My Relationship with Taylor Swift

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As far as relationships go, Taylor Swift’s and mine was a pretty happy love story* for a bunch of years. I was about eleven or twelve years old when I started listening to her music, and I was enchanted. I would memorize all of the lyrics, practice the tunes until I got them just right, and even make up dances to my favorite songs. There were times when the two of us were inseparable, and I would spend hours trying to figure out the coded messages she slipped into her lyric books.

When “Speak Now” came out, I bought my copy right away and took to pacing up and down my living room while listening to it. I had just started at a new school, and I remember being on the bus when a few girls up front started singing “Sparks Fly”, and being overjoyed that I too knew all of the lyrics. When someone said that all of the songs on the album sounded too similar, I defended T-Swizzle’s honor and gave them a long speech (well, it was more of a soliloquy) about how her songs are well crafted, ingenious and beautiful. I was a Swiftie to the core.

But then, entirely out of the blue, in the fall of 2012, Taylor Swift and I had a falling out. It was dreadful, and I was dying to know if it was killing her like it was killing me. I don’t think it was though. Taylor Swift once told me that to be her friend all I had to was like her and listen, and I was failing royally at that. I was disappointed in her new album, “Red”, though for a short period of time in my younger years red was my favorite color. I decided she was a bad singer who was fairly hypocritical and fake, and who should have kept her beautiful curls whole.

The thing is, our falling out wasn’t entirely out of the blue. In truth, it had everything to do with the summer that preceded said fall. I was fifteen in the summer of 2012, and I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia while at the same time the growth I had found on my back was declared cancerous. I was intensely upset and dreadfully angry, but mostly I was confused. Despite that, I had made a vow to myself many years earlier that no matter what personal hardships arose, I would never, ever, take out my anger on the people around me.

I retreated into myself, and for a little while lost touch with peace and serenity. “Red” came out that October. Are you starting to see the shockingly obvious connection between my emotional state and the condition of my relationship with Taylor Swift? I kept my promise; I didn’t take my anger out on the people around me. But I did take it out on Taylor.

Taylor is blissfully unaware of my existence, because despite my sudden loathing of her I never spread a bad word about her. There was no trash talk on her social media pages, hateful comments on her videos, or mean emails that came from me. I did not turn my words into knives and swords and weapons. My issues with her were personal, and only my family and closest friends knew of our sad, beautiful, tragic love affair.

If you allow me to quote her song Fifteen, “when you’re fifteen, don’t forget to look before you fall, I’ve found time can heal most anything.” I was fifteen, and I had been in a lot of lonely places, but few were as lonely as being isolated by an illness I had, and have, no control over. I tried to be fearless, I tried to breathe, but I was coming undone despite being tied together with a smile.

The song that led me back to positive terms with Taylor is “The Lucky One”. In it, she says “they tell you that you’re lucky but you’re so confused, cause you don’t feel pretty, you just feel used and all of the young things line up to take your place… you wonder if you’ll make it out alive”. It’s an honest song, and it reminded me that Taylor is a person, just like me, who also goes through phases and who has also has hard times.

So, Taylor, this is me swallowing my pride, standing in front of you and saying I’m sorry. It has been two years since then, and my state of shock** and anger turned into a state of sadness, one I haven’t fully gotten out of yet. Time has passed, and I know I had no right to be angry with you, to criticize you, or to pass judgment on your hair. Your hair is beautiful just the way you like it. You do have a good voice, and I do know all of the lyrics to all of your songs, and I do still appreciate you and your music (like, a lot).

I know there is nothing you do better than revenge, but please, forgive me? Can we begin again?

I have adopted the motto of “live and let live”, and though I still feel as though I have personal relationships with certain singers because I connect with them and their feelings through their music and lyrics, I no longer feel as though they have actual obligations towards me. They don’t owe me songs I’m going to like. I believe that they should write what they need to write, and if I don’t like it, I can stick to listening to their older material that I do like.

I’m writing this for several reasons: a) I wanted to apologize to Taylor Swift and b) the nature of our relationship demonstrates the process I have gone through since the two separate and inconveniently overlapping diagnoses of two years ago. Before them, though not carefree, I still had hoards of energy with which to pace rooms endlessly and “fangirl” hard. During and after them, I felt trapped in a dark and confining cage and my soul was banging around between the bars. My life was in upheaval. As time passed, though my physical pain did not diminish and has even worsened, I have gained perspective and a personal understanding of pain and its aftermath. I have become a better person, who is well equipped to deal with hardship and is used to gearing up to tackle each day as a separate obstacle. The anger has mellowed out, basically. And now I just wish as many people happiness as I can, and that includes Taylor Swift.

