A lot of us stick to music that resonates with who we think we are because music is what made us "self-aware" in the first place. But I'd like to sidekick you into a different mindset, a new musical paradigm. Using music to find yourself in middle/high school worked, for the time being. But you're an adult now and know life is bigger than you and whoever the hell you think you are. Music becomes a different animal. You've got to hop on her back and let her take you places you have no money or business going to. So, here's a concept I'd like to share with you. Music is not about finding yourself (although it can be a useful tool during moments of introspection). Music is about exploration, and a record store is a library.
Some people will read a book they really like twice. If you're me, maybe five times. But after that, it's time to get a new fucking book. The same goes for music. Get in there and pick something you've never heard before! Get into music from a place you've never been, or completely ditch that advice and get local! Instead of paying for a thirty or twenty-dollar record of your favorite band that you've probably heard to exhaustion anyway, why not cruise down to the "used records" aisle. Most record stores let you try them out in the store, so quality is not a gamble. Did I mention the prices are fuegooo?! Most used records are between two to fourteen bucks at most. If I had neglected the used aisle I probably would have never discovered Syreeta (Stevie Wonder's ex -wife). I heard her sing "Blame It on the Sun" and for the first time in my life fell in love with my eyes closed. Then I opened my eyes and fell in love again because she's beautiful. I kid you not, she actually looks like the sun. If I didn’t do my fair share of digging I would have never found Carl and Carol Jacob's "We Wanna Live", a badass reggae album. I've never jammed so hard to music that made me think the way I did listening to "Savage". Exploration will squash your ego and ignite your passion for music by fueling your desire to learn about it. Approach each record/ album like Miss Frizzle from "The Magic School Bus", and you won't be disappointed.