Quick Thoughts: The Ride

I love, love roller coasters. I don’t care if they’re fast, slow, wooden, metal, upside-down, crazy steep, stand up, legs dangling, whatever, I will go on any ride at least once. There’s this familiar routine that happens while waiting in line for the ride, one I know to a science following years of chasing that adrenaline high. First you’re bouncing with anticipation as you make your way closer to the gate, counting the groups ahead and trying to figure out how long it’ll be until you’re up. Then right before you’re seated, the bouncing turns from a general excited into an anxious excited, like you know it’s really about to happen, until finally you’re seated and the anxious energy starts turning into adrenaline coursing through your whole body, a rush of all types of feelings before you’ve even left the platform.

There’s the click, click, click of the ride as it makes its way higher and higher up the first big drop, and all of a sudden you’re shaking from everything, the excitement, the anticipation, the adrenaline; the ride hasn’t even really taken off yet and you’re already flushed with crazy energy, sitting still yet surrounded by movement. This is the part I always remember in a good ride: the way it feels in that brief moment of limbo before plunging into the main event.

In a moment yesterday I experienced the waiting in line, the bouncing anxiety to receive something I knew was coming, the drop in my stomach when I heard the ping of my inbox. I buckled up for the click, click, click of walking to have a conversation I’d been practicing for weeks, and then with just a few words, the cart tipped over the peak of the hill and I flew, headfirst, laughing as the wind danced next to me, into the end of an era and the beginning of a great unknown.

None of that makes any sense, I realize. But fear not: all will be explained in due time, friends. In the meantime, let’s just say next week holds a lot of big milestones in this Chronicle.

Fearless

“DID YOU LISTEN!?”
“I’ve already listened to it twice!”
“I KNOW IT’S… wait seriously? It’s not even 9 o’clock.”
“….. Yep.”

Monday was a day I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. My coworkers and I had the conversation above the moment we all walked in, fresh from the weekend and a beautiful sunny morning, because we’ve all been waiting for Monday for a long, long time. Why, you ask? My entire office of 20-whatevers has been waiting with baited breath to finally, finally hear the new Taylor Swift album.

Now, I’ve alluded to it here before on more than one occasion, but I have an unwavering and unabashedly loud love for Taylor Swift. I’ve been listening to her since 2006, royally pissing off my Twinster while on break freshman year of college as we listened to her first CD on repeat while working at the local toy store during the Christmas rush. From the early, early moments of listening to her twangy beats I felt really connected to the songs, similar to how many of her fans do. It’s part of her charm, the universal appeal, but it still feels very personal at the same time. I love that she’s only a year younger than I am and also has cats and loves to bake. I love that she and I probably have the same issues with love, in that we’re everything or nothing when it comes to bringing someone else in our lives. And I love her music, from the early low-country drawl about cowboy boots and high school crushes, to the synth beats of the new album, which I’ve been listening to on repeat since buying it within 45 seconds of waking up on Monday.

For a long time, I played down my rabid Swift fandom, listening to her music in my college apartment, at the gym, in my early NYC apartment, but never when anyone else was around, never playing songs on Spotify, lest it announce to Facebook that I’d been listening to Fearless for six straight hours. I was really concerned for years about cultivating an image that listened to all this indie, unknown, underground music; I didn’t want to be associated with the screaming teenage girls in the background of a bad MTV show, hysterically crying that Taylor Swift’s songs are “BASICALLY MY LIFE.” It was years, really, of listening to this music over and over in secret and categorically denying that I knew every word to every song and then some before I finally stopped caring. You know what? I’m allowed to love the weird underground music alongside T Swizzle. She’s a talented songwriter and artist. Her songs are catchy and relatable and I want to raid her closet. So I stopped pretending that I didn’t know everything about her and her music and started telling people within five minutes of meeting them that I’m a full-on Swift addict and I don’t care who knows it.

This is my 100th post on this blog. One hundredth! Sometimes I’m still in shock that I’ve been able to maintain the site for this long already, that I’ve somehow found 100 topics interesting enough to inspire me to share. And other times, while watching the total views and total visitors creep higher and higher each day, I’ll panic a little bit. In 100 entries. I’ve admitted to: injuring myself and losing things after excessive drinking, flashing my nipples at a neighbor, stepping in puddles of pee on the NYC sidewalks, walking around for hours with food in my hair, and accidentally making out with strangers who tell me I’m pretty. I’ve also immortalized how on more than one occasion I’ve felt like a total failure at my job, how it felt to hand someone my heart and watch him crush it slowly and then all at once, and what it’s like for my heart to break a little, even now, when I see a beagle in the street or I find another wayward Chapstick under my bed.

It’s really scary to have opened myself up to criticism in the way that I have with this space. Sometimes I’m expecting my inbox to be flooded with emails from exes or friends, demanding I rewrite their story, forcing me to take something offline. Other times I wonder if strangers think I’m crazy, a stereotypical single girl who lives alone with a cat and worships all things Taylor Swift. It’s crossed my mind more than once not to put something up here, looking at a final draft with the same trepidation that I would an email to a client, scrutinizing every word as though my life depended on it. And every time I stare at something thinking “Am I really about to put this out into the world?” I always hit OK. I could censor myself easily, but if I’ve learned anything from 8 years of tireless devotion to Ms. Swift’s music, it’s that there’s no point in doing anything if you’re going to do it halfway.

The new album this week was more than I’d been hoping for, with a few lines that literally took the breath out of my lungs, because once again, I know exactly how she was feeling when she wrote it (10 months sober, I must admit/Just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it). She finally knocked Hozier out of my headphones, and 1989 will stay there until I’ve learned all these words like I have all the others, dancing at my desk, on the subway, while at home in PJs with little miss. Say what you want about my love for Ms. Swift or any of the decisions I make here, the content and the stories I’ve deemed acceptable for public consumption. Because haters gonna hate hate hate – I’ll be the one shaking it like everyone’s watching for the next 100 entries and beyond.

Quick Thoughts: Milestones

“I just can’t believe she’s getting married! When did we all grow up?!”

My beautiful, wonderful, inspiring childhood friend said Yes this weekend. She wore a lovely white dress, walked down the aisle of the chapel at her alma mater and took everyone’s breath away, her husband’s most of all. I was thinking about it the previous Thursday at work, as I sorted through logistics of getting back to CT the next day, getting to my goofball J’s place pre-wedding, and most importantly, deciding what I was going to wear. I peeked at her wedding website to confirm exactly when everything would start, and found myself completely overwhelmed with the emotion of the situation ahead, seeing her for the first time in a year, finally meeting her fiance, watching her get married, watching them say yes, and nearly started to cry at my desk.

I signed into Gchat and sent a note to J telling him to prepare himself for some serious waterworks, since I was already teary and have a tendency to cry at weddings for people I love. He made me laugh, like he always does, and I nearly started to cry again, thinking that his own nuptials are likely to happen in the very near future. And my twinster, my T, is setting a date this week, the official date. And all of a sudden it hit me, the sheer volume of all the milestones coming up for my family, my friends, in the next year: graduations, major birthdays, anniversaries, engagements and weddings.

It’s strange, sometimes, knowing I’m the only one in that group, and near the only one in any of my groups, that doesn’t have a milestone of my own to look forward to in the next year. But then again, with all the big moments and overwhelming emotions I’m sure to face in supporting everyone around me, I think it’s plenty enough to be happy for everyone else for now.