Love,

Ella

*Italics are either titles of songs interwoven as words, lyrics from songs, references to things she wrote in her lyric books or clever adjustments of lyrics to fit the sentence and context.

**play on the song called “State of Grace”

Yes, I’m Collecting Scraps

 

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The cover of the scrapbook. Poet, Bastille

Scrapbooking is not something new or something unheard of, but it is something that I think is underappreciated. It gives validation to my belief that there is meaning behind everything! That every candy wrapper can have sentimental value and every picture has a story that deserves to be written next to it. As you may have noticed, I like recording things and having written reminders of my thoughts and feelings (more on this topic in my upcoming posts – see Posting Schedule), and therefore my having started another scrapbook is not exactly surprising. I’m still going to tell you all about it though.

1. At work the other day I needed a nametag for an event, and someone showed me how to use the label maker. Yes, they have a label maker. Yes, they are the coolest people ever. I printed my name inside a candy wrapper frame a couple of times, and one of them is now on the back of my scrapbook. I’m not even going to try to cover up the fact that the label maker totally made my day and that maybe the single best thing in my room right now is my sticker label.

2. I stayed over at a friend’s house in a another city, and we bought frozen yogurt (because, um, what I do with my friends is eat frozen yogurt… I promise we do do other things too. Like laugh at “do do”). I saved the stamp card I got and made sure not to lose it, and it’s now in my scrapbook.

3. Every now and then, late in the evening, when I’m in a certain mood, I let myself float through YouTube for longer than recommended by, well, anyone. On one such night I lost myself in a flurry of commencement speeches, and I landed on one given by John Green. It is by far the best speech I have ever heard. I transcribed large sections of it, and it is now written in my scrapbook.

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Part I

Part II

Part II

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Part III

These three examples demonstrate what my scrapbook means to me. The things in there might not be the most beautiful or the most impressive, but to me they mean something. Every time I see my name on the back of it I will remember my (slightly) out of proportion excitement, and how sweet everyone at work was that day. Every time I see the frozen yogurt card I’ll remember hanging out with my friend and her boyfriend in a park playing Heads Up in the dark. Every time I read the highlights of the speech I will remember to let myself be inspired (though I have something against that word) and remember all of the people I have read it aloud to.

And of course, let us not forget, that my scrapbook is also full of collages and song quotes. Because, well… it’s me. Way back when, during what feels like forever ago, I wrote a whole post* about how I want to fall in love and it all had to do with listening to Ed Sheeran’s love songs. Without further ado, the love page of my scrapbook:

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Thinking Out Loud + Afire Love

*clears throat* Okay, back to business. I’m simply writing this to encourage you to maybe give scrapbooking a try and to share with you what I have been busy doing lately. Mission accomplished, right? Okay, fine, I’ll answer that myself: right!

 

Yours truly,

And babbling because that’s the mood I’m in right now,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Where you invest your love, you invest your life. –Awake My Soul, Mumford & Sons

P.s. Tweet me with your examples of #RainbowArea!

*The post is called When You Wake Me Up

 

I didn’t even realize this is my 50th post! That’s insane! Please leave me a comment with the words (fifty, fiftieth, five, zero) or the number 50 in it. Let’s see what you can come up with :) get creative!

Rainbow Area

 

In life, there is an accepted term, “gray area”. It means things aren’t black and white; there’s no clear separation between good and bad. I’ve always accepted this term, and it never occurred to me how wrong it is until today.

It’s a rainbow area. It’s an area where a lot is happening, where things shift and change according to what we’re feeling and the circumstances, and what better way to represent shifting than color? I’ve always felt that I have some small version of synesthesia, because memories, dreams and feelings are represented in my heart by colors and shades of lighting.

I sometimes wish there was common ground in colors. If I tell someone that today I’m feeling orange, they’ll think I’ve gone a bit loco. To me, this makes sense: orange is a feeling, it’s the kind of mood I’m in. Yet when I try to translate this into normal people terms, it loses its meaning, and I simply say I’m feeling fine. But I’m feeling orange.

Humor me for a minute, and pretend you understand what feeling orange means.

Now do you have a better sense of me? Yes. Do you know what my day has been like? Yes. Do I need to say anything else in order for you to understand? Nope. Orange sums it all up.

Unfortunately and fortunately, colors are not used as everyday adjectives in the sense of feelings. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, you can “feel blue”, or “see green”, and these have a commonly accepted meanings, but they don’t count. Specific colors have been allotted certain connotations, and that doesn’t mean that’s the way I’m feeling. In my cozy world, green does not mean someone is jealous. Green can mean many, many different things, and jealousy isn’t actually among them.

