Catching up with Taylor.


Hey Tay Tay,

I’ve been reminiscing about our non existent friendship lately and felt the need to reach out again. We’ve both had a lot happen in our lives since I last wrote to you.

Let’s just do a quick recap of everything I’ve already told you, okay?

1. Dear Doppelganger – Wherein I let you know that there is a very long list of people who have told me that I look like you, and I listed some of our similarities.

2. Dear Taylor – More of a catchup letter, just letting you know I’m still here and still look like you. I also expressed concern for your heart, as you had been through quite a few boyfriends prior to that letter.

3. Copycat Hair – I accused you of copying me. I mean, you cut your hair short the week after I did. And it was dramatic, for both of us.

4. Updates for Taylor – Where I let you know that Austrians don’t know who you are (well, not most of them) and told you that we had more in common, just after I saw you on Jimmy Fallon discussing your gnarly glue gun scar.

5. Taylor and me, 2015 – Where I posted this lovely collage of us:

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 8.58.54 PM to really drive home my point. I also caught you up on my life.

Aside from these posts, I’ve made a series of videos, some to try to get you to donate money to my Charity: Water birthday campaign (it’s too late now. You missed your chance), some just for the sake of dancing (2,390 views of the awkwardness on that one!).

I’m starting to resign myself to the smiling and nodding life. Yes, I do know that I look like Taylor Swift. Isn’t it funny? No, she doesn’t know me. Yes, I’ve tried. 

Is that so bad? No. I cannot tell you how many times you’ve been a conversation starter with people. I’ve met so many people that I would never have spoken to otherwise. I’ve had more meaningful encounters with cashiers, customers, strangers on public transit, and just about everyone else I would normally have little to talk about with.

So, thank you for looking like me (HA! has anyone ever told you that?).

Also, thanks for looking out for artists. I wasn’t sure what to think of your letter to Apple, but I love a whole bunch of indie artists who don’t have the budget you do and would be hurt by three months of streaming without pay. You’re using your power for other people, which is exactly how I think you should use it.

I was just typing something about how you’re on almost every radio station… and then “Bad Blood” came on Cities 97. OH MY.

Anyways, if by some miracle of the internet you see this, please come to Minneapolis and have lunch with me. Or bake cookies with me. Let’s be friends. That would make approximately 1500 people happy (I’m thinking of all the people who’ve told me I look like you… remember that this is not an exaggeration).

Happy Tuesday,

Ashley

Taylor and me, 2015.


Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 8.58.54 PMHello from Minnesota, Taylor!

It’s been a while since I’ve given any formal type of communication. Sure, I made some desperate attempts at going viral, like dancing around my living room and my parents’ house, but that was mostly for fun.

In recent events:

– I celebrated your birthday with you. I thought about telling people it was my birthday because they so often issue the doppelgänger comment as “You ARE Taylor Swift”… but I thought that might be taking things a little far.

– I did a lot of baking around Christmastime and thought about how fun it would be if we were friends since we have a lot of the same hobbies. We could swap recipes and sneak around leaving sweet treats on all your fans’ doorsteps. Oh, it’d be great.

– Speaking of being sneaky, I watched you give thoughtful presents to all those fans and was so touched. I know people can say it was a publicity stunt, but publicity stunts usually look like scandal. And that was just plain sweet. Well done, Taylor.

– I rang in the new year an hour early and went to bed. Sorry I didn’t watch you on TV, but I had pressing, quiet, introverted matters to attend to.

That’s the gist of my life, other than working my three jobs and looking forward to a new semester in a few days.

We both had good years, you and me. I studied abroad and got a new job and got straights As last semester. Your album did, like, super well, and you made, like, a lot of money. We were both single all year, which is fine. (At least, I think you were single – it’s hard to tell because the magazines put up pictures they sneaked of you with a guy and frame it that you’re dating… but then they do that every week and are never right.) We’re strong women. It’s all good.

What will 2015 bring for us? Will we meet this year? Will you go on tour? Probably. Will I go on tour? Probably not. Will you come to my college graduation? Again, probably not.

No matter what the year brings, I promise to keep in touch. I’ll keep you apprised of when people tell me I look like you. (Update, I got that about 7 times last week. One time, the guy just said, “Taylor Swift” as I passed him to see if I’d look… which I did. It’s a habit from people at my college who don’t know my real name.)

