ages. Perhaps the most surprising is how you and I can learn from who she is as a person and her talent. Taylor is no longer a young girl, but a woman growing in grace. It may not have been her intention to be a Christ-like example, but I can see virtuous qualities in how she handles life. Through her ability to remain open to change and the ability to be herself with each person she encounters, we can see how the Lord is calling each of us to act. I wanted to write this to show, just as moments or people might seem too wrapped up in the world, the Lord is still there and he is working in unexpected ways. It is worth it to look for the silver lining, the light in the darkness. As we celebrate TSwift’s 10 years, let's pray for her to draw closer to the Lord so that she can lead others to the Lord through her talent.