Changing My Tune: How My Initial Assumptions Were Completely Wrong

by candy barone Jun 15, 2024

Have you ever dismissed something at first glance, only to later discover that you were dead wrong? 

You know, where you walked away from something or someone and then actually realized that you almost missed a diamond in the rough?

That was me with Jelly Roll’s music. 

When I first saw his performance at the CMA Awards, I brushed him off as just more overhyped noise. 

In fact, most of the new artists that night didn’t impress me. 

I’m an old school, country girl who grew up on greats like Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, the Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, Dolly Parton, and Reba McEntire. 

A huge fan of the timber voices of Chris Stapleton and Luke Combs, some of the new artists feel like a far cry deviation away from the music that stirs my soul and brings that sense of familiarity into my world. 

Initially Jelly Roll’s music didn’t sit with me. 

And, then I was re-introduced to his music thanks to a few Instagram and TikTok videos. This time the resonance was different. 

All I can say is, “Wow!”

His music actually has a tremendous amount of country soul. Not to mention, his backstory is beyond interesting.

He’s an ex-convict, who spent time in-and-out of prison being charged for aggravated robbery, drugs, and intent to distribute. 

Jason Bradley Deford, now know as Jelly Roll, lived a life of crime and drug abuse for most of his adolescence and early adult life. 

He even faced a potential two-year sentence at one point in his journey. 

Rising from the ashes of his own match, he began to rise as a Phoenix, leaning on music for his own recovery and therapy. In his music, he tells a lot of his story and shares vulnerably the path he has experienced. 

He also works hard to address Congress on changing the judicial system so that if offers more rehabilitation and reform for offenders, as he felt there weren’t many resources available during his time in prison. 

After giving his songs a real chance, I found myself absolutely captivated by the raw honesty and country soul in his voice. It was a humbling reminder not to judge a book by its cover — a lesson I’ve had to learn more than once

His new release, “I am not okay” is poignant, powerful, and altogether a testament to how so many are feeling these days. 

Right now, I am listening to his album, “Whitsitt Chapel” and completely blown away. His songwriter, his vocals, and his gravelly tone are really quite awesome and intriguing. 

I am totally vibing to his jam. 

His music crosses several genres, including rap, and once you really listen, you can see why he has become a musical icon and sensation. 

Now, this isn’t the first time my assumptions were later proved wrong. 

I had the same opinion about Taylor Swift. When her music first came out, it didn’t do much for me, either. 

Then, I really listened. 

I also started to study the person behind the music. Especially Taylor Swift’s Human Design (her unique energetic blueprint and operating plan). 

As a 5/1 Splenic Projector, I find her extra fascinating (I do a lot of work with Human Design Projectors) and have been curious as to how (and why) she inspires and provokes so many. 

Come to find out, she has become very aligned in the Line 5 of hers. Meaning, her energy is here to provoke as a visionary leaders. Some we revere her, others will villainize her … just because of her natural energy. 

Little by little, I was drawn in. 

And, her recent album, The Tortured Poets Department officially is converted me to a full-fledge Swiftie.

I share all this as a reminded that sometimes our first impression, steeped in conditioning, judgement, and our not-self, thinks it knows best. When, in fact, it can be dead wrong.

When we feel that initial twinge of a trigger, it’s an opportunity to get curious and lean in. I have found more times than not that in those instances, my first opinion wasn’t my true opinion. 

That all being said, I am a total convert … both a Jelly Roll fan and a certifiable Swiftie. 

It’s a journey, y’all … one where we keep evolving. 

Angela Duckworth, author of the best-selling book, Grit, said “At any given moment, you have to decide: Am I trapped or am I free?” 

My experiences in misjudging artists like Jelly Roll and Taylor Swift have been profound lessons in Personal Growth. 

It reminded me that our initial perspectives and stubborn mindsets can be incredibly limiting, as they are often shaped by our own backgrounds, conditioning, biases, and lack of full context. 

Or, they simply occur because we are moving too fast. We need to slow down and really look and listen before we make such rash judgments. 

When we have the courage to question those knee-jerk opinions and remain open, we open ourselves up to new insights, new possibilities, and and new, more diverse things to celebrate and appreciate. 

It’s that growth mindset that allows us to continually evolve as humans.

Because changing your opinion, and opening your mind up to new possibilities doesn’t make you weak, it is the ultimate demonstration of strength, as demonstrated by your own healing and growth. 

Imagine if we gave ourselves such permission all the time. 

Just because you believed something yesterday, doesn’t mean you can’t create and embrace a new belief today. 

As Maya Angelou’s famously said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”

Today, I am honoring my own humanness … how about you?


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