The Swift Life

So, I’m a huge fan of Taylor Swift. Love me or hate me for it, but I’m a fan of her. I would even go so far as to call myself a super fan. But lately I’ve learned something: don’t trust anyone, not even the people who believe the same beliefs and loves as you. In the Taylor Swift fandom, we call ourselves Swifties. Well, recently Taylor released her own social media app and platform – as we all know – called The Swift Life. I, personally, have always kept my love of Taylor and her music to myself. However, I thought that with her own app filled entirely with her fans, it would be different. I thought people would be considerate, kind, and compassionate towards those of their own fandom.

Oh, how very wrong I was.

The Swift Life hasn’t been open globally for that long. I think it released just before Christmas. Even with that said, I have already deleted it from my iPod, deleted my account, and I have no intent of going back. Why? Because I don’t trust anyone, not even the people that share the very same or similar stories as me. Like I said, I thought people could be nice. But I happened to put an opinion out there…and I was slammed for it. I was pretty much put through the blender for my simple opinion. I was very hurt, because I couldn’t understand why people could be so mean, even if they shared the same views as me! It’s a cruel world out there, and I’m learning that more and more each day.

I have learned a lot from my days on social media. On Facebook, The Swift Life, Tumblr, YouTube, and Pinterest I have been bullied. Facebook was the most severe – and the most painful, considering that it came from people I know in real life. I learned at too young of an age to never trust anyone other than my immediate family members, and even trusting them was up for debate. It has been painful. But I don’t say this to sound like a victim, I’m simply sharing my experience.

Now, when someone comments on anything I post on the internet, my heart races and I panic. I immediately assume that I’m going to get hate. I immediately assume that whatever I’m going to read is going to feel like it has the power to tear me to shreds. But I’ve learned that if I don’t read those comments or messages that I will never know whether it was kind or not. Besides, I’m one of those people that has too much curiosity for my own good. I’m like a cat. I’ll probably be killed someday because of that natural curiosity I have.

But, back to the story.

Social media was invented to give us a way to do exactly that – be social through the media. We can now socialize through our phones, iPods, iPads, and even wristwatches more than we ever could before. But it has become a highly toxic place. This saddens me because when anyone tries to create something good in this world, it is promptly destroyed. That’s the cruel part of the world. I try with all of my heart to create and maintain good things to combat and rival the bad, but I’m often torn down for it by hate-filled, selfish people. That is something I may never understand. However, this is how I picture Internet haters: poised over their keyboard, desperately waiting for someone to make a post and then they unleash every foul word that they can think of on that person in order to tear that person down because they feel terrible about themselves to the point where they have picked the pathetic route of tearing others down in order to feel better. The thing is, though, you will never feel better by tearing another person down. I’ve recently watched an anime (I love anime) that I can’t name because it has a curse word in the title, but there is one phrase that graces every episode:

“Revenge is a double-edged sword.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Revenge is indeed a double-edged sword. Also, a two-headed snake. When  I went through a phase of teenage angst and anger, my mom told me one thing: stay as angry as you want for as long as you want, but remember, while you are chasing that snake to get revenge, its venom is inside of you, and you will be harmed just as much as the person or thing that you enact revenge upon. She told me the story of a group of children that were playing when a little girl was bitten by a venomous snake, and instead of taking her immediately to adults to tell them that she needed help, the other kids went to chase the snake down to kill it in order to teach it a lesson because they were angry. However, while they did, the snake’s venom spread in the little girl, and she ended up losing her leg, which was where the snake bit her. Had the other children gone straight to an adult and gotten the girl to a hospital, she wouldn’t have lost her leg. But instead, they wanted revenge. They were angry. They chased the snake, and because they did, they suffered the consequences of that double-edged sword.

I think that anger is a very natural and human emotion; as is the desire to help ourselves feel better when we have low self-esteem. It is simply instinct. But I pity these people. I truly do. I pity those that hate others and themselves to the point where they’re willing to go down an unforgiving path to pure hatred out of which they will never return. I have no sympathy for those who choose the path of hatred.

So, in my journey of trying to connect with the rest of the fandom of the woman that saved my life and convinced that living was indeed worth it, I discovered that everything sacred will be destroyed if exposed. So, here, I lay these words onto this blog post, where they will stay. And I have walked away from that fandom. Does that mean that I no longer love Taylor? No. Does that mean that I intend to enact revenge upon these people? No. I intend to meet Taylor when I break into the music industry, and I would love to be friends with her. It might sound a little silly and cliché, but I want to ask her if we could be best friends in real life. That would be something that would bring a lot of my biggest dreams to reality.

