30 of Taylor Swift’s most inspiring quotes as she turns thirty

"I'll never change, but I'll never stay the same either."


It’s hard to believe Taylor Swift is turning 30 this week. It seems like only last year she was a wide-eyed 16-year-old with curly hair, cowboy boots and a sparkly guitar. (Although she still throws us back to her roots by occasionally reviving the latter.)

As the girl who claimed she’d “never change, but never stay the same either,” it’s been fascinating to watch her career grow over the last decade. From country starlet to pop megastar, the journey has been wild — with a fair amount of bumps along the way. But one thing has remained a constant throughout: the fans.

One of the things Swifties have always admired about Taylor is her articulate way with words (unsurprisingly, given her status as one of the world’s greatest songwriters) and ever-flowing stream of sound life advice. She just has the vibe that, if she sat down with you for 10 minutes, she could sort out all your life problems and dispose of them with a neat bow tied around it.

So to celebrate this milestone, we’ve rounded up 30 of her most inspiring quotes that speak to our soul. Happy birthday, Taylor.

taylor swift america music awards
Image Source: Instagram

“Being sweet to everyone all the time can get you into a lot of trouble. Grow a backbone, trust your gut, and know when to strike back. Be like a snake—only bite if someone steps on you.” – Elle ’30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30′

“I now can really recognise and diagnose toxic messages being sent to me by society, by culture about my body. I’m a woman; I’m not a coat hanger. I need to feel healthy in my life and I need to take pleasure in food and I need to not use my body as, like, an exercise of control when I feel out of control in my life.” – British Vogue (x)

“Apologising when you have hurt someone who really matters to you takes nothing away from you. Even if it was unintentional, it’s so easy to just apologise and move on.” Elle ’30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30′

“You are not somebody else’s opinion of you. You are not damaged goods just because you’ve made mistakes in your life. You are not going nowhere just because you haven’t got where you want to go yet. You are your own definition of beautiful and worthwhile – that’s what you are. You are someone who is wiser because you made mistakes – not damaged – wiser…You know it’s not about perfection. It’s about just getting on with things, sometimes. Sometimes, you just get credit for getting up and going on with things – you don’t have to do it perfectly. And I think that we mistake, our mistakes for damage and we think other people will judge us for them. But I want you to know that the way I see mistakes, they don’t make you damaged. They make you clean.” – 1989 World Tour Manchester

“There’s a different vocabulary for men and women in the music industry. A man does something, it’s ‘strategic’; a woman does the same thing, it’s ‘calculated’. A man is allowed to ‘react’; a woman can only ‘overreact’. A man does something? ‘Confident and bold’. A woman does it the same way, and she’s ‘smug’. A man ‘stands up for himself, a woman ‘throws a temper tantrum’.” – CBS Sunday Morning August 2019

“To me fearless isn’t not having fears, it’s not that you’re not afraid of anything. I think that being fearless is having a lot of fears, but you jump anyway.” (x)

“One thing that the ‘Reputation’ era of my life did for me is that it taught me that I can live my life without public approval and still have a really wonderful life and still want to make music for my fans.” – BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge September 2019

“In a real relationship or friendship, you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t tell the other person how you feel, and what could be done to fix it. No one is a mind reader. If someone really loves you, they want you to verbalise how you feel. This is real life, not chess.” – Elle ’30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30′

Image Source: Instagram

“No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” (x)

“Words can break someone into a million pieces, but they can also put them back together. I hope you use yours for good, because the only words you’ll regret more than the ones left unsaid are the ones you use to intentionally hurt someone.” – Speak Now foreword

“May your struggles become inaudible background noise behind the loud, clergies voices of those who love and appreciate you. Turn those voices up in the mix in your head. May you take notice of the things in your life that are nice and make you feel safe and maybe even find wonderment in them. May you write down your feelings and reflect on the years later, only to learn all the trials and the tribulations you thought might kill you… didn’t. I hope that someday you forget the pain ever existed. I hope that if there is a lover in your life, it’s someone who deserves you. If that’s the case, I hope you treat them with care.” – Lover foreword

“What’s it like to brag about raking in dollars and getting bitches and models? If I was out flashing my dollars, I’d be a ‘bitch’, not a ‘baller’. They’d paint me out to be bad, so it’s okay that I’m mad.” – The Man

“Every day I try to remind myself of the good in the world, the love I’ve witnessed and the faith I have in humanity. We have to live bravely in order to truly feel alive, and that means not being ruled by our greatest fears.” – Elle ’30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30′

