I saw a Taylor Swift concert on TV the other night.
We didn’t mean to watch it; Amazon recommended it at the end of Mama Mia and then it just started playing. I’m not gonna lie. I loved it.
By the last song, my daughter was conked out, but I was wide awake, sitting in a bean bag chair 2 feet from the TV, clutching an oversized panda bear and singing the chorus to “All Too Well,” which I’d never heard before.
Ah, Taylor. Somehow, in a stadium of 10,000 screaming teenagers, you keep it real.
I went through a mix of emotions: nostalgic teenage loneliness, shameful parental concern, gushing love of life, tingly epiphanies popping up like goosebumps. It was wonderful.
As the credits rolled over footage of Taylor back stage drinking water bottles, I longed for the experience of all her sweaty, huggy fans — holding onto each other, discussing the best parts of the show with best friends, relishing the chill of the night air outside, and needing to touch someone the whole car ride home.
At 44, I had to settle for a bowl of pretzels, carbonated water, and staring at the streetlights. It was enough.
The exhilaration from a pop music concert was unexpected and undeniable, like a fortuitous message about the purpose of life delivered through a kid’s plastic 8-ball. I’m a fool not to follow it.
Inspiration, itself, is far more important than the source it comes from.
But in this case, the source was pretty damn cool, strutting down elevated runways over the people, flying across the arena in a giant cobra apparatus, speaking monosyllabic truths in between hits.
One by one the pretzels ran out and I had to put myself to bed, comforted by the promise of creating something honest the next day.