day 9 – someone you wish you could meet
Dear Taylor Swift,
I think you and I would be best friends in real life. Not just because we’re two 20-something-year-old girls from southeastern PA trying to find our place in this world, but also because we both have the same worries and the same aspirations.
Sometimes I think you are writing the story of my life instead of yours. Sometimes I want to call you up and have a heart-to-heart about life and love and figuring out where I fit in this world.
I know that you’re in an entirely different ballpark than me. Red carpets line your sidewalks and broken beer bottles litter mine. I walk outside of my townhouse to a small town populated with 18- to 22-year-olds and you step outside to a big city, a sprawling metropolis.
But — and this is a big but — you’re not that different from all the girls who sing your lyrics in the shower with the water drowning out their lack of tone. All the girls who strum guitars and softly whisper along to the melody in front of a webcam, sharing their own feelings with the rest of the world the only way they know how. I don’t know you, but I know that that’s what goes through your head when you write.
Know that by doing that, by standing up — hard as it may be — you are doing a tremendous service to the teenage girls in the world who are silencing themselves for the sake of others. Your presence in the media gives you power, and that power gives you a choice: speak out or conform.
Thank you for speaking out, for sharing your missteps and mistakes with anyone who will listen. But don’t be afraid to keep making mistakes and keep searching for new experiences, new boundaries to cross.
I know you said college isn’t for you. That high school wasn’t for you, either. And I know that you’ve never met me and probably never will, but trust me when I say that I’ve been there. I was there less than a year ago.
Give it a chance. Please, please give college a chance. Because the most wonderful feeling in the world is figuring out you do have a place. Waking up each day and knowing where you fit into this universe.
College isn’t for everyone. And maybe it’s not for you. But don’t let your fear be an anchor holding you back.
I wrote this with the entirely naïve believe that someday down the road you might read it. That’s the only way to write. Laying your heart out there for the world to take it in. You’re living proof of that.