Why I Love Taylor Swift…Forever and Always

I can remember exactly where I was when I heard my first Taylor Swift song. My mom was driving me home from swim practice, and I turned the volume up when I heard Tim Mcgraw playing on the radio. At first, I thought it was a Sara Evans song *face palm* but the radio DJ quickly cleared that up for me. And with that an obsession began.

Her first self-titled album was like reading my diary, it was so filled with heartbreaking crushes that every middle school girl in America could relate to. I essentially listened to it on repeat for two years. tumblr_m6hxoh7m991rypj7ho1_250

Her second album came out when I was fourteen and you can bet that when my friends started turning 15, I posted many birthday videos of me singing Fifteen on their facebook walls. I read every article written about Taylor, watched all her vlogs on youtube about her adventures on tour, cheered for her at every award show, and dreamed of going to her concert. tumblr_mybojyIlfK1sb2yooo2_250

I marked the days on my calendar until Taylor Swift’s third album, Speak Now,  came out. And, the best birthday gift ever came for my 17th birthday; my best friend had an extra ticket to her show the same week as my birthday. We made matching t-shirts, pink glitter and all.

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Taylor’s fourth album, Red, came out when I was a freshman at college and proved that her music was more than dreams of high school romance. It also proved every girl in America was affected by her. That album was constantly playing in every girl’s room in my building for a solid two months after it came out. There were few nights my friends and I went out and didn’t listen to 22 while we got ready.tumblr_mjrz6bWpEB1roj05co1_500

Taylor’s latest album came out this fall and I love it just as much as I did that very first one, even though it’s vastly different. From a 13 year old with wet hair sitting shotgun in her mother’s suburban to a 20 year old junior in college I remain a Taylor Swift fan. When I look at how much she’s changed from that teenager strumming an acoustic guitar to the pop star she is today I’m reminded how much I’ve changed too. I grew up with Taylor Swift. As she got older and more mature, so did I. As she learned about heartbreak from unworthy boys who didn’t treat her right, so did I. As she got hate from the media, I got typical social media teen hate.tumblr_npg856mrp41qmu1q6o1_500

Taylor Swift has taught me to embrace all things girly and sparkly, to keep on believing in fairy tales no matter how many times your heart has been broken, and to not let anyone keep you down.

More recently she’s taught me not to be afraid of taking chances and changing. For instance, breaking out of the country scene you grew up in and testing the pop waters…tumblr_nox8g0nI4Z1sdni4no2_500

…that boys may come and go but your female friends are forever….tumblr_nopt74R5NI1r53686o1_1280

…and most importantly haters gonna hate and there ain’t nothing you can do about it but “shake it off”.tumblr_nov1otCcBn1uwxf73o1_500

I recognize all the changing Taylor has done and honestly if she hadn’t I probably wouldn’t like her as much. If she was still singing about small crushes I would tell her to grow up and write something new. I’m confident that as long as she continues to grow and evolve I will continue to buy every album. #cantstopwontstoptumblr_nhlt5bljVO1snc16no1_500

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Reverse Culture Shock

You expected culture shock when you studied abroad. You expected to be baffaled by the customs of your new home. You expected to question the locals behavior. Culture shock when you study abroad is a given, but you never expected to experience culture shock when you returned.

How is it even possible to feel culture shock in the only culture, up until a few months ago, you’ve ever known? You grew up in this culture, it’s ingrained in you. So why, does it feel so out of place and strange after only being gone for a couple of months?

All of sudden you start questioning things you used to think were completely normal. It takes a little bit of time to get used to the things you used to not even have to think about. And, there may be some things you will never readjust to. Here are just a few ways you know you’re dealing with reverse culture shock.

  1. When you walk into a restaurant, coffee shop, etc. you start going over your order in a foreign language until you remember they speak English shm1
  2. Your stomach is so confused by your new feeding schedule “why am I eating dinner while the sun is still up?”
  3. You try to walk out of a bar with your drink before you remember open container laws are a thing here wsod
  4. You try to get into a bar before you realize the drinking age here is 21 and it’s actually enforcedW28tx6T
  5. You instinctively say “grazie”, “merci”, or “gracias” when accepting your starbucks drink from the barista- then turn bright red, mutter “sorry”, and run out of that place emb1
  6. You’re absolutely perplexed when you order a medium soda and receive 32oztumblr_np5ho2HBFC1qehu0oo3_400
  7. You still get surprised when you can read all the signs, headlines, and directions you come across tumblr_murytdV03k1s8d8uno2_500
  8. You show up to work 15 minutes late forgetting about that European grace periodtumblr_np2r9kE6Ns1rkj1zco1_500
  9. Now that you can understand what people are saying on TV you can ditch those silly books and get back to reality TV…..Kidding! (kind of)downloadHere’s hoping the adjustment period for reverse culture shock ends soon giphy