You are probably familiar with the insanely popular musician Taylor Swift… Maybe you are even familiar with her sophomore album Fearless (Taylor’s Version). But there might have been a track that you missed… I think this track is pretty incredible, and honestly, my military empowerment anthem. This track is Change by Taylor Swift.
The worst part of the military lifestyle to me is unpredictability. I hate the feeling of instability.
"You know it's all the same, another time and place, repeating history, and you're getting sick of it," Swift sings. The military lifestyle has a lot of curves to it - there is a lot of uncertainty that wallows well within it. You never know when your next goodbye is, and it feels almost never-ending. After a while, it feels like your life will never change, that the same song is played on repeat. Just like that forever repeating song, you get used to it, eventually recognizing each and every lyric, until one day when you are completely desensitized to it. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t getting sick of it.
Yet, as Swift says, "...I'll do anything to see it through because these things will change." Even though it seems never ending, nothing is linear - there will always be some sort of change. Even though this is difficult, it also means the worst of the worst will go with it. The heaviest storms will roll on, and soon, the sunshine will come out as well.
"These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down. This revolution, the time will come for us to finally win." Even when it feels never-ending, those walls will fall down. "We're getting stronger now. Find things they never found." The storms we experience only strengthen us. The walls that feel like they close around us are never permanent. In fact, they only make us stronger.
Except, sometimes (and I know personally), it doesn’t feel that way. That is exactly why this song is so important to me, as it’s honestly my military anthem - a reminder that nothing is permanent. Even though it’s quite literally my least favorite part of the military lifestyle, it’s also the best mantra to repeat. Knowing nothing lasts forever gets me through the roughest part of the downpour; it’s that glint of hope that even when times get rough, I know that these things will change.
"Tonight, we stand, get off our knees. Fight for what we've worked for all these years and the battle was long, it's the fight of our lives, but we'll stand up champions tonight." Sometimes, you just have to fight for that change because "these walls that they put up to hold us back fell down."
For me, there are many songs by Taylor Swift that have gotten me through tough times, but this song is like a manifestation of the best words, the words YOU need to hear. The lyrics are an audible reminder that nothing is permanent, much like the military lifestyle. In the past, I’ve written about the frustration of being told, “Be strong!” and the motivational memes that only seem to become more and more grading each time we see them. But sometimes being told that these things will change feels better than going through them all by yourself.
It feels nice to feel heard, like someone else is singing your feelings for you. It’s like finding the perfect love song that makes you think of your crush or that one song that has all of these memories tied into it that just makes you smile when you hear it. For me, this is that song. This song reminds me of the uncertainty of my last ever move, the feeling of worry, ‘Will I fit in here?’ This song helped that melt away, and it is a song I want to share with other military teens stepping into a new stage of their lives.
Whether it’s college, possibly retirement, a new stage in your life, or maybe just another move, know that these things WILL change - that all of the negativity surrounding it will melt away. "Cause we never gave in and we'll sing hallelujah, we sang hallelujah, hallelujah." Change is always present; it’s coming even when you don’t want it, but from my experience, sometimes the changes you don’t want lead you right to where you need to be.