“A mass public shaming, with millions of people saying you are ‘cancelled’, is a very isolating experience. I don’t think there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly. When you say someone is cancelled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being. You’re sending mass amounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear, or it could also be perceived as ‘Kill yourself’.– Vogue (x)

“People haven’t always been there for me but music always has.” (x)

“I hope you know that who you are is who you choose to be, and that whispers behind your back don’t define you. You are the only person who gets to decide what you will be remembered for.” – 1989 foreword

Image Source: Instagram

“Despite our need to simplify and generalise absolutely everyone and everything in this life, humans are intrinsically impossible to simplify. We are never just good or just bad. We are mosaics of our worst selves and our best selves, our deepest secrets and our favourite stories to tell at a dinner party, existing somewhere between our well-lit profile photo and our drivers license shot. We are all a mixture of our selfishness and generosity, loyalty and self-preservation, pragmatism and impulsiveness.” – reputation foreword

“We think we know someone, but the truth is that we only know the version of them that they have chosen to show us.” – reputation foreword

“You know, people go on and on about, like, you have to forgive and forget to move past something. No, you don’t. You don’t have to forgive and you don’t have to forget to move on. You can move on without any of those things happening. You just become indifferent, and then you move on.” – CBS Sunday Morning August 2019

“Writing songs has never been a strategic element of my career. But I’m not scared anymore to say that other things in my career, like how to market an album, are strictly strategic. And I’m sick of women not being able to say that they have strategic business minds — because male artists are allowed to. And so I’m sick and tired of having to pretend like I don’t mastermind my own business.” – Rolling Stone (x)

“You only have so much room in your life and so much energy to give to those in it. Be discerning. If someone in your life is hurting you, draining you, or causing you pain in a way that feels unresolvable, blocking their number isn’t cruel. It’s just a simple setting on your phone that will eliminate drama if you so choose to use it.” – Elle ’30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30′

“The debate over whether people change is an interesting one for me to observe because it seems like all I ever do is change. All I ever do is learn from my mistakes so I don’t make the same ones again. Then I make new ones. I know people can change because it happens to me little by little every day. Every day I wake up as someone slightly new. Isn’t it wild and intriguing and beautiful to think that every day we are new?” – 1989 foreword

“I know a couple who, in the thick of a fight, say ‘Hey, same team.’ Find a way to defuse the anger that can spiral out of control and make you lose sight of the good things you two have built. They don’t give out awards for winning the most fights in your relationship. They just give out divorce papers.” – Elle ’30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30′

“So this [pride] month and every month, I wanna send out my love and respect to everybody who has been brave enough to be honest about how they feel, to live their lives as they are, as they feel they should be, as they identify. And I wanna send my love and respect out to everybody who, in their journey and their life, hasn’t yet felt comfortable enough to come out, and may you do that in your own time, and may we end up in a world where everyone can live and love equally and no one has to be afraid and vulnerable to say how they feel.” – reputation Stadium Tour Chicago

“If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change.” (x)

“You’re going to have people who are going to say ‘Oh, you know like, she just writes songs about her ex-boyfriends’ and I think frankly that’s a very sexist angle to take. No one says that about Ed Sheeran. No one says it about Bruno Mars. They’re all writing songs about their exes, their current girlfriends, their love-life, and no one raises a red flag there.” – 2Day FM Sydney October 2014

“Sometimes on my bad days, I feel like my life is a pile of crap accumulated of only the bad headlines or the bad things that have happened, or the mistakes I’ve made or clichés or rumours or things that people think about me or have thought for the last 15 years. In life you can’t get everything right. A lot of times you make the wrong call, make the wrong decision. Say the wrong thing. Hurt people, even if you didn’t mean to. You don’t really know how to fix all of that.” – Rolling Stone (x)

“My experiences in love have taught me difficult lessons, especially my experiences with crazy love. The red relationships. The ones that went from zero to a hundred miles per hour and then hit a wall and exploded. And it was awful. And ridiculous. And desperate. And thrilling. And when the dust settled, it was something I’d never take back. Because there is something to be said for being young and needing someone so badly, you jump in head first without looking. And there’s something to be learned from waiting all day for a train that’s never coming. And there’s something to be proud of about moving on and realising that real love shines golden like starlight, and doesn’t fade or spontaneously combust.” – Red foreword

“I wrote about looking back on a lost love and understanding that nothing good comes without loss and hardship and constant struggle. There is no “riding off into the sunset,” like I used to imagine. We are never out of the woods, because we are always going to be fighting for something.” – 1989 foreword

“I’ve decided that in this life, I want to be defined by the things I love- not the things I hate, the things I’m afraid of, or the things that haunt me in the middle of the night. Those things may be struggles, but they’re not my identity.” – Lover foreword

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