"I have this really high priority on happiness and finding something to be happy about"

By Lydia Price
Updated December 13, 2015 07:30 PM
Advertisement
Image
Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Happy birthday, Taylor! Click here to head over to PEOPLE’s Discover page on Snapchat and join the par-tay.

When she isn’t singing one of her chart-crushing songs to sold-out arenas, Taylor Swift is offering up real talk for her legions of adoring fans.

In honor of her 26th birthday on Sunday, here are 26 of our favorite words to live by from Swift.

1. "My mom and I have always been really close. She’s always been the friend that was always there. There were times when, in middle school and junior high, I didn’t have a lot of friends. But my mom was always my friend. Always."
– to Great American Country

2. "Silence speaks so much louder than screaming tantrums. Never give anyone an excuse to say that you’re crazy."
– to Glamour

3. "No one really says I stay out too late. I just thought it sounded good."
– to GQ

4. "I’m careful about getting sucked into the rabbit hole that is the Internet because, as a songwriter, I don’t have the option of having thick skin. As a writer you have to be open to everything, and that includes pain, rejection, self-doubt, fear. I deal with that enough on my own."
– to Glamour

5. "When I figured out how to work my grill, it was quite a moment. I discovered that summer is a completely different experience when you know how to grill."
– to Bon Appétit

6. "You can be accidentally successful for three or four years. Accidents happen. But careers take hard work."
– to GQ

7. "I think every girl’s dream is to find a bad boy at the right time, when he wants to not be bad anymore."
– to Parade

8. "Fearless is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again … even though every time you’ve tried before, you’ve lost."
– in the intro to Fearless

9. "All of my favorite people – people I really trust – none of them were cool in their younger years."
– to Vogue

10. "I have this really high priority on happiness and finding something to be happy about."
– to InStyle

11. "Here’s what I’ve learned about deal-breakers. If you have enough natural chemistry with someone, you overlook every single thing that you said would break the deal."
– to Glamour

12. "We even have girls in our group who have dated the same people. It’s almost like the sisterhood has such a higher place on the list of priorities for us. It’s so much more important than some guy that it didn’t work out with."
– to Vanity Fair

13. "The thing about my girlfriends right now is that none of them needs me for anything other than friendship. I love the fact that they are all passionate about their jobs, whatever their jobs are. A lot of celebrity-type people have this group of people around them where their friends’ main priority is them, and they feel comfortable with that dynamic. I don’t feel comfortable with that dynamic."
– to The Telegraph

14. "Other women who are killing it should motivate you, thrill you, challenge you and inspire you rather than threaten you and make you feel like you’re immediately being compared to them. The only thing I compare myself to is me two years ago, or me one year ago."
– to Time

15. "I always write songs about my life."
– to The Telegraph

16. "Every one of my regrets has produced a song I’m proud of."
– to Marie Claire

17. "I can never tell when I have food on my face or when someone’s high. That’s why I can’t go to Coachella or Glastonbury."
– to Vanity Fair

18. "A heartbroken person is unlike any other person. Their time moves at a completely different pace than ours. It’s this mental, physical, emotional ache and feeling so conflicted. Nothing distracts you from it."
– to Elle

19. "A lot of the time, I need to call my mom and talk for a really long time, just to remind myself of all the things that are great and all the things that matter."
– to NME

20. "I realized there’s this idea of happily ever after which in real life doesn’t happen. There’s no riding off into the sunset, because the camera always keeps rolling in real life."
– to Elle

21. "I feel like watching my dating life has become a bit of a national pastime, and I’m just not comfortable providing that kind of entertainment anymore."
– to Rolling Stone

22. "I think it’s important to be self-aware about what people are saying about you, but, even more so, be very aware of who you actually are, and to have that be the main priority."
– to NPR

23. "I had the most magical childhood, running free and going anywhere I wanted to in my head."
– in Country Music Reader

24. "Sometimes the lines in a song are lines you wish you could text-message somebody in real life."
– to Rolling Stone

25. "In 10 years of touring and writing albums, and having my confessional songwriting misunderstood, misconstrued, paraphrased, investigated, I’ve never wavered. This is the way I want to live my life."
– to NME

26. "What I’m looking forward to in 2016 is not knowing what’s next. I’ve always planned my career a year or two in advance, and I refused to do that this time. 1989 was such a huge chapter in my life and career, and it’s an exciting thought to let the story write itself now for a while."
– to PEOPLE