Published Mar 06, 2019Taylor Swift will celebrate her 30th birthday come December, and she's already gearing up for the occasion with a new essay in Elle titled "30 Things I Learned Before I Turned 30."
Amongst the life lessons, Swift shares advice about standing up for yourself, feeling comfortable in your own skin and coping with the terrifying realities of the world.
She also seems to specifically address a few parts of her reputation that have come under scrutiny in the last few years.
She addresses the squad mentality that surrounded the release of 1989 — admitting that she's realized the negative effect that the image of her and her giant group of famous, beautiful girlfriends could have had on some fans.
"Never being popular as a kid was always an insecurity for me. Even as an adult, I still have recurring flashbacks of sitting at lunch tables alone or hiding in a bathroom stall, or trying to make a new friend and being laughed at," she writes. "In my twenties I found myself surrounded by girls who wanted to be my friend. So I shouted it from the rooftops, posted pictures, and celebrated my newfound acceptance into a sisterhood, without realizing that other people might still feel the way I did when I felt so alone."
Swift goes on to differentiate between "lifelong friendships and situationships" — like the ones she formed with her squad — and notes that it's okay to outgrow people.
"Something about 'we're in our young twenties!' hurls people together into groups that can feel like your chosen family," she writes. "And maybe they will be for the rest of your life. Or maybe they'll just be your comrades for an important phase, but not forever."
She also addresses being characterized as a snake by one of the world's biggest celebrities, Kim Kardashian.
Swift's advice is to laugh off bullies — like she did every night on her "Reputation World Tour" with a 63-foot inflatable cobra as part of her stage design.
"It would be nice if we could get an apology from people who bully us," she writes. "But maybe all I'll ever get is the satisfaction of knowing I could survive it, and thrive in spite of it."
Finally, Swift also praises the freedom that comes with blocking out social media noise — be it turning off Instagram comments or deleting dangerous phone numbers — and learning not to seek validation from people behind screens.
Read Swift's full collection of life lessons here.