Love is not designed for the cynical.

Everyone makes mistakes, just part of everyday life. Hopefully the majority of them are small and reasonably insignificant though, nobody wants to fuck up spectacularly. Sure, go ahead and try anchovies. You like oysters? Try the Rocky Mountain version, they have to taste similar to the ones you could get from Prince Edward Island, right? Choosing to sit through a showing of Titanic just to try and impress a girl? There are some hours and minutes right there in your life that you’re never getting back, especially if the old yawn and arm-stretch around the shoulder trick doesn’t work. Some mistakes are bigger and obviously impact your life in a much more meaningful way. Accepting a job that you realise was a mistake as soon as you start it, nightmare. Why did I choose to live in this apartment? You should always view somewhere at night too, shouldn’t you? Picking that one person to share your life with, maybe the toughest choice of all, and possibly the easiest one to make an absolute mess of.

Pretty grim when you think about it, but some of us get a lot of things right, anchovies excepted. Life rears it’s head once more, every single one of us struggles with different things now and again, aren’t we just a person trying to find acceptance and love about something or someone, trying to make sense of different things, probably to try and make ourselves feel better? Trying to move to a new place, changing that job, saying goodbye to someone, even when you know that it’ll sting. Sometimes the hardest things and the right things are the same.

It’s okay for your confidence to be dented when something ends though, especially if you weren’t 100% sure about it or them in the first place. Soul searching, trying to tell yourself that it’ll be okay, don’t tell me this is all for nothing.

Do you, or have you ever had someone in your life that if you could only see them one day a year, rather than see somebody else every day of the week, you’d choose the former? Aren’t the few hours you spend with that special someone worth the thousands of hours that you spend without them?

We were young, we lived hundreds of miles from each other. She was visiting family, a mutual friend introduced us, and it became the very definition of a summer romance. Eight magical weeks spent together, giggling, holding hands, hanging out, hugging, kissing, it might have been the best summer that any 17 year old has ever had.

What were the chances of seeing her again? Zero at the time or so it seemed, but all you can do sometimes is to try and better that number and then everything is out of your hands, fate kicks in. Apparently, a school of thought exists that missing someone gets easier every day because even you’re one day further from the last time you saw them, you’re one day closer to the next time you set eyes on them. Bullshit or not?

Christmas comes and she’s here again but things are different. There are hugs, but no holding of hands, no kissing. She has a boyfriend back home now so it’s the right way for her to behave and it’s immediately understood, no words are needed. Nothing better than hanging out with someone who’s quickly becoming a best friend, I’ll take what I can get. It turns out that distance means the square root of fuck all when someone means so much, even if it might not go anywhere. Different holidays come and go,and it’s accepted that if one of us is seeing someone when we catch up, nothing inappropriate happens. Kissing is as far as it’s ever gone but when someone wants to press their lips onto you one day and then do it again the next, how can that ever be bad? Could it be more than something? A question that was never asked, simply for the reason that I might have been scared of what the answer would be.

The holiday visits slowly come to an end and contact becomes infrequent. Days, weeks, months and years pass. She started seeing someone and I’d met an incredible girl who’d give me the best gift ever. We split, she moves onto someone so much better than me and they’re happy. Life again, live in the moment, not the past. What now, miss you or forget about you? Thoughts drift occasionally but only when single life is the reality. I meet someone else and it’s an on and off thing for longer than should ever be necessary for two people. She’s a beautiful person in her own way but it doesn’t take Einstein to work out where the mind goes when it’s an off period. It’s ultimately destructive, you can’t keep covering for someone when they’re in the wrong. Sometimes the people you count on and trust the most turn on you because of their own failings. Some secrets should stay hidden though, even if you’re the one that takes the shit for them. Every day is a school day though, but if all you learn is what’s done is done, then that’s enough. Does it help or hurt? Fuck knows, I’m numb. There is absolutely no harm in trying to constantly connect dots and to forgive someone to make things right. Can it be sorted, is that even what I want?

A message comes from the girl I remember as a teenager, and whilst my smile is huge initially, it’s not by the time I finish her words. She’s now single and is reaching out. Whether as a friend or something more is clear, but who wants to be a rebound?

