Taylor Swift on the meaning of 'this is me trying'
"No one pats them on the back every day, but every day they’re actively fighting something"
I love a lot of Taylor Swift songs, but I think “this is me trying” has become my favorite over the last several months.
What really pushed it to the top of my list was hearing Swift explain her inspiration for the song as part of the Long Pond Studio Sessions documentary.
I’d been thinking about addiction and I’d been thinking about people who, if they’re either suffering through mental illness, addiction or they have an everyday struggle. No one pats them on the back every day, but every day they’re actively fighting something.
And there are so many days that nobody gives them credit for that. And so how often must somebody who is in that sort of internal struggle must want say to everyone in the room, “you have no idea how close I am to going back to a dark place.”
On the first verse of the song:
I had this idea that the first verse would be about someone who is in sort of a life crisis and has just been trying and failing in their relationship, has been messing things up with people they love, has been letting everyone down, and has driven to this overlook, this cliff, and is just in the car going “I could do whatever I want in this moment and it could affect everything forever”, but this person backs up and drives home.
And on the second verse:
And the second verse is about someone who felt like they had a lot of potential in their life. I think there are a lot of mechanisms for us in our school days, in high school or collage, to excel and to be patted on the back for something and I think a lot of people get out of school and there are less abilities for them to get gold stars.
Then, you have to make all these decisions and you have to pave your own way, there’s no set class course you can take and I think a lot of people feel swept up in that. So I was thinking about this person who is really lost in life and then starts drinking and every second is trying not to.
I’ve written before about some of the things I’ve been battling recently, and this song and Swift’s explanation really hit home for me.
I hope it also encourages people to be more empathic and kinder in general. You never, ever know what demons someone is constantly facing.