Taylor Swift posted this on her Facebook wall. I’m repoosting it for three reasons.
1. To get another post done
2. Her style is so songwriterly.
3. It is very insightful about what it means to be very very successful.
What interests me is the songwriterly portion of it.; the way her instinct is to lyric.
First read it:
Back in September, specifically on the 11th, I wrote in my journal about what I was feeling that day. And, I’ve decided to share with you guys.
Great than heartbreak
So I always end up writing these type of things when I’m feeling, well, sort of alone I guess. I’ve done it for years now. Whether it be my mystery person notes that I used to write, or just whatever else that I thought was worth writing about. Today I had a kind of slap-in-the-face realization. Actually it’s been playing on my mind for a few days now. It’s the idea that heartbreak isn’t actually such a big deal. I know– that’s sort of weird coming from me. But it is. In fact, it’s almost minuscule in comparison to some of the other things that go on in a person’s life. Or just life itself. I mean, today’s date is a reminder of that all on its own. September 11th. Loss is a recurring theme that plays in the minds and hearts of so many people on this very day every single year. It occurred to me that, actually, loss is so much bigger than any sort of heartbreak. It’s so much greater that WITHIN loss, heartbreak can be found. It’s like a sub-division of the feeling.
I recently broke the heart of somebody who wasn’t deserving of it. I was cruel in my actions towards one person who has looked after me over the last two years. A very dear friend of mine. He was willing to forgive me though, for all the ways that I did him wrong – put himself before me – so that we could somehow rekindle our friendship despite all the hurt. Merely because he knew that I needed him. And it was fine at first. We were sort of our old selves again. He soon found a girl. She’s more worthy. She’s easier to love. We were alright. Not perfect. We were both adjusting to this new situation. To get through the adjustment process though, you have to be strong. You have to be selfless. I had gotten so used to being looked after by him. Over the years, I had become accustomed to the favoritism and him investing so much into our friendship. I was so used to all of it that – despite breaking his heart – I still somehow thought that it would be the same. I expected so much from somebody who was quietly still trying to forgive me. My failure to adjust infuriated him. Understandably. Some days I got lost.
‘Why should I get the same treatment after what I’ve done to him?’
‘Why can’t I just be grateful that he even still wants to associate with me?’
Some days, he’d be okay. We’d be okay. He’d be forgiving and selfless. But sometimes it was as though he had woken up that morning and realized all the horrible things that I’ve done to him. Some days he got lost too, I think. And the way he despised me for those things would shine through.
That’s where the theme of loss comes in.
It’s not just the relationship that was lost– we’ve lost each other in the midsts of all of this. Even part of ourselves, we’ve lost. And it’s entirely because of me and all of the mistakes I’ve made. Mistreating him. Finding somebody else. Not being honest. All of those awful things that I’ve done. I’m going to miss everything that I’ve lost. I think about it a lot. It’s not replaceable. I think that’s mutual too, but I won’t be disheartened if he does the things we did with his next best friend somewhere down the line. His next favorite person to have around. Watching all the shows and all the movies we saw together. Listening to all the songs that we used to screenshot from our iPhones and send to each other without even having to explain why. Whatever else. I’ll miss the conversations that came to no end. Just generally being adored, I’ll miss that from him. He saw the best in me, and I still see the best in him. I still do. When he’s happy, he makes everybody else around him happy. He’s funny, and caring, and helpful. He’s chivalrous and gentlemanly. He knows what it means to treat somebody well. We shared so many laughs, so many obsessions, so many pictures and hobbies and stories. Now he sees the worst in me. But I’d be lying if I said that I don’t deserve that from him. He is not in the wrong, and he is in no way ‘the bad guy’ in this situation. He just cared too much for somebody who failed him. I ruined it between me and him, in all ways. Losing the friend that I had in him is greater than heartbreak. I won’t forget this, and I’m forever going to be sorry to the boy who never ever dreamed of leaving.
(If we were okay-)
I’d probably be telling you about how I’ve watched eleven 9/11 documentaries this week. Or about how my mom only today learned the meaning of the word ‘twerk’, and I had to be the one to explain it to her. I would have shown you a photo of a guy I saw standing in the rain in just his underwear. It was red underwear. And you would have probably yelled at me for showing it to you. You know how much I despise Wednesdays, so I’d probably right now be whining about how exhausted/miserable/hungry I am. We would have assessed our new bruises and freckles. Kind of weird, but you know, that was us.
Got it? Good.
Now read this again: “Some days, he’d be okay. We’d be okay. He’d be forgiving and selfless. But sometimes it was as though he had woken up that morning and realized all the horrible things that I’ve done to him. Some days he got lost too, I think. And the way he despised me for those things would shine through.”
Now read it like this:
Some days, he’d be okay, we’d be okay.
He’d be forgiving and selfless.
But sometimes it was as though he had woken up that morning
and realized all the horrible things that I’ve done to him.
Some days he got lost too,
I think. And the way he despised me
for those things
would shine through.
Not just the rhyme that’s kinda hidden but also the the first line is a lyric, the three “somes” .
Now read this: “He just cared too much for somebody who failed him. I ruined it between me and him, in all ways. Losing the friend that I had in him is greater than heartbreak. I won’t forget this, and I’m forever going to be sorry to the boy who never ever dreamed of leaving.”
I’m forever going to be sorry to the boy who never dreamed of leaving… the heart of the song is right there, the name of the song is right there. It reverses her lyrical self, the boy who never dreamed of leaving goes to the heart of fairytales and true love and dreams themselves.
It’s like a glimpse of a world where dreams becomes nightmares, where he wouldn’t dream of leaving her and yet it isn’t enough for her not to push him away.
This is actually a very sad thing, and the sense of loss Taylor starts by saying and noting it can’t compare to 9-11 except that if her loss of a friendship is so huge all she can do is imagine the loss to the victims of 9-11.
It’s a concept she can’t quite pull off but then again this is for semi-private consumption, if she was turning it into a song, or into a short story, she’d fix it.
As a song, it’s the boy who wouldn’t dream of leaving, if it’s a short story, well, if I was writing it I would place either the girl or the boy in the World Trade Center; compound the loss, and also draw herself closer to the loss by seeing the way she feels and just writing about it straight. I mean, I wouldn’t push 9-11 loss, I would allow it to speak for itself in the story.
As for the real people behind the journal entry? I have to admit no knowledge of them though I think Taylor is wrong, heartbreak is as big as it gets, love is as big as it gets. I will quote Martin Amis on the Philadelphia flight on 9-11: “Love is an abstract noun, something nebulous. And yet love turns out to be the only part of us that is solid, as the world turns upside down and the screen goes black. We can’t tell if it will survive us. But we can be sure that it’s the last thing to go.”
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