I wrote a song named after a boy once, and the story wasn’t like Taylor Swift’s.
I was a junior in high school and there was a boy in my acting class. According to everyone else, we had incredible chemistry on stage. Let me preface this by saying I hated this guy with my entire being. He had previously broken my best friend’s heart, and I thought he was a self-centered asshole. It actually annoyed me that we worked so well together on stage. But I only ever saw him in that acting class, really. And, much to my disappointment, I began to learn more about him from other people. I really started to see why he was the way he was, and ended up doing the thing I had sworn for all eternity I would never do: fall for him.
Let me also make this abundantly clear: this guy and I were never anything more than scene partners. The feelings were never reciprocated from him, and for a long while, he had no idea I liked him.
So I did what I do best: wrote a song about him. I sometimes use guy’s names in songs, but not very frequently; only when they fit. His fit perfectly, so I named the song after him.
Flash forward to about a year later, when I made a music video for said song, and included the track on my self-titled album. It was a while before he ever noticed, but eventually, when I made a status on my music page that said, “You guys have played that song over 100 times already? I’m speechless,” There was his comment on it: “So am I.”
I grew up having Taylor Swift as the ultimate role model. Not that I expected him to show up at my house declaring his love for me, but I had expected something more than what I got. He deleted me from Facebook about a year later, and we haven’t spoken since he graduated high school.
Why did I expect something more? Why did I think that this guy, whom I had very little interactions with, would just automatically be feeling the same way about me?
My entire life, I’ve been told I can do anything. I’ve been told that when you put yourself out there, it’s completely worth it and most people will reciprocate more or less the same actions when you put yourself out there. This was one of the first times I tried and that didn’t happen to me. I guess I was under the delusion that making a grand gesture, like writing a song about someone, and being brave enough to share it with the world, and by default, him, would pay off in some way. I was hoping he’d realize I was great and actually cared about him and wanted to spend more time with him. That wasn’t the case.
No, I didn’t get a Taylor Swift ending. And I think it’s important for girls to know that. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from taking the leap and putting their feelings out there: in fact, because of this experience, I’m even more of a believer you should let your feelings be known. I’m writing this story because I want girls to know sometimes you will go the extra mile and it will not be reciprocated. It will hurt, and it will be disappointing, but don’t forget that you did something most people are too terrified to even think of doing. You were the one brave enough to take the leap.
I wrote a song and titled it after a guy who was by all standards, entirely out of my league. He was popular, extremely good-looking, a stereotypical “bad boy,” and someone all the girls at some point had a crush on. I knew all this and still put my song out there. Because I believed that having the courage to write something like that put me in a different category than all those girls fawning over him. It put me in a category of being someone who cared about more than his exterior. And he heard the song and didn’t say anything. Which after a while, I realized was okay.
It was a defining moment for me in my musical journey. That even when you put yourself out there, it might not be well received. But at the end of the day, I was proud of my work. And I am grateful that he inspired me to write a wonderful piece. I’m pretty confident there will be someone else whose name I use as a song title, and when I do, he will appreciate it and love it for what it is.