Getting Hope from Others


The world, right? What a weird place!

Or should I say, the USA!? It’s been a real shit-show lately, hasn’t it?

Either way, the world or the USA, has turned me upside down and I’ve been searching so much for an outlet. A way to say I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. Or to say PLEASE HELP ME HEAL FROM THESE WOUNDS.

Life has been ugly and messy. Things have not worked out as I’ve wanted them to. I have had a lot of horrible stuff happen in personal life… It’s just been a real nightmare.

And then.


As if a guiding light thrust itself upon me, Taylor Swift announced she was releasing an album at midnight. I may have peed a little. (Let me just say, if you don’t like Taylor, I understand. There was a time when I, also, did not really love her. But in the past few years, I feel as if TSWIZZLE has really figured herself out.)

COME ON. TSWIZZLE could stop the world from spinning if she really wanted to, but I digress…

Well, color me surprised and also, ECSTATIC. I have never looked forward to an album like I looked forward to folklore. It was an entire MOOD. And I don’t say that lightly. I mean, seriously. I was so beside myself waiting for this album.

Let me give you a little backstory.

I have always been a closet Taylor Swift fan. I have enjoyed her music, downloaded her in the shadows, cheered silently as she rose to fame and in the charts, but I have never outwardly said, “I AM A SWIFTIE.” I guess partly because she was country music to begin with and I hate country music. But also because I just didn’t understand where she was coming from.

I love music. I love it so much. Maybe it’s the Pisces in me, but music is my saving grace. I can very easily find a song that suits a situation I am going through and it becomes my anthem for the next 89 days. I am always putting together playlists. I have 100% put together playlists for the loves of my life, stretching from the waaaay back to the now. I have artists who I adore and songs that I absolutely cannot stand.

Taylor Swift, releasing this album at the stroke of midnight on July 24, 2020, gave me hope. It gave me a lot of joy, too because I knew then and there that Taylor was not doing what the rest of us were doing (eating our way through lockdown). She was working through her feelings and her desires and her regrets. She is so fucking impressive.

TSWIZZLE is the William Shakespeare of our generation. I do not care what you say. You can fight me until the cows come home. She is such a genius. Not only does she write lyrics that can rip your fucking heart out, but she also writes lyrics with Easter eggs, throwing back to other albums where she, once again, laid bare her heart. And she always has a mission when it comes to the feelings she hopes you feel during a song.

I hate to say this because it makes me sound like a lunatic, but, aside from Florence Welch, there has never been another artist who makes my hands ache, my skin flare with goosebumps, my heart thump like crazy. Taylor Swift knows how to open a person’s soul, look into the person’s heart, and open a part of themselves that is closed off. There are so many facets to Taylor that I feel we will never know. Unless she decides to show us all of herself….?

A book I wrote was released in May – The Road Home – where I spoke about family, love, life, and loss and it literally broke me. I have been trying to recover ever since. I lost my mom to cancer and it has been the longest road ever struggling to heal from that loss. But Taylor swooped in and showed me that it’s okay that I haven’t healed yet. It’s okay that I’m still struggling. And honestly, it’s okay that my broken heart has still not been pieced back together.

We need to remember that life, love, is a long road and no one can heal at the next exit. We will forever be able to find a way to survive, but actual healing takes time and, sometimes, it takes company.

I love you all.  Take care of each other.


  1. There was great rejoicing throughout the land at the news of Taylor Swift’s surprise release! I’ve had her “Lover” CD playing continually for about 10 months. The other five slots rotate different CDs in and out, but not “Lover.” I was about 45 when I fell in love with Tay’s first record, and I haven’t stopped admiring and marveling at her brilliance since. (“I’d Be The Man,” anyone??)

    Speaking of love, Erin, I love the idea that Life and Love are journeys, so I very much agree with and honor the way your ended your heartfelt post. Survival isn’t enough; we need healing as well, or, as you said so smartly:

    “We need to remember that life, love, is a long road and no one can heal at the next exit. We will forever be able to find a way to survive, but actual healing takes time and, sometimes, it takes company.” ~Erin Zak, lesbian author and Lambda Literary Award Winner, at the Women & Words blog, July 24, 2020 in “Getting Hope From Others.”

    Thanks for the lift today!
    😉 Lori, ready for a road trip!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Awww, thank you so much and I’m thrilled to hear we have some similarities. One thing, though, I haven’t *won* a Lammy YET! Finalist twice but haven’t been able to seal the deal. One day, though! ♥️♥️♥️


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