What have you changed your mind about over the years?

Critical-change-1080x675The real question is what haven’t I changed my mind about? I mean when I was much younger my tastes were…questionable. Okay, that’s not exactly fair. I was still a kid, but even so, things what I ate and how I ate it are still comedy fodder for family gatherings.

But okay, let’s take a look at some things I once held very strong opinions about but over time, I have revised those opinions into others. Doesn’t mean I was right or wrong on either side of the equation here, but as the question asks, I have certainly changed my mind.

Starting with food, I used to not want my food to touch on a plate. The plate-onic ideal for me were those plates with subdivided sections, like the old Swanson’s TV dinner trays. My plates had borders between food stuffs you could see from space. But that wasn’t the worst of it, oh no. No, the worst was that my utensils had to be as sterile as surgical tools.

This means I would use one fork for eating my potatoes, then, when I was done with them (and I assume you’ve already guessed I only ate one food group at a time) I’d either thoroughly clean the fork with a napkin before I’d use it for the meat or, if I couldn’t get it clean enough that way, I’d just grab a new one from the drawer. If you noticed, I only mentioned the meat and the potatoes…this is because vegetables, which might in some small way round out the meal, were so far off my taste radar as to be non-existent. Sure, I’d sometimes eat corn or tomatoes, but anything green was pretty much out of the question.

Also, as far as the meat itself was concerned, the more like shoe leather, the better. If the slab of beef on my plate was pink in any way, shape, or form, I’d just calmly take it to the microwave and use the magic of radiation to get that meat as hard and dry as possible.

Of course, this was just at home. When we’d go out to eat, and I had a choice (like at one of the world famous $3.99 Vegas buffets) I’d load up my plate (or two plates – no touching food, remember) with slabs of ham and mountains of mashed potatoes (I was the original Roy Neary cosplayer as far as that went). No matter what else was on offer on those long lines of food, ham and mashed potatoes were pretty much it for me. And don’t even get me started on trying things like avocado or sushi. No way, no how, no thanks.

These days, I am (I’m proud to say) much better. I like my steaks rare to medium rare and I can use the same fork to eat it and the side dishes, which, while still not vegetables very often, certainly does have more variety than days of yore. My food can touch and I’ll even alternate bites between the various items on my plate. I love avocado and could eat sushi several times a week and not get tired of it, so there’s that. Thanks to Rasa, I’ll even try more veggies these days. Not a fan, even now, but I don’t recoil like I have in the past.

I do wish I were a little more adventurous food-wise, but I’m still a bit hesitant if it’s somewhat exotic. I’ve got a better chance of trying different kinds of meat (especially in a steak form) than I ever have before. I’m still not good at eating off a bone, I prefer a knife and fork in those circumstances, but in general, I’ve changed my mind about a lot of different foods.

Food is the most obvious place I’ve changed my mind, but there have been other taste adjustments over time as well. Music and literature have also been adjusted as I’ve grown.

Musically, when I was little, I was all showtunes and folk music of the guitar playing singer/songwriter variety. Even my first forays into rock and roll were tempered by these early influences to really only include the mellowest and least offensive of those who might one day be inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame. Hard driving heavy metal wouldn’t come for a while, along with any appreciation I might have for punk or new wave. I’m still not a huge country fan, but I can no longer lay down a blanket “nope, don’t like it” because there are a few people who would be right at home in a south Dallas shitkicker bar and who also find a place on my playlists.

As for literature, it took me a while to really get into the likes of Hemingway and Steinbeck, but now, I not only appreciate them, but I like them as well.

Ultimately, what it really boils down to is that these days, the biggest thing I’ve changed my mind about is that it’s okay to change my mind. I used to think that whatever way it was was the way it was, that it was etched in stone, and it was impossible to change it because that would be denying a part of who I was. If I didn’t like something when I was younger, then I couldn’t like it as I grew older. And what I realize now, and it may have taken me much too long to figure it out, is that I can change in general. I don’t have to be locked into who I was at any point in the past. I am a constantly evolving person.

So, what have I changed my mind about over the years? Nothing. And everything.

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