People Hate Successful People
And that’s why I love Taylor Swift
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My first love called me up at 10am asking to talk.
I hopped in the shower, letting the warm water ease my mind before having a conversation I’d already known was coming.
Not totally naive, I don’t think, just a little optimistic.
I couldn’t help myself.
When it finally happened, he walked out into the quad with me as our paths diverged, letting me catch his sad expression. I choked back tears as I made my way up to the second floor of the nearest building and into an empty classroom.
Bent down against a wall, I put my earbuds in and began to cry.
Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much
And maybe this thing was a masterpiece, ’til you tore it all up
Running scared, I was there, I remember it
All too well.
Okay, let’s just get this out of the way.
I’m not here to convince you Taylor Swift is an angel.
Nor will I tell you everything thrown at her wasn’t true or deserved.
The success of Taylor Swift is one thing even her vicious critics can’t deny. A woman who fearlessly took what she wants and continues to only get bigger.
But when I think about my own personal transformations with wellness and happiness, I remember the struggles nobody really talks about.The messy things we never think would happen when we actually get where we want to be.
Becoming your best self allows you to see through the bullsh*t
You learn about the people you thought were on your side.
This is one of the most important lessons someone told me.
When you start actually getting what you want, take a look at your friends.
Their reactions will tell you everything.
Taylor Swift has had many many critics.
Yes, she’s rich.
Yes, she’s famous.
But we know these things are hardly remedies for happiness. As it seems almost every celebrity has their breaking point.
“Poor rich people” We cry.
Until, of course, it’s us with all the attention.
Despite all the wild accusations, slut-shaming and thought-policing always done to Swift’s art, she’s only became more successful and hard-working in spite of it.
That’s a hell of a message to send to millions of young people who often watch their idols implode under the enormous pressures they face. And while the music has become more pop and less country, the deeper cuts on every album are always a cut above.
“The most important things for me is maintaining artistic integrity. Which means, as a songwriter, I still continue to write about my life. I could very well water it down.”
— Interview from 2day, 104.1
Tearing ourselves inside out.
Those who gave Taylor’s “Look What You Made Me Do” music-video a few minutes of their time might’ve realized this little skit at the end where she playfully makes each of her old personas take shots at each other using common phrases and criticisms leveraged against her.
This is something most of us would be scared to death to do.
And almost none of us have a platform this big.
Self-awareness is one of the most difficult obstacles we face
No matter how well we think we’re doing, we’re still going to slip up in some sort of way. Being able to take a step back and look at our faults in a productive manner is one of the best ways to keep improving.
“It’s less about reputation management and strategy and vanity than it is about trying to desperately preserve self-awareness, since that seems to be the first thing to go out the door when people find success.”
- Taylor Swift
It should go without saying most of us don’t take a good long look in the mirror. Or even have a frank conversation with ourselves sometimes.
It’s so easy to get defensive.
But imagine admitting our faults, let alone becoming comfortable with them.
“So don’t you worry your pretty little mind. People throw rocks at things that shine… “
-Lyrics from “Ours”
I’ve always admired Taylor’s way of doing whatever she wants
Years ago, when I was first listening to Taylor Swift’s music, I realized despite her somewhat affluent upbringing, she was the creator of her own success.
In her documentary titled Fearless, she recalls convincing her own family to move to Nashville so she could pursue her dream of being a singer. When she got there, she eventually did manage a songwriting deal. But when she realized the company wasn’t getting her anywhere, she left.
Yeah, she left the opportunity of a lifetime. (I’d probably throw up)
It was something so necessary, but so incredibly risky.
And that should make us all take a step back
What would life be like if more of us decided to pack up our things and start fighting for our dreams instead of sitting behind our computer screens and ranting into the comment section of The AVClub?
Many inspiring women have fought their way up to the top. Take a moment to look up the stories of Rihanna or Katy Perry, who actively pursued their dream often with family, friends and industry professionals all telling them they wouldn’t get anywhere.
It’s this persistence which should inspire us.
What does it say when we tear people down who went for their dreams?
Nowadays, I’m careful to tear down other people’s success.
It’s because I know, whatever they did, they got to where they wanted to be.
Stephanie Meyer, for example, author of the Twilight series.
Scoff all you want. Complain about her writing ability or the nature of the plot or the ridiculous plot twists.
None of it mattered.
None of it.
She’s up there and you’re down here.
Which should be a humbling experience for all of us.
So I don’t particularly care what anyone else thinks.
I’m pretty proud to look up to someone who has achieved such massive success. You can go on and on about her drama or political views, but none of it matters to much to me. I’m trying to fight for the life I want to live and the dreams I want to come true.
And there’s one person I know who did just that.