Taylor’s music has been a staple in our house for years.
Watching her sing Mean at the Grammy’s (and then watching it again and again through the wonders of TiVo) led to downloading Our Song, You Belong with Me, and then eventually entire albums and live performances.
And while I occasionally need a break, I appreciate the fact that my daughters love her.
Kids love repetition, and believe me, these songs get repeated ad nauseam, but there is a different energy with Taylor Swift’s music, she’s more than tolerable.
Maybe it’s because she’s a great story teller, or maybe it’s because I admire her sense of “knowing” at such a young age.
She left a record company at 14 (unheard of) because they weren’t interested in her writing her own music, and partnered with a guy who was just getting started - someone she trusted and believed in.
So instead of listening to what others told her to do, she created her own dream. I’m sure she was interested in fame and everything that goes with it, but first and foremost she wanted to do her thing – she wanted to be authentic and sing about what she knows.
And even more surprising, this girl runs her company (click here to see her 60 Minutes interview). She’s believes in her ideas and ultimately she’s the final decision maker. She doesn’t fall into the trap of “this is how they do it”, or “you can’t do it that way” – she creates her own reality.
So on the surface my girls are listening to Taylor sing about boys, breakups and difficult people, but somewhere in there I hope they integrate the bigger message, the message that says be who you are and do what you love.
I hope they recognize that their imagination is powerful enough to create a beautiful life, and that no matter who disagrees, they can trust themselves to move in the direction of their heart.
This may mean fame and money, or this may mean a simple and quiet life - it really doesn’t matter. If you are going through your life as YOU with a sense of peace and contentment about your daily experience and choices, then fame and money begin to lose their power.
But in our world of reality television and the mindless need for attention, my daughters are rarely exposed to the message that they should be themselves.
They are told to be different, look different, act different, work harder, and follow the pack.
Their dad and I play a significant role in helping them disregard these untruths, but I’m glad Taylor is sharing a similar message, an age appropriate message for young children who are not ready for Lady Gaga.
Taylor tells them they are OK in “t-shirts and sneakers sitting on the bleachers”, that they are strong enough to deal with difficult people, and that when their heart is broken, it will eventually heal.
Even in all of her fame and shininess, Taylor makes being normal a good thing and becoming extraordinary a possibility.
Of course she is young and she will inevitably make some mistakes (all humans do), but at this point she has a close relationship with her parents, she has the respect of her peers, and she has a legion of fans, three of the biggest living in my house.
I guess the biggest joke confronting her today is the shock and disbelief on her face whenever a crowd cheers for her.
But if her biggest downfall is being in awe of her life and having a sense of humility and appreciation for the love that is being sent her way, I think she’s moving in the right direction.