The Reputation stadium tour might have been a massive success — and spawned its own Netflix movie — but Taylor Swift revealed that she was "terrified" to go out on tour in the months before hitting the road. In an essay for Elle magazine published on Wednesday, March 6, the pop star reflected on thirty lessons that she's learned ahead of her thirtieth birthday, and Swift also opened up about her "biggest fear": not being able to keep her fans safe at her concert.
In an emotional piece, Swift revealed that seeing two major attacks at music events — the Manchester Arena bombing during an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017, and the Oct. 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas — made her extremely nervous to launch a world tour of her own. "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," Swift wrote. "There was a tremendous amount of planning, expense, and effort put into keeping my fans safe."
The singer went on to reveal that not only is she scared about something happening to her fans at one of her concerts, but she's also constantly worried about being attacked by a stalker in her personal life. "I carry QuikClot army grade bandage dressing, which is for gunshot or stab wounds," Swift explained.
She continued, "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."
Still, Swift noted that she tries not to let her fears of violence rule her life, and attempts to still focus on the positive in the face of the terrors of the world. "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," Swift wrote. "We have to live bravely in order to truly feel alive, and that means not being ruled by our greatest fears."
In addition to learning how to not let herself be ruled by fear, Swift also told Elle that one of the biggest things she's learned over the course of the last thirty years is that artists don't need to be miserable in order to make good music. Referencing her many public breakups and the speculation about the songs they inspired, Swift wrote, "I remember people asking me, 'What are you gonna write about if you ever get happy?'"
"There’s a common misconception that artists have to be miserable in order to make good art, that art and suffering go hand in hand," she explained, adding, "I’m really grateful to have learned this isn’t true. Finding happiness and inspiration at the same time has been really cool." While she didn't explicitly mention her relationship with actor Joe Alwyn, it's clear that the couple's very secret romance has had a major impact on Swift's music and life, and provided both stability and inspiration.
Hopefully, Swift's ability to find "happiness and inspiration" at the same time will be reflected in her new music. The singer was spotted leaving a recording studio in New York back in January, and fans are convinced that she has been dropping clues about a new album on social media. So hopefully the world will get to hear the result of all of that happy inspiration sometime soon.