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Since Taylor Swift’s new album, Midnights, came out last year, I haven’t been the same. The 3am edition has been on repeat. Now, what does that have to do with life rules?
Everybody knows that Taylor’s a genius, and she never fails. She proved that again with this album and, more specifically, her song Dear Reader. So, today’s post is about Taylor’s eight rules to live by.
Setting some ground rules
We all have some rules to live by. Different motives create a need for laws and boundaries. It can be about our actions and behaviors or how we want someone else to treat us. Every one of us has their list. Today, I’m bringing you Taylor’s list of the most important rules to live by.
8 rules to live by (Swift, 2022)
- If it feels like a trap, you’re already in one!
- Get out your map, pick somewhere, and just run!
- Burn all the files, desert all your past lives! (BONUS: If you don’t recognize yourself, that means you did it right.)
- Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart. (READ AGAIN)
- Bend when you can, snap when you have to!
- You don’t have to answer just ’cause they asked you.
- The greatest of luxuries is your secrets.
- When you aim at the devil, make sure you don’t miss.
This post is a bit of a fun spin on bringing you the best lyrics of all time. But, it is also advice that I am taking with me. Let’s break it down.
Rule no.1: If it feels like a trap, you’re already in one
For me, what I keep struggling is, is following my gut feeling. Time and time again, I neglected that lump in my throat, and many times, it backfired so bad I’m still stunned by the shock. Your mind knows, even if you don’t (want to) acknowledge it. Your sub-conscience will tell you what you need to know.
If you have a friend that’s no longer acting friendly, it’s okay to walk away. If they said or did something in the heat of the moment, and it hurt you, don’t put up with it. You can accept an apology if you want to, but you are nobody’s free trial. Letting the brief emotion determine your actions and then plastering an apology later, looking for excuses, is a cheap way out.
So, don’t let anyone use you as a free trial for their wrongs. We often trap ourselves in our expectations, and then that picture perfect we created is too good to let go. It’s prettier to look at that than the reality behind it. I get it. But don’t silence that voice in your head telling you to be careful. That’s your voice.
Rule no.2: Get out your map, pick somewhere, and just run!
“It’s not the place, I think. It’s the people.”I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
It’s a quote I’ve been repeating to myself for years now. The excerpt goes: “It’s not the place, I think. It’s the people. We’d have all been the same anywhere else.” But only the first part stayed with me. To have a place to call home, where I’m safe and loved, has been my oldest and biggest struggle. I went through a phase of ”the place is the culprit”, then the (semi)self-gaslighting phase of ”I’m the problem.”
That, and my longing for travel and far-away places, always pushed me to go. I am a firm believer in changing the soil to grow better. Different settings can only give us so much. At least, that’s my opinion. Sometimes you do outgrow the place. In that case, it’s okay to get up and go.
Rule no.3: Burn all the files, desert all your past lives!
With the past being an inseparable part of our lives, it’s hard not to let it be an active part. All our past choices brought us here now. But you’re not the same person you were before.
With every small decision you’ve made, that’s challenging and changing who you were, you’re letting go of that person you once were. We are only definable in one single moment in time because the next minute, we did something that transformed the structures we created of ourselves.
Let go of who you think you are. Let go of the images of you that are in other people’s minds. Those are simply evidence of your existence, frozen in a time you no longer belong to.
Rule no.4: Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart
This rule is a tough one. I often advised people about the same things I was breaking apart over. Although I think I did a good job, I get it.
We have reasons to feel hurt and offended. Our arguments are valid, it makes sense, but it sometimes makes our advice cynical and hurtful. We keep our guard up for a reason. But in that battle, we are poor advisers. We start fighting through others, picking fights where we shouldn’t.
Those are our mechanisms, but they might not serve everyone. Sometimes our outbursts look like impatience, lack of sympathy, and envy. The frustration of whatever situation is still in our lungs, and we’re quick to breathe fire.
Rule no.5: Bend when you can, snap when you have to!
Be kind. Your emotions are the result of outside effects. But your actions are the result of you and your emotions. So, like with rule no. 1, and the free trials, don’t practice your self-growth on others.
However, you are not obligated to take anyone’s bs for whatever reason. No matter who it is, it’s just the audacity. Pick your fights, essentially, but keep in mind that you are not an old mop.
Rule no.6: You don’t have to answer, just ’cause they asked you.
I’m an oversharer, and I know I’m not alone in this, but we all want to brag sometimes, complain, or let it out. Sometimes we share to relate to others and to build that sympathy and understanding.
But, two things: 1. “no is a full sentence” & 2. silence is the answer, too. We should build a world around us where it’s safe to share our stories, be open, or keep to ourselves, as long as it’s our choice. Taking that away from someone is the worst break of trust and invasion of someone’s privacy. Whatever it is and whatever it is about, it belongs to you. I don’t want to let anyone take ownership of that choice, and that’s the hill I’m dying on.
Rule no.7: The greatest of luxuries is your secrets.
This rule continues on the previous one. For celebrities like Taylor, people expect to know everything down to the atom. That’s the prying, invasive, self-given ‘right’ that’s scary and dangerous. The worst part is I’ve seen a lot of people on the Internet saying it’s their [celebrities’] job to share and give content to their fans. Their job is to act/sing/etc., show up on the red carpet, do an interview about the work, and that’s all they ‘owe’ to the public. But, in the world we created today and the audacity/right we give ourselves, even our most secrets don’t belong to us.
With that mindset, we turned to everyone. There are always eyes glistering in the dark, peeping behind the corner. Stalking became justified, so common it became a norm.
Rule no.8: When you aim at the devil, make sure you don’t miss.
It’s a clear message. Stand your ground, think before you act, and be careful. Know your options and be sure that you’re ready. A lot of our choices may be risky. Sometimes the problems we deal with can be too much and fights too big to fight. If we are going to take that step, let’s take it with courage, but also a clear head and a crystal clear goal.
I hope this post was fun for you and that it inspired you. Are there any rules you’d like to share? Feel free to share your wisdom 😀
Okay, thanks, bye!