Tonight I was driving back from a town I used to know well, although I haven't been there for a long time. We passed by an old hotel that sits by a roundabout and I noticed how it was now closed, boarded up and in a state of disrepair. Seeing this hotel - which I had never even been into - brought back so many different memories from over the years.
I used to drive past this old hotel whenever I visited an ex-girlfriend, named Lane. I hadn't thought about her in a long time and it was never a particularly serious relationship, but just remembering her made me wonder what she was up to now and how fate had intervened and taken her off on a separate path to my own.
This old hotel was right near a bar I used to work at. Alongside my first mentor the Fish, we worked hard and played hard. In our eyes, we owned the night. Our lives revolved around partying hard, meeting women and having fun. For those few years that we were inseparable, I learnt many life lessons. Some of those days were reckless, hedonistic and probably stupid, but they were also some of the best of my life.
Just by seeing this beautiful old building, now shut down and wasting away, the memories began to freefall. Old friends, exes, nights out, trips away, random drives at night and so on. Even unrelated memories; living with the Coach, watching hockey late at night with Finn, crashing at Merlin's house, spending the night chatting with the Boss , trips away with friends etc, filled my mind. The one thing they all have in common, they were great times. One other thing they all have in common? Everything grows old and changes eventually.
I often feel a sense of regret as life changes and moves on. Events that were unforgettable fade into the distance and time moves on waiting for nobody. It can be an upsetting feeling and take a while to sink in and accept. Realising that a certain time in your life is over, most likely forever, is hard.
There is an upside though. Everything happens for a reason. If life never changed, never moved on and stayed still, we would never experience new adventures. I hate realising something is over, but by accepting it and moving forward with time, we get to enter a new era. Then at least for a short time, we again get to experience that wonderful feeling when you know times are great and you are living through something that is truly special.
The times are a changing.