Writing

Everything Changes

  • June 6, 2010

This is a generalized list of things in life that will never remain the same, despite our best attempts to keep them as such.

People, places, and things change, and believe it or not, but over time the way you look at life and the feelings you have toward it and everything else will eventually change as well.  In fact, everything you know now will be completely different 10, 20, or even 30 years from now.  I came to this realization recently on a trip to Long Island with my father.  We visited a couple of the places where I used to work, spend time, visit, and the place Angie and I used to call home.  Much to my disbelief, the places I knew so well had all changed dramatically from the time I last saw them.  The place where I used to work has long since gone out of business, and has been replaced by an entirely new business venture in its spot.  Another family occupies the place where we used to live.

My family used to know an older couple who lived nearby. The two of us drove to their old address, but upon our arrival, we were confused by what we had found.  A neighbor told us that the house that once stood there for the longest time had been torn down about 2 years ago and that the current (much larger) house had been built in its place.

And there were signs.  Lots of new signs had been put up all around the neighborhood, like this one, which leads the way to the beach.  What was at one time, a small, sparsely populated community of retirement age people is now a densely-populated community of people in their 30’s who are raising families.

This made me realize just how many things change during the course of our lives…

People

First and foremost, the biggest changes come in the form of other people.  Given enough time, and enough persuasion, folks will, without warning, split up and move away, never to be seen or heard from again.  Despite advances in modern technology such as the Internet, and websites such as Facebook, some people still manage to disappear and leave our lives forever.  It makes me sad to think that of all the people I’ve held very strong bonds with, only a very small number of them still share that bond with me, the rest just went their own separate ways.  I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve been abandoned by really close friends that I’ve had over the years.

The advice I give to young people is that you may find that the set friends you have during childhood are very unlikely to be part of your set of friends as the years progress into adulthood.  People change, especially during developmental years, and you will likely find that you have less and less in common with people as time goes on.  However, there have been well-documented cases of two people being lifelong friends from childhood all the way up to their golden years, so although extremely uncommon, it is possible.

People change.  They live.  They grow.  Fast forward a number of years and many of those you knew as a youngster will be married, and many of them will have children of their own.  Children grow up very fast; some might argue that todays children grow up too fast.

Places

Anyone who has access some old maps laying around from even a couple of years ago can show you just how much things change.  Roads are subject to constant change, due to expansion, demolition, or renaming.  During times of war and governmental unrest, even entire countries can change.  As I explained in the beginning, the places you grow to love will likely not be there forever.  The world as we know it is constantly changing, and as observers, we are changing with it.

Things

Nothing in life ever stays the same. Things in life are in a constant state of evolution and change.  The objects we own will wear out, the things we build will eventually crumble, and even some of our best thought-out plans will never come to pass.  If one takes a picture of something and holds onto it for long enough, one can start to see subtle changes when comparing the picture to what we see during present time.  Hold onto that picture for a few decades, and the changes will become more obvious and drastic.

As human beings, we take every step possible to keep things the same; some of us even shun change, even if it is for the betterment of society and the human condition.  And yet, as we all know, despite our best efforts, change is inevitable.

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