The other day I was sitting in the elementary school parking lot, waiting to pick up two girls and take them home while we waited for their mom to get off work. I just happened to be in a Taylor Swift mood that day, so I was listening to her. Two songs in particular jumped out at me, Fifteen and Innocent.
As I listened to Fifteen, I suddenly remember actually being fifteen. When I first heard that song, I was probably about fifteen so I felt like it didn’t relate to me at all (typical teen). I was fifteen the first time any boy told me he loved me, and just like she says, you believe them. There’s something about that first real relationship that makes you feel like it could last forever and it’s a perfect fit for you. Really though, I didn’t know who I was at fifteen, I knew my name, what I liked to do, my favorite songs and food, that I had some sort of eating issue and that I had to go to school. All I dreamed about was getting my license, having a boy kiss me and eventually graduating high school. Fifteen.
The second line that really stood out to me as I thought about being fifteen was the one where she says you’ll do more than date the boy on the football team. Now I didn’t date a football player, however, I still use this scenario for my high school relationship. Back then, I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I knew who I loved, where I wanted to go to college, what I wanted my job to be, where I wanted to live, but most importantly, who I was. Fifteen. I didn’t though. I didn’t know any of it, most importantly I hadn’t fully developed who I was yet. And that is in NO WAY wrong! It’s beautiful. It’s fifteen. I really did think that I was going to marry my high school sweetheart.First loves are truly a beautiful, sweet experience, and I wouldn’t change mine at all. It just, wasn’t our/my path. I was devastated when I realize that wasn’t going to work out for me (I was a freshman in college before I figured it out.) Everything I had known since I was about fifteen was all different. Everything. The college I was at, the fact that I broke up with the only person I’d known in three years, and I knew I had an eating disorder and that I needed help. Eighteen. I was back to square one, but then, I had to remember Taylor Swift’s words “you’ll do greater things”. Fifteen. Eighteen. Nineteen.
I think just a few short months ago I was still coming into my own, dealing with my emotions and actually figuring out what I like and don’t like.
The second song, Innocent, is more about me and my eating disorder. Taylor speaks of crawling into a giant bed at the end of the day, before the monsters caught up with you, believing in everything and everyone believing in you and despite all of the things you do, you can still change and you’re still innocent. For me, I relate that to Ed.
“Today is never too late to be brand new”, every single day is new, and every single day I can choose to say ‘screw Ed’. I can choose to get up off my knees everyday and fight.
“Before the monsters caught up to you”, that’s Ed. He’s my monster. When I was a child, he was always one of the monsters in my dreams, or under the bed, or in the closet; I just didn’t know it yet. I wasn’t old enough to make that connection yet. I always just saw a dark shadow or blob, but I was never sure of what it was. Now I know its Ed.
So, what’s my point in all this rambling? Well, my point is, is that it’s okay to not know who you are at fifteen. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to change path directions; it’s okay to tell someone goodbye. It’s okay to tell you’re monsters to get out of town!
All of this combine, separate or just standing alone is completely fearless.