I’ve been a fan of Taylor Swift’s from the moment I heard “Our Song” when I was a young teen. My best friend and I used to set our cell phone ringtones to Taylor Swift songs and then not answer the phone when we called each other so we could listen to it all the way through.

Her music has been there for me through thick and thin and, even as a married adult woman, I still find myself being encouraged by her and commiserating with the struggles of different life stages.

Overall, I’ve learned a lot of life lessons with her music playing in my ear buds.

Here are just a few:

Sometimes love stinks (Teardrops On My Guitar, Dear John, etc)

Starting with the obvious here! Angst about a boy is something I was very familiar with in junior high. Taylor Swift’s music made me feel somewhat normal and understood in what I felt, which was something I needed being in the midst of purity culture.

Haters gonna hate (Shake It Off)

I’ve always had people who didn’t believe in me or what I stood for. From people who thought I wouldn’t amount to anything because I was a small town homeschool girl to internet trolls who will argue over the sky being blue.

You can’t please everyone. But you can, in the famous words of TS, shake it off!

You decide how you handle the bricks thrown at you (New Romantics)

When facing people who are trying to tear you down, it can be easy to succumb to the temptation to get down on their level and start throwing mud. I’ve done it, I’ll admit.

When faced with a situation like that, it is always best to be creative and put the best construction on it. This line in New Romantics always reminds me of that, “Cause baby I could build a castle, out of all the bricks they threw at me.”

Staying in your own lane and creating art is the way to go (Look What You Made Me Do)

When I have dealt with people coming at me or slandering me, it has been tempting to give up. And in fact, I have before. When Taylor’s Swift “Look What You Made Me Do” came out, I actually found it brilliant and relatable.

She rose above all the criticism of her by making fun of it and incorporating it into her story, her art. Talk about rolling with the punches! She didn’t waste her time deflated and disempowered by others, but instead kept to her own lane and continued to create. That’s inspirational to me!

Change is good (The Reputation Album)

I’ll admit, when Taylor first changed over from country to pop, I was one of many fans to be disappointed. Now that I am older and have gone through a lot of change in my own life, I find that move to be brave, bold, and wonderful!

While I don’t like a lot of her newer songs because they are more suggestive (though still on the whole more subtle and tactful than say Miley Cyrus or Demi Lovato), there are still many I can relate to.

I think she made a good move in leading her fans by example on this. Many of us do change when we grow into our adult lives, and her fearlessness in doing so made my transition a lot easier for me!

What’s your favorite singer from childhood? Have you been able to grow and change with them?

21-year-old Oklahoma native Rebecca Lemke has been published on the Federalist, To Love, Honor and Vacuum, Huffington Post, Homeschoolers Anonymous, The Relationship Blogger, ARCWrites, TrueAgape, Beautifully Connected, Ann Miszczak and more. She has made many guest appearances on live radio and podcasts to discuss spiritual abuse and legalism. Rebecca does public speaking on these same topics in addition to other mental health topics. She is also a contributor to Iron Ladies and holds the 2015 Best Performance of the Year award in the national competition held at thepublicblogger. Her published work includes a book on purity culture, The Scarlet Virgins, and a fiction book, The Shadow Queen. She has a podcast called The Scarlet Virgins Podcast associated with her nonfiction book that can be found at scarletvirgins.com or rebeccalemke.com.

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