2014 was a milestone year in my life. I directed my first musical, graduated college in New York, got a full time job, and moved out of my childhood home. It was also a milestone year for my rock and role model, Taylor Swift, who proved to the world she’s more than just a boy-crazed girl. Through her actions, tweets, and songs, Taylor Swift helped me to fearlessly make 2014 the best year of my life so far.
1. “You can have love all around you without being in love.” – Taylor Swift
If you know me, you’ll know I am the cheesiest hopelessly romantic person that ever was. Since MASH days I’ve been planning about who I’ll spend the rest of my life with—how many kids, pet names, the house, the wedding—and whenever I see someone who gives me that glimmer of hope I tend to fall flat on my face in front of them. I may even write a song or two about them. I may even put said song on a CD (attached with my name, twitter handle, and phone number) and give it to them on a sidewalk in New York City. But I’ve realized this year that I already am in love and it’s not just with one person. It’s with my friends who dared to bare with me on Spring Break, with the girl who has the same tattoo as me on her left foot, the roommate who loves Taylor Swift just as much as me, the ones who drank champagne with me in the middle of Times Square in our graduation gowns, and anyone who has willingly wanted to take a selfie with me. Why when I have so much love all around me do I want to be searching for love that hasn’t found me yet? Life is not a competition; don’t rush it. You’re meant to be where you are right now for a reason.
2. “Life can be so unexpected and that’s what makes it so beautiful.” – Taylor Swift
A year ago I was applying anywhere and everywhere for jobs. By February I had already applied to 70 jobs, gotten 10 rejections, and only heard one “yes”; Disney World. I was accepted into the College Program where for six months you work for Disney Parks with the hope of moving up in the company. Fast forward to August and I was a week away from moving to Florida, nervous and second-guessing myself every day. That week I was offered my first full time job as the head of Social Media for the Yankee Candle Company (follow us). For almost half a year I thought my post-grad future was going to be Disney, my friends even made me a 30 minute “Goodbye” video wishing me well on my new journey. You can only plan so much for your life and you have to be ready to embrace change. If I had said no to Yankee Candle and gone to Disney I wouldn’t have danced with Taylor Swift in her kitchen, lived in a house with two of my best friends, been reunited with old friends in New York, taken my mom to see Taylor Swift perform in Times Square, spent Thanksgiving with my family, and have the best Christmas filled with more seflies, singing, and love than I could have ever imagined. These last few months have been beautiful in the best way possible and who’s to say that Disney wouldn’t have been just as amazing. I think for me, right now I’m walking down the path I’m supposed to be on.
3. “Isn’t it wild and intriguing and beautiful to think that every day we are new?” – Taylor Swift
If I tell you all my 11:11 wish, you promise not to tell anyone? Ok good! Every day when I catch 11:11 I wish that tomorrow will be better than today. Not to imply that I hate every day and can’t wait till tomorrow, but that every tomorrow should be better than today so you never have the best day. If I were to have the best day of my life right now at 22, than that means the rest of my life would be downhill. Take a chance every day. Do something that scares you. Introduce yourself to one new person. There are so many people in this world you haven’t met yet, people that could impact your life if you just have the courage to be new every day. So hang out with the group of people you met at the bar last weekend, call up an old friend and be spontaneous again, do something that brings you one step closer to your dreams, and be grateful because every morning you wake up is reason enough to want to live for tomorrows and make them better than your yesterdays.
4. “Who you are is who you choose to be and whispers behind your back don’t define you.” – Taylor Swift
We live in a takedown culture. There’s always going to be someone trying to tear you down, making you feel bad about yourself, making you feel like you’re not important. The best way to prove them wrong is to have more fun than they are having and just shake it off. Life is too short to break yourself down over something that someone says about you. Life is too beautiful to not be yourself because you’re afraid what others might think. Take it from someone who this year brought a selfie stick to a concert,
paraded people through Central Park with his guitar,
danced in the middle of a Yankee Candle store,
and created a Taylor Swift musical.
Did I care what people were going to think about me when I did all these things? Did I care that people called me names or told me my dreams and ideas were dumb? The words hurt but the fun I had being myself and doing what I wanted to do healed every wound. Let people tell you that you’re dreams are unrealistic. Let them make fun of the way you live your life. I’ll tell you that if you’re dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough. If you’re not living life for you then who are you living it for? Be you. Be true. Be fearless.