On July 24, 2015, Taylor Swift changed the way that I view myself, my happiness, and my future.
      Taylor Swift is an amazingly talented young woman--but not for the reasons you would think. Yes, she is undoubtedly a talented singer-songwriter, but what really sets her apart from other pop stars is her ability to connect with her audience. Taylor somehow has the ability to talk directly to you, even if you are one in 60,000 people.
      This past weekend I had the pleasure of being one of 120,000 people to see her play at Gillette Stadium. Yet, while at her concert, I might have been in a room talking to my best friend.
      And I think I felt that way because Taylor took some time out of her show to give us some advice. She told the audience about a fan who asked her for advice about getting over an on-again/off-again relationship. And Taylor's response? "He will come back, but ultimately we as girls have 2 options when he comes around: you either leave him, or you stay with him. Those are your options." Simple enough. But then she said something that had me in tears: "But, keep in mind, I think you deserve someone who wants you whole-heartedly."
      As someone who spent this last year in a treacherous on/off relationship I felt like she was talking to me. This young woman who I have admired for years just told me I deserve more, and in that moment I believed her.
      Taylor's entire 1989 album is about what it is like to be one of the many girls stuck in an on-again/off-again relationship. A relationship that is tiresome and stressful and yet somehow worth the pain. So as she performed emotional songs such as "I Wish You Would," "This Love," and "All You Had To Do Was Stay," tears rolled down my cheeks. Tears of recognition. Tears that represented a rough and stressful time in my life that this person could perfectly describe through song.
      All too often it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you are the only one who has experienced this sort of relationship. But, during this one night, Taylor changed my life. She reminded me that I was not alone in the pain I've felt this past year.  She told me that eventually I would be "Clean" and that soon enough I would be able to "Shake It Off". She spoke directly to me in a crowd of 60,000 people and for that I will be forever grateful.
      I'm moving on from this night with a newfound confidence that my life will get better. In Taylor's words: "Life is made of fleeting moments of happiness and fleeting moments of pain. What counts is what you make of it in the middle."
      In the middle I'm going to live every moment to the fullest and move on from a part of my life that has weighed on me so much.
      I hope everyone reading this does the same. I also hope that other girls who are in a similar situation read this story and realize that they are not alone. I know how hard it is when your friends and family don't understand the back and forth relationship. I understand what it feels like when you realize you no longer have their support. Well, you do have support. You have support from me, from Taylor, and from every other girl who has been there.
      So if this story has moved you, then share it. Send it to your daughter, niece or granddaughter. Remind them that they are not alone.