A few years ago, my Dad — who always seems to be hip to new music before me — tipped me off to a band of Brits who love the banjo, Mumford and Sons.
So, at his suggestion, I listened. Then I loved. Then I waited with bated breath for the group's third studio album.
Earlier this month, that album, "Wilder Mind", finally dropped, and fans of the band were introduced to a new, electronic, banjo-less sound.
After a knee-jerk reaction that included bewilderment and maybe even a bit of misplaced anger, I accepted the change and began to love the album. Since then, I've come to respect the band for going against the grain.
I go through this rather detailed intro to make a point, one that's probably important for everyone to consider: Reinventing yourself can be a crucial stage of any life.
Taking some time to develop and change is good advice for any of us. I know I'm a different man today, at the age of 35, than I was at the age of 20. Not that I was ever a "bad" guy or anything, but maturing and branching out is a normal part of life.
Those who know me best probably know for most of my life I was an extremely picky eater. Like, seriously, I only ate a handful of things. A few years ago, I finally turned a corner in that department and my mind has been awoken to a whole new world. Now, close friends and family are amazed at the types of things I'm willing to try or eat.
I don't live with regret. Believe it or not, I learned that from a volleyball player a bunch of years ago, Ashley (Edinger) Kohler. I remember her saying that to me for a feature story once, how she never lived life with regrets. It was poignant and I've used that as a mantra since then.
So, when I consider anything in my past, no matter how trivial, I don't regret things like having been a picky eater. Instead, I'm thankful for the version of myself that exists now. Up until making that turn in my life, I was a happy person. Today I'm happier and a bit healthier, though, and that's all that really matters — not thinking about how my earlier life might have been different.
None of this has ever been that easy for me to talk about. Those close to me would know that, too. But that's sort a part of the reinvention process, also, I think.
There's no handbook to this life. Nothing or nobody tells us how to live day to day. We all have to figure out and carve our own path — whether that's a multi-platinum recording artist, a picky eater or a grown man trying to navigate life after a troubled youth.
We're all just trying to do the best we can. Maintaining the status quo is easy, change can be difficult. Sometimes, people embrace your change, sometimes they don't. What's important, though, is that we're happy with what we've done and where we are in life.
If you are, nothing else matters.
Contact Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-219-214-4170.