Yada, Yada, Yada…

It’s funny how tastes change over time, and I’m not talking about enjoying the greatness of vegetables when you once vilified them as a child. (Yes, most vegetables are amazing and healthy. It’s a two-for-one deal for guys like me who are hungry a lot and want to stay in shape.)

I’m already going off on a tangent … I’m talking about hobbies. Interests. Art and Literature. Maybe I’m alone in thinking about how things used to be, mentally, as opposed to what they are now. But with age and experience comes a different feel for the world around us, with each person’s road towards individuality hitting different crescendos all the time.

I remember when I started to discover my current taste in music — the Zeppelins, the Beatles, the Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, etc. All these great sounds hitting me at once reminded me of Will Smith’s character in Men in Black when he was first flashed with Tommy Lee Jones’ pen. I was in a whole new world and didn’t know why or how it happened.

What even causes musical taste? Or taste in movies or books or television programming? Is it the world around us which tells our brains what we like or don’t like, or do we try to sympathize with what we are familiar with? Or maybe it’s a mixture of those two things and many others.

I find that to be a question others find difficult to answer: Why do you like this? Some people, like my sibling, take it as if I’m accusing her for bad taste — and trust me, she has plenty of it. I try to get her to enjoy the same kinds of things as me that I did at her age, and as you guessed it, no luck there.

I don’t think I’m being unfair; I’m just trying to enlighten her. When I was her age and in high school, I didn’t know too much beyond sports, video games and Seinfeld. Was I flawed? One could make that argument. It really wasn’t until college when my world flipped upside down and I suddenly tried to learn about everything all at once.

That’s why I want to expand her horizons, because I don’t want her to wait too long to find what she really enjoys. But I know that is irrational and wrong of me. She will find out what she wants in this life just like I did, and maybe it will take longer and maybe it will be next week.

Even I seem to learn something new every day, or develop an affinity for something which I used to loathe. The most recent example I can think of is Bruce Springsteen.

I used to hate the guy, thought he was a phony from Jersey who sang with a raspy voice on purpose. When he played at the Super Bowl rather recently, I remember stepping outside from the party I was at so I wouldn’t be subjugated to “The Boss.”

Now? Not so much. I can say that “Born to Run” and “Thunder Road” are two of the greatest rock songs ever made, and “Thunder Road” has the lyrics that some musicians would not come up with their entire careers. It is that heart-gouging.

It also taught me a lesson of not underestimating some things in life because tastes change and people change. And me … well, I’m still changing every day.

These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion – I seek the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient – Upon us all a little rain must fall

– Led Zeppelin, “The Rain Song”

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