So next time, instead of using the term “gray area”, please use “rainbow area”, and explain it to them if they don’t get it.

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Let’s make this a thing, people. #RainbowArea . It started here.

 

Yours truly,

Ella

Song Quote:

Loving him was red. -Red, Taylor Swift

 

Sheesh, time is flying! Don’t forget to send in your 2,500 competition entries! All of the info here: 

The deadline is Monday, July 14th!!!

In addition, I will hopefully be getting back to regular posts now that school is over for the year. I survived! I did it! For a few months now I just haven’t had much spare time, but as I said, you can start looking forward to weekly posts again :)

Competition Announcement – CLOSED

I was walking home and I saw this wall with graffiti all over it, and I suddenly thought, “Isn’t graffiti beautiful?”

Bear with me here.

A wall of graffiti is not the work of one person; it is the collective effort of a bunch of creative and unlawful artists. Sometimes they paint over another’s creation, but usually they simply continue it, improve it, or paint something else in response to it. That’s when it becomes beautiful: when it is a thoughtful conversation taking place without words ever being exchanged.

Now, the 2,000 followers milestone kind of passed by without me really noticing, as a result of this being a super intense test season (twelve down, three to go). So, I propose we celebrate the 2,500 mark instead. That gives us time to come up something good. Notice my use of ‘we’. It’s because this is what I’m thinking:

Why don’t you write about it instead of me? Or even not necessarily about it, but about something else that has been on your mind and you would like to share with what the rest of this lovely community? It can be anything you’d like!!! You can write about your own health struggles and triumphs, about your families and loved ones, share a funny anecdote, or absolutely anything you’d like. You could even send in pictures of your artwork if you’d like, or a photo montage, or… well, have I made it clear enough that it can be anything you’d like? Let your imagination take over. For 1,000, I put a spotlight on the words you leave for me in the comments section. Now, I’m putting a spotlight on the message/s you want others to hear.

Seeing as I can’t give you an accurate deadline, because I don’t know when I will reach 2,500 followers, how about we just agree that you’ll send in your final pieces by Monday, July 14th, in four weeks? That way I can have time to read through everything and pick my favorite one. Oh, have I made that clear enough? This is a competition. Because that just makes it more fun. There will be one featured piece on the day I reach 2,500 followers, here on this site. But, if I get a lot of really amazing entries, there may or may not be a new page going up around the same time with a bunch more. You didn’t hear it from me, though.

 

Terms for entering this amazingly awesome competition:

1. You must be a follower of Sick and Sick of It

2. You must be human and alive (because otherwise it would just be creepy)

3. You must be a follower of my twitter account (the link will be on the right side of your screen if you scroll down far enough)

 

How to enter:

Simply write something (/draw/create/fill-in-the-blank), and send it to sickandsickofit@gmx.com with the subject: 2,500 entry, and then your name  (example: 2,500 entry, Ella Doe). I will reply to your email to confirm that I have received it. Take note, if I don’t respond within a week it probably means it wasn’t received! Shoot me another email to check, because it might have gotten lost or sent to spam by accident. If you are the chosen one (like I wouldn’t put a Harry Potter reference in here), I will send you an additional email closer to the time to let you know that your piece will be going up. You can include an “about the author” box if you’re so inclined, and include links to your various online endeavors.

 

How to help make this awesome-er:

1. Put a lot of thought into what you send me. My words have reached so many people in over 120 countries around the world, and it’s simply insane to try to wrap my mind around that. If your piece wins, your message will reach them too.

2. Tweet the image below along with a link to this page (#2500), post it on Facebook or mention it on your blog (because the more the merrier! And it’s in your best interest to tell everyone you know about this, friend or foe, because they will fall uncontrollably in love with this site (or not) and subscribe (or not), and that brings us closer to 2,500(or not)). Also, it’s twenty-five-hundred, not two-thousand-five-hundred. Because that’s how my brain works.

3. I cannot stress this enough: please get the word out there!

4. Send in your piece as soon as you have it ready (I have an urge to say “the early bird gets the worm” right now).

 

So maybe 2,500 isn’t a wall of graffiti. Maybe it’s better.

 

2,500 competition cover photo

For the record, this sweet dog is saying “2,500. It’s awesome. Woof. I like it. You’ll like it too. Woof.”

 

Always yours truly,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

It’s a mess, It’s a start, It’s a … work of art. -Take Back The City, Snow Patrol

This competition is now closed! If you’re still interested in sending me something you’ve created, feel free to do so but you won’t win this competition. 

 

#2500 !!!!!!!