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This post has been a long time coming. I am answering this question anonymously for a number of reasons: 1) I do not wish to inadvertently become tabloid fodder; 2) I do not wish to capitalize on Taylor; 3) I enjoy my relatively normal life; and 4) I believe the anonymity is well-deserved on Taylor’s part. Although Taylor may be able to determine who is writing this, I do not believe such information to be of use to the public. I am sure, if she wished, she could write me a letter and reconnect at anytime. That is her choice to make.
Before Taylor hit it big, Taylor and I spent months emailing back and forth on MySpace. We were the same age with similar tastes in music, similar viewpoints on life, and similar, sarcastic senses of humor. We were both trying to make it in music and grow a fan base. We confided in each other. We trusted each other. We had an ongoing, supportive relationship that helped both of us when we sometimes felt there was nowhere else to turn. Few knew of my coversations with her – but some of Taylor’s closest friends did know they were taking place (they called me “the guy on MySpace,” as it is my understanding Taylor did not tell them my name).
The two of us, still in our teens and miles apart, began writing to each other in short messages at first. We would discuss music, school, and random jokes we would make upon the fly. As time went on, the messages (and their topics) went from short and complimentary to in-depth and personal. We would write messages to one another that, if printed, would be multiple pages long. Looking back, these were the messages of two teenagers trying to find themselves and, in the process, found a friend in one another. We never had expectations, just a supportive friendship with a member of the opposite sex we could not seem to find offline. Although our situations and backgrounds were very different, our similarities closed any gap between us.
During our time messaging, Taylor had hit a rough patch in her life. That may be easy to balk at if you see Taylor as a flawless celebrity rather than the caring and thoughtful person that she is – but the struggle she was experiencing at the time was very real and had its toll on her, a teen trying to find her place. I would do my best to encourage her from a distance and support her as the situation unfolded. Taylor did the same for me. The mutual respect and maturity shared with one another was like nothing else I had experienced. As for Taylor, I believe she felt the same.
Then, something happened. I began to emotionally struggle with the loss of a grandparent who had passed in 2002. As a young person, I had buried the pain for years and did not know how to cope. I had little in terms of a support mechanism in my “real” life. But things were just beginning in Taylor’s career. I thought that my burdens would weigh Taylor down. So, rather than turn to Taylor for support or tell her what happened, I did the only thing sixteen year old me knew how to do… I closed myself off, shut down my MySpace page… and tried to grapple with the experience on my own. To this day, I feel guilty about having left her out in the dark. But I still believe I did the right thing. Taylor had a dream we both shared and it was becoming a reality. I was not about to stand in the way by making her worry about her friend. She was too kind and sweet to me. Strapping her with that type of burden would have been unjustifiable. As fast as I had entered it, I was out of Taylor’s life. If she saw me today, it is unlikely she would recognize me as that guy who was playing country songs. That is not the path my life took.
Fast forward to today and I am a highly educated person who has been able to carve my own path in this world. By any measure, I have been successful for my age. If Taylor were not a celebrity, I believe her story would be much the same.
What you see and hear about Taylor does not scratch the surface or come near the reality. The claims about her doing things for publicity, being an uncaring person, or using others are nowhere near an accurate description of the person I grew to know. Taylor is a kind, caring, compassionate person who wants nothing more than to love and be loved. Her acts of charity are not acts of publicity, they are acts of character. She has earned and deserves her career. Knowing her as I did, I cannot help but believe she often longs for normalcy, anonymity, and questions what it would be like if she were simply Taylor to this day – not the celebrity, but another person who lived life without being subjected to the critiques, comments, and ridicule.
I knew Taylor for Taylor, she was wonderful. In the unlikely event she reads this, I apologize for not writing back and hope she understands why I made that decision. I kicked myself for years – not because of the fame she found, but because of the friend I loss.
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