Happy 2015, Taylor.

Love,

Ashley

Failure to vote.


I so badly wanted to vote. It’s one of those activities that makes me feel productive, democratic, free, and adult at the same time. But with all the other adult responsibilities in my life lately (like trying to get this youtube video to go viral so I can be Taylor Swift’s friend and managing my new job for which I am vastly under-qualified), I forgot to request my absentee ballot til last week.

Then I couldn’t find a witness. Darn misplaced Minnesotans, all going abroad.

But then I found a witness but had forgotten that Minnesota needs those absentee ballots back by election day. That’s kind of a “duh”. But I just wasn’t thinking because November is sneaky, and election day sneaks right up since it’s at the beginning of the month.

So now I have no voice. I’ve got political laryngitis. And I can’t complain if Minnesota elects somebody I don’t like.

I suppose I can still write letters and make phone calls, but it’s so much nicer to just put the people you want in office.

So, I’ve failed in my democratic duty.

But I’ve succeeded in buying my first pair of sweatpants since high school today, in being responsible with a group project, in keeping up with my emails, and I even washed some of the dishes (Liesel and I can dirty dishes like nobody’s business).

I hereby pledge to never do this stupid forgetting to vote thing again. I will plan better next time to avoid political laryngitis. You are all my witnesses.

Updates for Taylor.


Dear Taylor Swift,

It’s been a while since I’ve written, mostly because you didn’t respond the last three times. But that’s okay. I mean, what’s that they say: if at first you don’t succeed, keep writing letters?

I just wanted to update you on our life in general, because there’s a part of my life that belongs to you, and I think you should know about it.

1. Last night, I startled a woman in the store I work at, because she thought I was you.

2. People in Austria aren’t super familiar with you, so I had 5 months off of being told that I must be your long-lost twin (at least, for the most part). You’ve got to go to Vienna or something, girl.

3. Your story about the popsicle sticks and building a house for your toy bears in the attic on Jimmy Fallon? Yes, that is a little bit pathetic. But also adorable. It’s a life skill to be able to entertain yourself. This is probably why you’re good at entertaining others. I used to jump rope with a tree during the years between when my sister went to school and when I got to go. So, yeah. We both have fairly similar childhood stories.

Those are my top three for right now.

I’ll be back with more, just in case you don’t get this and jump at the chance to know your doppelgänger.

Here are the links to the other letters I’ve written you, just in case you don’t know why I’m writing you: because we look strangely alike, because I like to offer unsolicited advice, because you copied my hair , and because every time I do this, my blog gets lots and lots of views.

You hang in there. I know you feel like part of you is missing, and let me just say – it’s me. Let’s do lunch sometime and fill the twin-hole in your heart.

<3

Ashley

The magic friend-maker


I think I might have made my banker’s day today. As we sat down to talk about how the bank isn’t going to freeze my credit cards when it sees that I’ve travelled to Europe, he told me I looked like Taylor Swift.

Not unusual, as you all know. But this time I had a better response, right after I told him I get that all the time. (people want to know they’re not alone, right?)

“Actually, it’s really funny… I got my hair cut about a week ago, then yesterday she cut her hair!” Wide eyes, incredulous expression.

He got a really good laugh out of that. So I’m thinking that if nothing else, this whole doppelgänger thing can help me connect with people.

Connecting with people. Ah. It’s so important to my happiness. I’m guessing yours, too. I know a total of one person in Graz right now, since the international coordinator at the school doesn’t really count as a friend (otherwise I’d have TWO). It’s a bit unsettling, but it reminds me of a book that my parents used to read to me when I was younger.

You guessed it. The Magic Friend-Maker, a heart-cuddling story about two lonely girls who meet and bond over a particularly lovely rock. My mom and I read it together last night, feeling the nostalgia of impending separation. Turns out (small spoiler alert) that it isn’t really the rock that is a magic friend-maker, as the girls supposed, but it seems like sharing  life and enthusiasm is what brought them together. When you share your pretty rock with another little girl and find out you have even more in common, a sweet little friendship is born.

