Seeing how Taylor Swift has transformed into the artist she is today has been one of my favorite things I’ve experienced as a music fan. Unlike many Swifties, I’ve been a fan since the beginning.

I am an original, like really OG Swiftie. I’m not talking about “Fearless” or “Speak Now.” I’m talking “Tim McGraw.”

I was sitting in the game room in college, working as I typically did, listening to the XM radio station (before they merged with SIRIUS) and had it on the country station, which I did when there weren’t a lot of people in there, and classes were going on.

That’s when they introduced a brand new song they had never played before called “Tim McGraw.” Being a Tim fan since his very first single, I was interested. When I heard it, I was in love with the song.

I quickly got the single, and once her album was released, I bought it. I was in my mid-20s, but her music spoke to me. It reminded me of things I felt in high school.

That following summer, I won a trip to CMA Fan Fest and met Taylor. She was everything I thought she would be. She was small but as tall as I was, which she made a remark about since most girls were shorter than her. I told her how her music inspired me and reminded me of things I felt when I was her age. That touched her, and I was so appreciative of how I’d been a fan since her first single. (By the way, I HATE my photo with her, but will show it because of how awesome it is to have a photo with her)

At the time, she only had two singles out. This was just before she released her third single, “Our Song.” It was when she was a simple girl from Nashville who had big dreams of being a superstar.

I became a Swiftie almost 18 years ago. Taylor is now 34,r and I’m 43 and an even bigger Swiftie than I was that hot day in Nashville.

In 2023, I was lucky enough to attend The Eras Tour in Atlanta with floor seats. Yes, how I got them, I’ll never know. The seats were further back than what I’m used to at concerts, but this was the first time seeing Taylor since that day in 2007.

Why? I wasn’t financially able to, or I was too busy following a boy band or taking care of my Mom, or she had a huge snake, which is my worst fear, coming out of her stage, and I couldn’t deal with it. I was planning on seeing the Lover tour, but then COVID happened.

While I saw the show live and that alone is an experience, watching it on streaming and seeing it from a whole other perspective, I noticed how much she had changed as a performer. Sure, I’d seen the 1989 tour and parts of the reputation Tour (damn snakes), and even her earlier tours online, but it really made me think about how far she has come.

I have never seen the mania that comes along with Taylor before in my lifetime. The Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC were highly famous, as well as Britney, but nothing beats what we are currently seeing with Taylor.

From the ticket sales, album sales, and even her love life, now that she is dating one of the NFL’s best and most well-known players, she’s taken over the world.

She has gone from a girl who liked to write songs on her guitar, looking up to people like Faith Hill and the Dixie Chicks, to being the biggest star in the world. To the girl with a dream and Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. To the girl who is about to break Elvis’ Billboard Record.

I’m so proud to see how she has grown into the artist she is today and while she’s not as accessible as she once was, I can tell she is still that same girl.

Her fame may have changed, but she hasn’t.