“Meet me at midnight”.

Four simple little words – the first lyrics of the first song on Taylor Swift’s 12th album – it’s a request, a calling, a mobilization of the troops.

Taylor Swift is known for always leaving little “Easter eggs” in not only her lyrics, but almost everything she does, and her fandom, is known to sleuth so hard I’d say they almost give the CIA a run for their money. But with that said, I’m not here to spit facts at you or crack any codes. Plus, anything I’d have to say about that is beyond old news for any self-proclaimed Swiftie anyways. No, I’m here to simply provide some thoughts, unsolicited or otherwise. 

It’s been a month since the Midnights release, or five weeks to be precise, and Taylor Swift has still managed to hold the #1 spot on Billboard charts for song, album, AND artist. I think that what we as a general public are currently coming to terms with at this point, is the fact that there are a lot more of us out there that have a relationship with Taylor Swift’s music whether or not we’re willing to admit it. And it seems like with time, and with record-breaking statistics like these, a lot more of us are starting to realize it. 

I’ve always had a relationship with Taylor’s music, I grew up with it, I “grew up” with her. And now that she’s about to turn 33 and myself, 30, it’s only become more evident to what extent she’s accompanied me through almost every phase of my teenage to adult life. With that said, I’m not exactly quick to call myself a “Swiftie”. I’ve never been ashamed of listening to her music like so many others whom I know are, and yet, I’ve never felt the need to call myself a fan or initiate myself into this next level of fandom either. In fact, I’ve never even had the slightest interest in seeing her in concert. (Until now anyways, I mean…the “Eras” Tour? Still praying for tickets…) But the point is that I’ve never felt the need to lay claims on my relationship with Taylor Swift as an artist, nor to her music. Sure, I own every album, know all the lyrics to every song, and probably know at least SOME random trivia that the average listener doesn’t, and yet still, I don’t particularly care to talk about it. Why? Well because Taylor Swift’s open diary-like collection of songs and lyrics is like a key to my own very private collection of memories and emotions. What Taylor Swift’s songs and lyrics mean to me, are for me, and me alone. It doesn’t matter if no one else in my friend group listens to her, that most people I talk to are quick to say they prefer Lady Gaga or some other not necessarily related female artist, or if a friend only likes “that one song” of hers because it doesn’t in the very least affect my relationship. 

And whether or not you consider yourself a fan, I think that by this point we can all at the very least, acknowledge that Taylor Swift is an extremely intelligent and hard-working businesswoman. No, she’s not perfect and neither are any of us. The only difference is that she has a gigantic magnifying glass that is the world on her every move, and while that can’t be fun nor easy, she’s still constantly allowing us, no, INVITING us into her world by way of music, which is a pretty incredible thing if you think about it. How many of us are so relieved to be able to delete a post on social media whether it be a horrible photo or a crazy caption we posted when we were on one? And yet here’s someone that is constantly being scrutinized, and criticized, by the whole world, who time and time again, still invites us into her world? 

okay, maybe her mom invited us for this one but, you get the gist.

Look, I’m not trying to secretly convince you to become a Swiftie. I really could care less. Maybe I would actually be able to buy a concert ticket if there were fewer of them. I’m just simply trying to point out that like it or not, the past 16 years of Taylor Swift’s albums, hits, awards, record-breaks, and headlines aren’t all for naught. And whether or not you’re ready to believe it, you might just be a little bit more affected by the cultural phenomenon that is Taylor Swift than you think. Which is fine. You don’t have to automatically become a roaring Swiftie either. I’m also fully aware that maybe Taylor Swift doesn’t and won’t ever mean anything to you, which is totally cool too. I clearly don’t have to be the one to tell you that. But in case you have the slightest inkling that your feelings towards Taylor Swift and her music may actually be a little more than just neutral, know that you’re not alone. Help is out there. Just kidding, the point is, listen to Taylor Swift, don’t listen to Taylor Swift, I don’t care. She’s still going to be out there making music and breaking records though. It’s just what she does. And I’m here for it. 

By Khuyen Do