Sweet little friendships will be born for me, too. Tomorrow is the day I’ll board three planes and cross an ocean to live a foreign life. It’s a day to inflate my travel neck pillow and take a sleep aid to avoid jet lag. It’s a day to pretend I’m a more seasoned world traveler than I am and confidently try to smuggle my drinkable applesauce through airport security. It’s a day to rejoice that I fit everything I need into my suitcase, to praise God that He cares about the little things (like when I went into our freezing garage to go through a box and find my power strip – glory be, it was right on top!) and the big things and that He will be present with me through it all.

Are you ready to journey to Europe with me?

Copycat hair.


Taylor Swift, you are a copycat.

I mean, I’m flattered that you cut your hair short the week after I did, but really? This is a bit much.

We both did the shoulder-length thing, too. Do you ever wonder if we’re telepathically connected? Oh, of course you don’t. You don’t know me or that everyone thinks we look alike. I’ve written about this to you before, with no results. But that’s okay. I know you’ve got a lot of people vying for your attention.

I’ll just wait my turn.

I’ve wondered before if we’ll still look alike when we get old. If we still look alike at age 80, can we do lunch? I’d like that. Or I think 80-year-old me would like that. I guess we’ll see. I’ll probably be a pretty snarky old lady, so if you’re still strutting around onstage with red lipstick at that age and going through boyfriends like pairs of socks, I might have something to say about it.

I still wonder why I look like you. I really don’t think God does stuff like that arbitrarily, so I feel like there’s some good reason.

Hmmmm.

Well, if you see this and feel like contacting me, I’ll be tied up til July, but I bet I could squeeze you in after that.

You just have your people contact my people. (I gotta find some people.)

Help wanted.


This is my 498th post.  That means that we’re nearing 500, which is typically thought to be a milestone number.  So, here’s my question for you: what should I do to celebrate 500 blog posts?

I mean, it’s not like a birthday or anniversary, but it’s an exciting milestone that I think deserves some recognition.  Though you are all loyal, dedicated readers, I doubt that you’d stick it out for a “Top 500” list, so that’s out of the question.

Should I:

a) give my blog a makeover

b) start a campaign for the next 500 posts (like a challenge for myself, doing something 500 times, coming up with 500 ways to be kind or make pancakes, say thank you to 500 people who’ve influenced me, read 500 books, etc)

c) write a celebratory post and go on as before

d) start an etsy shop (just kidding, no time for that one)

e) Figure out how to get in touch with Taylor Swift, finally, and give her all the letters I’ve written her.

f) make a music video

g) write a song/poem/rap about it

h) *insert your brilliant idea here*

This one actually needs audience participation.  Weigh in, whether it’s in a Facebook comment, a comment here on WordPress, or a text (if you’re among the lucky ones who have my number). Let’s dialogue about this.

Dear Taylor.


Dear Taylor,

(just in case you’ve forgotten what you look like)

It’s been a while since we’ve talked.  Actually, forever.  You must not have gotten my memo that I wrote you a letter a while back.  It’s all right.  I realize that you’re busy.

I just wanted to check in and see how things were going.  You know, since we’re so connected.

And I thought, maybe – while I’m at it – I might as well offer you a piece of advice.  Or maybe two.  I mean, I don’t know how you feel about this, but I’ve been thinking about your interesting dating habits and the songs they produce.

Not judging here, just thinking about it.  It may not really be any of my business, but by no fault of you or me, I still have this strange connection to you.  So I think I should be straight with you, let you know what I think about this whole thing.

You’ve had quite the list of beaus.  Unfortunately for you, I can google it and see all of them.  Taylor, I can’t even imagine trying to have a good relationship in the spotlight.  Not only does everyone in the world know what’s going on, but they’re going to pass judgment.  Not that you care what they think, but I bet that gets wearing.

It seems like maybe you need a break.  Like maybe you need to spend more time with your cats and your friends.  Maybe your heart needs a break (and I don’t mean break as in break-up or broken heart), a little rest, some time to think about what it really wants.

Just a thought.

Also, I emailed Ellen to tell her about the whole I-look-like-you-and-someone-tells-me-everyday scenario, and she didn’t email back.  So, I’m thinking you should put in a good word for me.

Love,

Ashley

P.S. I miss the curly hair look on you.  Also, just so you know.  This is me.  Not you.  Some people get confused, so I thought I’d clarify.

DSCN1457

The Plan.


I’m starting to wonder if perhaps my alleged resemblance to Taylor Swift is not just a coincidence.  I wonder if this is supposed to serve a purpose in my life other than teaching me how to graciously accept the same comment over and over again.

