In honor of turning 30 this year, Taylor Swift is sharing a heap of life lessons she's learned throughout the years with the world. In a piece titled, "30 THINGS I LEARNED BEFORE TURNING 30" (the caps feel important here) the singer got candid about all the most important things in her life, from balancing social media to her past relationships to what vitamins she is taking. It's 2019, and Swift is officially an open book. (For more on Swift and books, read her other Elle cover for the UK edition of the magazine where she breaks down the perfect pop songs, and how the art of popular music ties into the art of literature.)
But in between the jokes about learning to make an Aperol Spritz to deal with "2016" (aka Donald Trump's election), and missing her curly hair ("Pray for its return," she begs), Swift shares her biggest fear, and it's a gut punch. One can imagine her contemporaries — Ariana Grande, Halsey, Cardi B — reading the paragraph and feeling the same way.
Her biggest fear, she writes, came true after the 2017 Manchester bombing and the Vegas concert shooting. "I was completely terrified to go on tour this time because I didn’t know how we were going to keep 3 million fans safe over seven months. There was a tremendous amount of planning, expense, and effort put into keeping my fans safe."
The singer has even become accustomed to carrying around QuikClot, an "army grade bandage dressing, which is for gunshot or stab wounds."
"Websites and tabloids have taken it upon themselves to post every home address I’ve ever had online," she continues. "You get enough stalkers trying to break into your house and you kind of start prepping for bad things. Every day I try to remind myself of the good in the world, the love I’ve witnessed and the faith I have in humanity. We have to live bravely in order to truly feel alive, and that means not being ruled by our greatest fears."
Her words are powerful, and upsetting. This person, who brings light to millions around the world with her music, is terrified, so much so that she's lugging around her own medical supplies, and actively trying to thwart any future attacks by using facial recognition to track fans at concerts.
It's brave of Swift to share these fears so openly.