The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I remember my first heartbreak vividly. I remember the pit in my stomach that remained for months. I remember the mental gymnastics of bargaining and saying, “well, maybe in a few months we could work it out.” I remember how quickly I would go from loathing my former partner to wishing they were by my side to experience life with me again.
I also remember a certain blonde singer who somehow knew exactly what I was going through and knew exactly what to say even though we had never met. It seemed that every rapidly changing emotion I felt during that time in my life, Taylor knew about. She knew about the loneliness I felt, how angry I was at the way I’d been treated and how much I still believed with a blind optimism that it would work out.
I think so often women are told to get over breakups quickly, to be unbothered or to set out to prove that they are doing okay without a significant other. While I think there’s a space for that within the grieving process, there is something to be said about experiencing all of the emotions of heartbreak fully and honestly and Taylor Swift’s music enabled me to do that.
When I was livid, I had “Dear John.” When I was overwhelmed, I had “Death by a Thousand Cuts.” When I was wistful, I had “the 1.” Somehow, everything I had felt, she had as well and written a song about it
Her music allowed me to embrace the emotions that accompanied heartbreak in an honest, unabashed way. I never felt shame in the way I was feeling because I knew that she had felt that way too once. Her music allowed me to articulate the way I felt that I hadn’t experienced before. It made my haze of emotions direct and pointed, and I was able to know exactly what was happening inside my head.
It’s been almost two years since then. I’ve grown. I’ve forgiven all the versions of myself that appeared during that relationship and in the months that followed. The thing that has stuck with me from that time is the ability to move through emotions and to feel them fully because I was taught by the best.