Red (Taylor’s Version) is here. Swifties rejoice.

Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

She’s done it again.

Taylor Swift’s release of her Red album, re-recorded, is consuming the internet. Posts declaring her a musical genius — tweets praising her growth — videos of people reacting to her version of songs they first heard nearly a decade ago.

It’s a wonderful day for those of us who fell in love with her at a young age, holding on to an appreciation and understanding of her ability to take a simple emotion or life event and turn it into a lyrical masterpiece.

Listening to songs about breakups, and love, and heartbreak as a teenager — I was unable to see beyond the initial emotion of sadness. She was sad, so she wrote about it. Hidden beneath the tragedy of broken, forgotten, misunderstood love is a deeper message about growth, and self-forgiveness, and recognition that every end is a new beginning. Hearing a now 30-something Swift sing about her struggle as a 21-year-old up-and-coming superstar has helped me see that.

Now, there are people who still (for some reason) like to think she’s being dramatic. How could every relationship she’s had be filled with so many highs and lows, so much feeling? Well, while we will never know exactly how those relationships played out, I’ll say that even if she pushed things a tad bit further than the reality of the situation she was in — I’m fine with it.

If we don’t romanticize our own life, what sets it apart?

The saying treat others the way you want to be treated has no application more fitting than love. Love someone as hard and as deeply as you want to be loved. Speaking from experience, it’s the only way to find out if the relationship you’re in is worth seeing through to the end.

You will love, and you will lose — but not every loss is bad, and not every love is good.

What love and loss share is their ability to help you learn and grow into a person who can look back on both with a deeper sense of understanding and appreciation for what’s in front of you right now.

Taylor’s version of Red is also an opportunity for us to recognize how moments of raw emotion, no matter how short, are nothing to shrug off, because emotion evokes greatness.

During an interview with Jimmy Fallon last night (the night before the release of the album), Taylor describes what lead to a 10-minute version of arguably her greatest musical creation to date, All Too Well.

She had a bad day. She was in a bad mood. She got on stage for a rehearsal and just started singing. When she was done, her mom asked the audio team if they had recorded what her daughter had just created. They handed her a CD. Now, it’s one of her greatest hits.

Even if Taylor Swift doesn’t usually find her way into your usual musical shuffle, give this album a listen. It sounds best when it’s raining, and if you want the full Red experience — consider going through a life-changing, heart-shattering breakup first. I know, it seems like a lot just for a few minutes of music, but it’ll be worth it.

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