Yes, this title is meant to be funny but there is truth behind it. I came across an Instagram post yesterday detailing the signs of emotional addiction. One of the points listed is "finding your 'hit' emotion through songs, movies, TV shows, + social media". I've been struggling with feeling like I'm not making enough progress, crying at seemingly random times, and ruminating regularly. The post made me take a second look at what I might be doing that contributes to these negative thought patterns and feelings. And so we come to Taylor Swift.
Some context - I love Taylor Swift. I'm not a crazy super fan but I have grown up with her in a way and truly believe that there's a Taylor Swift song for almost every emotion and time in your life (especially if your life is that of a 30 year old white woman). 1989 was the only CD in my car when I first met my husband and we dated long distance, so I listened to that album on repeat for 2-hour stretches up and down Interstate 81 every other weekend. I walked down the aisle at my wedding to a violin version of "Love Story". And folklore, arguably her most poignant album ever, came out right before I discovered the cheating.
So I turned to Taylor in the immediate aftermath. Particularly "All Too Well" from her album Red. Famously rumored to have been written about Jake Gyllenhaal, "All Too Well" is one of the most devastatingly sad and gorgeous songs Taylor Swift has ever recorded. I cannot listen to it without crying. Which was fine during the initial "feel your feelings!" stage but is edging towards that emotional addiction a few weeks out. I also typically go down a slippery slope from "All Too Well", choosing sad song after sad song until I'm listening to "You Were Mine" by The [Dixie] Chicks and just completely losing it.
I think there's a time and a place for sad songs and a good cry. I think there's a certain beauty to going for a run listening to Beyonce's "Don't Hurt Yourself" and Carrie Underwood's "Good Girl" or the hurt-girl-anthem, "Before He Cheats". I also think there's beauty and strength in recognizing a pattern that is turning toxic and taking steps to break it.
I will always love Taylor Swift and I'm sure I will listen to her and cry again. "exile"?! I mean, come on. It's incredible and completely heartbreaking at the same time. I just need a little [blank] space for now.