You're On Your Own, Kid

Peace is much less about trying to fit inside of a cage and much more about embracing yourself in wholeness.

You're On Your Own, Kid
Photo by Hennie Stander / Unsplash

I have a tattoo on my left forearm that says “peace.” When I got it in 2016, I couldn’t even really explain why I wanted that word on my body permanently, other than the fact that, as a white evangelical girlie I had been obsessed with the Hebrew concept of shalom for years.

For many years I had also struggled with anxiety. I kept asking God to give me peace, as if it was something outside of my own ability. At the end of her folklore album, Taylor Swift sings, “Would it be enough if I could/Never give you peace?”

Endless ink has been spilled speculating on who Taylor is singing about in each one of her songs; sometimes we know and many times we guess. I’ve never identified as a Swiftie because I can’t deal with that level of fandom. I love the art she creates but get annoyed by the constant headlines about her personal life.

In many of her songs she seems to be describing a quest to find belonging with a life partner. A prevailing theory in the psychology of relationships is that we choose partners based on our projection of self. When I listen to her music, I see a woman wrestling with her own sense of self in and out of relationships throughout her life and wondering, Can I be loved for who I am, not just for the roles that I play?

Maybe I see that because it’s true for her, but it’s more likely that I see that because it’s been true for me.

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