It seems at every major point of my life, there was a Taylor Swift song to go along with it. From my first love, to never wanting to grow up, Taylor had a song for everything. Since I found her in sixth grade, she has been one of the people I look to for advice. Through her music I can see myself dancing in the rain, sitting next to my best friend in class when I was fifteen, or even fighting dragons. She has been there for me every day since. So when you tell me you hate Taylor Swift, I can only shake my head, smile and say, "Honey I'mma let you finish but Taylor Swift is the best lyricist of all time." She is so much more than just another famous artist to me. Whether I was 14 singing "You Belong With Me," or when I needed to fight and battle cancer and make sure my mom didn't sing "I remember the last day..." I was going to stick with Taylor Swift no matter the boyfriends, hate, or laughs I would get for her being one of my favorite artists. So here it is my love letter to Taylor Swift.
I was 15 years old when I listened to the song "Fifteen," and it basically became my anthem. I was starting high school. I met a girl (let's call her Ana) -- Ana was my Abigail. Almost immediately we were best friends. We "laughed at the other girls who thought they were so cool." We basically lived by the line "We'll be outta here as soon as we can," and constantly talked about getting out of the city we lived in. She was there throughout all of my crushes, my health problems, and my bad grades. Taylor has her Meredith Gray, and I have mine. She's my person. My best friend. My Abigail.
I was 16 years old when I was diagnosed with medullablastoma, a malignant brain tumor. I have to be honest -- the first couple of weeks -maybe even months - I didn't listen to Taylor's music. I don't think I listened to any music. I just wanted to get away from it all. I was transferred to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas and when I arrived, I was asked to go to Disney on Ice. It's childish, I know, but that was the moment I remembered a lyric "No one's ever burned you, nothing's ever left you scarred, and even though you want to, just try to never grow up." At that very moment I realized that I was in the process of "growing up," into adulthood and cancer stopped me. And for that night it felt like cancer became a blessing because I spent time with my mother and grandmother, as a child again, with wide eyes and a bald head eating a snow cone and falling asleep on my mom's shoulder. But the lyric stayed planted in my mind as a reminder that even though cancer plagued me by not letting me grow up, I was able to accept it.
I was 17 years old when I went back to school as a high school senior. I had a bald head and only a teaspoon of self-confidence. I just wanted to avoid underclassmen and try to be normal. That was the year I first heard someone use cancer as a joke, this was when I fell in love with the song "Shake it Off." I was 17 years old when I went to homecoming with my guy best friend from freshman year and finally understood all of the love songs. As the year progressed I constantly played 1989 and became besties with office ladies and English teachers.
By April something hit me. I didn't want people to remember me as Sabrina the girl who could never get over the fact she had cancer. I needed to stop wearing a beanie and sulking. It was time to "Change" And I did. There was a surge of no longer wearing a beanie and a giant sweatshirt. I started wearing dresses again and participating in conversations with my peers.
Taylor was there through the roller coaster called life. She still is, and always will be. She's part of the reason I am who I am today. She's not just a pop star. She's an artist who writes about real things, real feelings, and real people. Make fun of me all you want, but I'd say I'm "The Lucky One". I'm part of the Taylor Swift generation.