Wintertime in Texas. We built a fire in the dry creek bed of Box Canyon and sat down with Stephen Mason. Just months before he had been in this very spot performing with his band, Jars of Clay, on a memorable summer night. But this time was different. Stephen came alone. No guitar. The trees covered in ice. A lot had changed.

In a matter of days, Stephen would be opening The Handsomizer, his new barbershop in Nashville. A small shop, a former storage room connected to the side of the Jars of Clay studio. A new career, yet one that emerged right from the old.

How does someone, after 20 years of doing one thing, make such a change?

Vocation, Stephen told us, is a journey fraught with fear and questions. “Who am I? Where am I going? Who will go with me?” These are best answered through actions … small steps, each one revealing a new vantage point. If we’re lucky, we will find ourselves looking ahead—alive, content, curious to see what’s next.

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