Why do I love this line from Taylor Swift’s song so much? Why do I want to play Anti-Hero on repeat?
Am I a Tween, filled with so much hope and hormones, hoping that one day I will be just like the powerhouse Taylor, who writes songs and writes off men with equal panache?
No. I love it because – whatever the song is truly about – it makes me just stop and go: Hang on. You’ve tumbled back again, taken twenty leaps backward after those moves forward you made to better your life, eat well, exercise, make a constructive plan for the future, get your finances in order, stop scrolling, become a suddenly beatifically patient person, insert here the thing you need to do to improve yourself.
Is the song about taking responsibility, or is it about taking blame? Now I am trying to navigate the difference between the elegance of personal responsibility and the brutality of blaming myself for all the stuff that is going on in my life. I like the song on a visceral level. It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me. It allows me to think on to ruminate on what I should do about this problem that is me.
Is there freedom in saying It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me? I think so. Because any other way of thinking is a set up for despair. But, you know, not too much It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me, because that, too, is a set up for despair.
I read this morning that your children are like a mirror back to you, their brilliance at mirroring your foibles as piercing and as shattering as that reflector would be if it broke into spikes and pierced you right through the heart. Oh I’ve heard this so many times: your children are reflecting back to you what you are, or they are mirroring back to you whatever stress, worry, anger, joy, content and resilience you may be feeling.
I believe this to be true to a certain extent but of course they are a bundle of cells themselves with searing souls and starving hearts of their own – and their feelings are theirs and not yours. It’s hard for me to separate the two, it really is. It’s hard for me to separate myself from anything, in fact.
Yet It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me. Loving this line is a separation in itself. Thinking you are the problem is separation too, a nearly futile trip of the ego that sets you as powerful enough to be able to control any given situation.
We only have control over a few very basic and predictable things, I think. The rest is about letting go, surrendering, jumping in the raft and holding on as tight as you can as it flows, flies, flips and floats down the raging rapids of life.