Day 4:April  2010

I had two really close friends in 7th grade, and that was completely enough for me. 7th grade was an immense year of embracing tween awkwardness. 11 and 12 are years in which people are forced through a wormhole of adolescents that meshes both innocence and lack of maturity with the extreme desire to be older and understand what all the adults are laughing about.  I was no different. I loved reading books I couldn’t fully comprehend (i.e. Gone with the Wind and Catcher in the Rye), and re-reading books I still love too well that I saw more of myself in (Madeleine L'Engle's Time series and Harry Potter).  Additionally, as the 7th grade year was coming to a close, I was not only becoming aware of the way that I felt in my body for the first time, but I was becoming more aware of what I felt like socially in the broader landscape of my peers.

 

In April of that year, my best friend’s dad surprised her with tickets to the Taylor Swift concert in Denver, and she brought me. It was the Fearless tour. The era of songs like Love Story and You Belong with Me. We pushed our bodies against the metal rail as Taylor Swift performed on an arena stage, and I got home late that night completely high off of the experience I had just had…the first of many to come.


 

What Taylor Swift provided to girls like me at that age were songs that acknowledged our budding sexuality within the safety of a fantasy. I wasn’t interested in what her life was like beyond the music videos I played on repeat, I was interested in the idea of a boy liking me. period.

 

The concert not only blew my mind but also provided a layer of social currency at school. Suddenly girls that hadn’t been talking to me were asking me about Taylor on a first name basis. I was surprised that they were a.) talking to me and b.) that I liked that they were talking to me. These social interactions didn’t translate to the complete upheaval of my social calendar until the end of 8th grade, but it signaled the tipping point before bodies, and minds, and words would have to start fighting against the toxicity of 13-year-olds. But in that moment I was 12 and ok with being 12.