Reinvention

 

Dad in his "Saxophone Era" at age 19 with his dog Texie (1953)
Dad in his “Saxophone Era” at age 19 with his dog Texie (1953)

In a recent telephone conversation with my aunt in the U.S., we got to talking about my dad (her brother), in his early years. Long before he fell in love with and married my mother, my father was an interesting fellow in his own right, excelling in his school studies and discovering his deep passion for all things musical.

Most likely because of the popularity of the big bands and swing music back in the day, his first musical instrument of choice was the saxophone.

Later, when icons like Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins, and Glen Campbell, to name a few, came on the scene, Dad took up the guitar. When Beatlemania exploded, he joyously took part by buying their albums  and learning to play many of their songs. As many can attest, he stayed devoted to guitar music the rest of his life.

Dad at age 21 on Albany Street, St. John's (1955)
Dad at age 21 on Albany Street, St. John’s (1955)

As you can see from the above photo, my father was very thin when he was young. But after he married Mom, he began the quest of bodybuilding, transforming himself into the strong, well-muscled dad his children grew up with.

Pondering these things about my father made me think about the power of reinventing oneself. Sometimes the reinvention is necessary for survival, for instance a health issue demanding change. Other times it is a choice we make in the belief it will make us happier and more fulfilled.

I have had some reinventions of my own throughout my life. A few examples:

1. stay-at-home mom

2. customer representative in a bank

3. writer and blogger

Number three became possible when my husband and I did what my parents had done later in their lives: made the big move out of the city and into the country. Doing so gave me new insight into why they made such a change, and the benefits of this lifestyle which happen to better suit our personalities too.

People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out. ~ Warren G. Bennis

Have you done anything in your life to reinvent yourself? I’d love to hear from you if you have your own tale of reinvention to share. Don’t be shy. 🙂

~~Special thanks to Auntie who sent me these precious photos XOXO~~

 

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23 thoughts on “Reinvention

      1. My problem has always been that I over think things rather than taking a chance. I decide I’m going to do something and then research it to death before eventually becoming afraid of it.

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  1. Love the photo’s of your dad priceless and the black and white one should be up in a frame on your wall it is stunning. I have reinvented myself my whole life, evolving and changing into the me I am today, I love change and did a similar thing, moving out of the city to give my children a simple existence like I had as a child. Moving to a smaller place makes for great writing material I found I talked more to people and everyone has time to share a story with you. my writing passion grew from this change and it has taken over my life in every aspect and I now am not afraid to say I am a writer, I may not be a good one BUT I am learning the craft. Thanks for the awesome post Jennifer.

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    1. Thanks, Kath. We have similar stories in many respects, especially the moving to the country and writing. As for the craft, we are always learning, every time we write. And no matter what the outcome and what the measure of success, no one can say we didn’t have the guts to try.

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    1. I knew you could identify with this post! Change is sometimes necessary as you said, but when it’s by choice, making the decision to do so is often the hardest part.
      I love the stories and photos so much. They are a treasure. x

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  2. I suppose I am in metamorphosis at the moment. Eventually that butterfly will fly.
    I am glad for you that you were able to follow your heart’s desire and move to a beautiful place in the world and take up writing and be so passionate about it.
    You inspire me to one day do the same.

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    1. I have faith that you will get there one day. A self-aware person such as yourself in possession of the intelligence you have will undoubtedly come out on top, in whatever way you define success. I think we may inspire each other.

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  3. I loved this post, Jennifer! I was born the year that amazing photo of your Dad, his saxophone and Texie was taken. I grew up listening to the guitar greats you mention. As far as re-inventing myself, I’ve surely done it, and more than once. I started writing at the age of 59 — last year! And now, (after moving to the country…) I’m enjoying playing keyboard in a 50’s rock and roll band. It is never too late to follow the spirit into new and exciting adventures.

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    1. Wow, Susan, that’s wonderful. You truly are a reinvention of yourself, aren’t you? It sounds like you are embracing the arts in many ways, according to your blog and what you tell me here. Wish I could hear you in the band!

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  4. Several times, Jennifer. Life doesn’t allow those of us with a bias-for-action to rest contentedly by the side and watch. I changed careers enough times my kids understand it’s not about the employer but the person.

    Keep it up!

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  5. Intriguing post, Jennifer! I have reinvented myself in the last 18 months through diving into poetry and blogging. My latest quest is dipping into watercolors in the last few months.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

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  6. Life has reinvented me if that is what this is….my life. I am in a constant pattern of remembering, wondering, and hoping for life ever after. Grief has redefined me and refined me. I am not the person I thought I could have been. Your post is most certainly thought provoking and timely. I love the photos of your dad. I am a Beatles fan, too!!

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    1. I have no doubt you find yourself redefined and reinvented by your grief. I know it is no comparison, but the grief over losing my parents long before I was ready has changed me too.
      Thanks for commenting on this post. My dad adored the Beatles, and raised three devoted fans too. McCartney is still going strong! His voice on his new album is astonishingly the same.

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