Taylor Swift is…

a consummate professional
a musician
responsibly mature
an encourager
inspiring, generous
& confident

But her good traits do not warrant her a revolving station in my brain anytime I hear a snippet of Shake it Off or the beginning notes of Red. Her twitter feed my evening does not define, clicking on every insta photo, wondering where her next big idea will come from, or googling her friendships with models and other entertainers.

I heard Teardrops on My Guitar for the first time a few years ago and gave into an impulse (much like I am now) to write an aside criticizing the song. A song built on what I felt was a whine or lament seemed empty. It was based on circumstances that could easily be changed if she would just go and talk to the guy instead of faking a smile. These days, however, I am thoroughly blown away by her giving spirit, drawn in by her words (especially in prose form), and inspired by her responsibility. I no longer characterize her as being the passive actor; rather, she is capable of all that she takes on in life, moving at a fast clip with a good head on her shoulders, spot-on business acumen, and an insatiable thirst for making worthwhile memories all the way. Oh, and with lots and lots of Response-ability.

Yes, response-ability, the key to living like a grown-up. If you own a car, a house, a dog or cat, have kids, you must anticipate repairs, routine maintenance, housing and feed, summer and winter schedules, etc. Before you shoot an email coordinating a meetup date with someone, first you must consider which dates you’re free and not just, “when are you available?” Before you ask how a necessary task ought to be completed, prepare your heart to do the steps asked of you so you may follow through, and not just realize later it wasn’t your thing. Before you make a phone call to that contractor, think of the next step questions you need to ask, instead of relying on someone else’s response-ability.

If this is second nature to you, great! It took me a long time to learn. I guess what I’m trying to say through this post is mostly for myself: take away from Taylor Swift an encouragement to face life head-on, being fully present in the moment, stepping into one’s feelings once in a while, and knowing when to curb those unhelpful emotions, then… not to spend too much time on one thing or person coz the best part of knowing someone great is how they allow others (you! me!) to live free and boldly.

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