The Pool Hall

It’s always interesting to look back at the path that we have gone on to get where we currently are. Often times, it is not the same road that we thought that we would take. It changes course on us frequently, sometimes by our own design and sometimes because of changes going on around us.

We change careers, sometimes multiple times. Some people go back to school in order to do so. Many people will relocate to different parts of the country. Sometimes this is in order to take on a new career. However, some people move just to try something new.

Changes also come when we add to our family. When you begin having children, decisions must be made in regards to where and how you plan to raise them. See, life moves on around us and it is our responsibility to move with it.

We shift as our circumstances shift.

As our life shifts, the places that we find ourselves visiting or spending our time will also shift. You can look back over the years and identify where you settled in socially in order to develop relationships.

This is even documented in some of the televisions most popular shows. The cast of Cheers congregated at a bar.

The cast of Friends spent a large chunk of their free time at a local coffee shop.

These two shows both exposed our brains to the concept of social circles developing around common interests. All of these people, who for the most part did not know each other previously, were drawn to this location on common interests. However, through this, relationships developed that moved them further along in life.

Look at your own life.

What places did you find yourself hanging out at? Were you drawn to locations based on your existing interests or were you trying something new?

In my junior year of high school, I started hanging out at the pool hall in Louisville, IL where I grew up. I’m not certain what originally led me up there. I didn’t have a whole lot in common with a lot of the people that hung out there.

I didn’t really share any social circles with that crowd. I mean, I wasn’t above them or anything. There just wasn’t a lot of commonalities. Or at least, I didn’t think there was.

However, the more time I spent at the pool hall, the more I realized that these were my people. They weren’t as judgemental as a lot of the people who went to my high school.

The jukebox at the pool hall always had rock music pumping out of it and we would all sing along with our favorite songs. Every once in a while, I fight would break out in the alley behind the building but would quickly be settled and moved on from. I needed a place like this.

At this age, I had begun looking for anyplace other than home to spend my time. I didn’t feel comfortable at school events like basketball games (though I would still go). Yet, I felt comfortable sitting on the front steps of the pool hall.

There was a guy named Rob that was a little older and spent a lot of time playing pool. I don’t think I ever beat him and it cost me a quarter a game to keep playing (loser always paid for the next game). There were some arcade games there as well so the majority of my allowance began funneling into the pool hall.

As my social circle began to mesh with the rest of the people who frequented this establishment, it became home.

See what I mean. We find ourselves in places that catch us a little off guard. Strange places quickly become familiar and regular for us.

Life changes.

It shifts and we shift with it. We become a different person, even if only slightly. But, these changes make us who we are.

I think I might be a less judgemental person because of the pool hall. The lesson that I took away from that place was priceless.

A person doesn’t have to be just like me in order to be a friend.

Life is Strange. Live it Well.

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