Taylor Swift is opening up about the anxiety she had before heading out on her latest tour.
The 29-year-old singer covers the April issue of Elleand shares what she's learned and how she's grown in a self-written list. In addition to discussing her body image issues, parents' cancer battles and the pitfalls of social media, Swift also reveals that she was "completely terrified" to go on her Reputation Stadium Tour after the bombings and shootings at recent concerts.
"After the Manchester Arena bombing and the Vegas concert shooting, I was completely terrified to go on tour this time because I didn’t know how we were going to keep 3 million fans safe over seven months. There was a tremendous amount of planning, expense and effort put into keeping my fans safe," she writes, referencing the 2017 bombing at an Ariana Grande concert and the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas less than six months later.
"My fear of violence has continued into my personal life," Swift writes. "I carry QuikClot army grade bandage dressing, which is for gunshot or stab wounds. Websites and tabloids have taken it upon themselves to post every home address I’ve ever had online. You get enough stalkers trying to break into your house and you kind of start prepping for bad things."
"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," she adds. "We have to live bravely in order to truly feel alive, and that means not being ruled by our greatest fears."
Despite her fear, Swift went on to have a successful tour, something she credits largely to her fans.
"The fans and their care for me, my well-being and my music were the ones who pulled me through," she writes. "The most emotional part of the Reputation Stadium Tour for me was knowing I was looking out at the faces of the people who helped me get back up. I’ll never forget the ones who stuck around."
While her fans certainly got her through some challenging times, Swift has also learned how to stand up for herself, even cutting people out of her life when necessary.
"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," she writes. "It’s just a simple setting on your phone that will eliminate drama if you so choose to use it."
Learning that lesson became important for Swift after she made lots of quick friendships and entered romantic relationships without being discerning about people's intentions.
"Something about 'we’re in our young twenties!' hurls people together into groups that can feel like your chosen family. 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," Swift says. "It’s sad but sometimes when you grow, you outgrow relationships. You may leave behind friendships along the way, but you’ll always keep the memories."
"All that glitters isn’t gold, and first impressions actually aren’t everything... the layers of a person you discover in time," she continues. "Are they honest, self-aware and slyly funny at the moments you least expect it? Do they show up for you when you need them? Do they still love you after they’ve seen you broken? Or after they’ve walked in on you having a full conversation with your cats as if they’re people? These are things a first impression could never convey."
As she approaches her 30th birthday, Swift has also started confronting the standards she's held herself to throughout her life and career, including those relating to her body and aging.
"I worked hard to retrain my brain that a little extra weight means curves, shinier hair, and more energy," she writes. "I think a lot of us push the boundaries of dieting, but taking it too far can be really dangerous. There is no quick fix. I work on accepting my body every day."
"[There are] messages that tell women that we aren’t allowed to age. It’s an impossible standard to meet, and I’ve been loving how outspoken Jameela Jamil has been on this subject," she adds. "Reading her words feels like hearing a voice of reason amongst all these loud messages out there telling women we’re supposed to defy gravity, time and everything natural in order to achieve this bizarre goal of everlasting youth that isn’t even remotely required of men."
Swift says that she has both "happiness and inspiration" now, something she's gained after learning how to fully accept herself.
"I’ve come to a realization that I need to be able to forgive myself for making the wrong choice, trusting the wrong person, or figuratively falling on my face in front of everyone," she says. "Step into the daylight and let it go."