Because, in the end of things, the sad reality is this: Taylor, even though having no idea I exist, has treated me better than people I have known my entire life. And that is a downright shame. One that should never have to be realized.

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Humanity

My top two idols are Taylor Swift and Michael Jackson. I love their style, their grace; the way they hold their heads high and brace themselves for the world. I love how they interact, how they are kind, loving, generous, and loyal to their fans and family. I love how they are so similar, yet so different.

I’ve dreamt of being a singer since I was a little girl. Since before being a teenager, actually. I’ve worried about many things. Watching the hell that my two favorite idols have gone through has made me realize how risky an endeavor it is to make your way into show business. Michael Jackson was torn from the top, and they are currently trying to do that to Taylor. But why?

Here’s my theory:

Anybody can be jealous of success. It’s human nature to want things that you can’t or don’t have. At least, that’s what I believe. But I miss the days of my childhood where I believed that everyone would do things for the better; that they would be trustworthy and lovely. But that’s not so. The world is a dangerous, dark, and horrifying place. Though it doesn’t have to be, it is. I think the reason that Michael and Taylor are torn down is because they have reached the top – the highest of the high within their communities. Taylor has reached a place in her songwriting that no one else has met, and we all know how Michael Jackson ended up where he was. But the funny thing is that they are both incredible people (although Michael has passed, I still think of him as here, still with us).

I believe that the world fears incredible people. They fear the happiness, kindness, and light that these people can bring. Why? Because once you cast light on something, you will see its shadow. Once you revel in something that is wonderful, you will realize how hard it was before. Nobody likes to see the sins of their own people, and although we are all different races and we speak so many different languages in different nations, I consider us all one big family. The family of humanity.

Humanity itself can be cruel. No other living being to exist has purposely sought out to harm one another. Not one other creature has sought out to kill one another, simply out of spite or revenge. And as humans, we try to keep these dark things a secret. We hide them in the darkest, innermost corners of our minds. We put masks on. We lie. We smile when we don’t mean it. We fight each other and kill each other, all for the sake of ‘fighting for freedom’. So, how does this translate to show business?

When someone is at the top, it’s not simple to be happy for them. It’s hard, as human nature makes us jealous; it makes is spiteful, and it encourages us to fight against one another to put them down in order to feel higher than that other person. It’s the same as war, the same as bombing other countries. Why do we fight in wars, kill others, and commit these crimes? Because we want to prove that we are better. Because we see the other side as evil. Or perhaps it’s simply because we want to watch someone fall and be able to say that they are lesser than us. But within history, this has only lead to chaos. This has only lead to more genocide. It’s a simple formula, really. Success + jealousy = violence. It’s not enough to think in one’s mind that they are jealous or that they believe that one person doesn’t deserve what they have. It’s not enough to write it in a journal or even scream it from the rooftops. No, we have to take action. And that’s where the mistakes of humanity come in. That’s where we create those unchangeable parts of history that will forever be a blemish on our reputation.

I often ask myself why. Why do we do it? Why are we fascinated with death, violence, anger, and troubles? And if you think we aren’t fascinated with those things, then simply look to the nearest TV. What do most, if not all, of our TV shows and movies center round? These four concepts: death, violence, anger, trouble. We are fascinated by the fall of another while we are angered at our own falls. I’ve often heard it said that it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. Meaning a dog will commit a crime against its own kind for the sake of gaining a level in the food chain.

This saddens me.

In the back of my mind, all I can imagine is a rainy, desolate city, torn to shreds by others that believe they are superior. But are they really superior? I am American, and I live in a developed country. Does that make me superior to those that aren’t American, and to those that don’t live in developed countries? No. But does it make me less than them? Of course not! I’d love it to be simple, but it’s not. And it never will be.

Our desire to tear others down to make them smaller than us so that we can feel bigger will certainly end in our demise. How did the most evil or even the most powerful people in history die, or end? They were killed, either by themselves, or by someone else.

We think that we want power, but what do we do once we obtain that power? Once we get that far, maybe we don’t know what to do. But in the end, power truly is the substitution or replacement for something else. And what would that other thing be?

The desire to be loved and understood.