Or maybe, just maybe there’s something else.  Maybe I’m meant to write her biography like I suggested to her yesterday in this letter!

In all seriousness, I just wonder if perhaps this is something more significant than an uncanny resemblance.  I mean, we have the same build, are within an inch of each other’s height, have almost the same faces.  I mean, people don’t usually airbrush pictures of me since they aren’t going in magazines, but from what I can see we look fairly similar.

So, I’ve decided that I want to do everything in my power to get her to see that letter and acknowledge it.  And I would like to humbly request your assistance.  We all know that social networking has the power to spread ideas.  How many times have you seen a picture of Jesus on facebook that guilt trips you into liking it, one that’s been shared over and over and over again?  How many strange youtube videos have you seen, wondering how exactly they reached their level of notoriety?  I believe in the power of social networking to get a message across.

If you are interested in helping me on my mission, choose from the following options (or do both of them!)

NUMBER 1: If you have a twitter, follow me (@write_and_seek) and find one of the two tweets I have sent to Ms. Swift in the past two days.  Retweet them.

NUMBER 2: If you have facebook, you can share my “Dear Doppelganger” post.  Simply go to the post on my homepage (if you’ve gotten here, you can probably find it), scroll to the bottom of the post, and click the button that says “facebook.”  You’ll be directed to a page where you can add a couple comments about it, then it will be shared with your friends!

We’ll start here and see what happens.

What if I actually meet her?  What do you say to someone that you feel like you already know and identify with?  How do you start a conversation with such a person?

Hi. *awkward laugh* wow, this is weird.  I feel like I’m looking at a better-dressed, more lip-sticked version of myself.  *another awkward laugh* but you have a better paycheck, ha ha.  *start sweating* Do you think we look alike?  No?  Oh, well that’s weird.  I guess all those people were wrong.  Well, this has been nice.  Not really sure what we just accomplished, but it was nice to meet you.  *awkwarder laugh*

I guess we’ll just cross that bridge if we get there.  Are you in?  I hope so.

Dear Doppelganger.


Dear Ms. Swift,

I’m a big fan.

(oh, wait.  scratch that.  Everyone says that.  I’ve gotta start this differently.)

Hey Taylor!

I feel like I know you since so many people think I am you.  We’re even the same height!!!

(oh gosh, now I sound creepy. too many exclamation points. gotta start over.)

Taylor Swift,

For the past five years of my life, the most common first thing people notice or say about me is that I look like you.  I haven’t decided whether its a blessing or a curse since you’re obviously a beautiful girl but I’d like to be seen for who I am.  There are actually a significant number of people on my college campus who don’t know my real name but refer to me as “the girl who looks like Taylor Swift”.  You’ve been a part of my life, without ever really being in it.

Fun facts about you and me:

– We have blue eyes.

– We’re around 5′ 11” in height (I might be half an inch taller, but who needs to gloat about half an inch?)

– We both play guitar.  But you’re better than me.

– People refer to us as ‘Taylor Swift’

– naturally curly blonde hair

– We like sparkles and girly things, like dresses.

Isn’t this whole thing strange?  I’ve never met you.  And I likely never will.  Yet I feel personally insulted if anyone ever criticizes you for anything.  People all over the board have told me that I resemble you: healthcare professionals, little girls at the Mall of America, close friends, acquaintances, teachers, coaches, random people on public transportation, cashiers, and co-workers.  I’m sure no one has ever told you that you look like me, but if I said that 1,000 people have said that to me, I don’t think it would be much of an exaggeration.

I’d like to know why God made me this similar to you.  I’d like to know if someday I’ll be impersonating you in Vegas since I can’t find an employer who will pay me to simply write whatever my little heart desires.  Or maybe it’ll be my ticket to get a writing career… That sounds like a good book, right?  My Life: Perpetually Being Told That I Looked Like/Was Someone Else.

Wait a second, I can just write YOUR biography.  This works out for both of us since you obviously have been looking for the right person to do it, and who better to write it than someone who feels personally insulted whenever anything bad is said about you?

Just a thought.  Take it or leave it.

Bet you’ve never gotten fan mail like this.  By the way, I love the new album.

Love,

Ashley

Update: 12pm, just you can jump on the bandwagon or join the small group of dissenters…