It’s more than okay to hurt but don’t we all need to find our own little corner of the sky to try and repair ourselves first? Being a friend is the first job, sometimes we all need reminded that hard times will pass eventually. It’s hard not to make this anything more, but I can’t mess someone about, despite how much I want to say some things. Pouncing on someone who’s emotionally vulnerable would be a dick move.

Maybe the feeling of knowing that fighting for the one that you think you love is worth it, but how do you articulate your thoughts? A feeling lingers that there could be a million people against us, but when we have that one person that stands beside you no matter what, does you even care?

You’re hurting and I hate that. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you might think, but the most important thing is I’ll always be with you. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. Every time I get a text, I hope it’s from a certain someone, you’re my favourite notification.

It’s late, I’m in my bed, you’re in your bed. One of us is in the wrong place but I can’t tell you. I wrote some words and then I stared at my feet, became a coward when I needed to speak. Who knows what could happen if you ever ask again?

I see everything you can be, I see the beauty that you can’t see.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

The debut album, ‘Without Fear’ drops on September 27th, available online and in all good music stores. Shit, it’s likely that you’ll be able to pick it up in some bad ones too, so go and get it!

The collapsing of a history.

It’s difficult to know sometimes why things happen in your life, or why you like or dislike different stuff. Why do I support my team and not our ‘supposed rivals?’ Why did my best friend get the girl that I thought I’d be with forever? Why do I live in the city that I do? Why am I still working at a job I hate? How are mushrooms even a thing? How come some people wear Yankee caps, but when you stop them and ask their opinion on their current roster, they have no idea what you’re talking about? Fucking with Yankee ‘fans’ will never get old.

In all seriousness, a lot of the time, whether you mean them or not, you make choices. Yes or no, is this a good idea or not? The little decisions are not so important but the big ones definitely are. Fucking decisions, why can’t everything be easy? Take asking the person out that you know you want to be with, and who hopefully wants to be with you. Just another decision to make but one that you’re conscious of. Choose wisely, right?

Someone that you might be proud to stand beside. To be a champion in your eyes.

It’s one of those moments when the noise fades away and the rest of the world is a background and it’s me and you and nothing else. It was almost everything but almost doesn’t count. Or does it?

Sure, at the start, there was a lot of tiptoeing around each other. Not long after, it was like fire and ice crashing into each other. Those early moments of someone new are beyond amazing, she is amazing. Thing is, once things progress and you’re with each other for longer, it’s infinitely better, assuming you’re both doing things right, respecting each other, communicating.

Everyone goes through tough times though, and usually when there was smoke, there was a fucking big bonfire. Problems? There are always problems in every relationship, aren’t there? You wouldn’t care so much if it didn’t hurt badly and you know that you both need to make things right again. Who wants to go to bed with each other on the back of an argument? Always remember that you never have to take back the words that you don’t say.

A day comes though and it’s time to say goodbye. A new home, a new job, a new life, sounds pretty awesome but not on the back of heartbreak. It turns out that some dreams are fragile, some dreams don’t last.

When you spend a lot of time on your own as your thing ends, you wonder about the what if. We make decisions every day about the ones we love, sometimes to the detriment of ourselves, and it’s natural to second guess yourself. It sucks to have a personal cloud in your head where everything stays safe and secure until you need or want to pull it out.

Time away should be cathartic but it’s not, you can still love someone from afar, can’t you? Moving on isn’t an option, lines hadn’t been crossed, they’d been approached, fuck, maybe even stepped on, but never over.

A call comes, but sometimes there’s a difference between hearing something and understanding something. That said, despair is alleviated by a glimpse of hope. It’s time to go back.

The kicker is that just because you suspect something might happen doesn’t mean that it feels any better when it does or doesn’t.
It seems that the passage of time never deadens the details or the painful memories that you left behind. Maybe time does help to heal you. Doesn’t it also play with your memories?

It’s all going to work out, isn’t it?

We meet and there are plenty of things to say to her, but inexplicably, there is a complete failure to articulate any of them. There are a million questions but there will be zero answers.

It turns out that there was no need to come back for a walk down memory lane. You don’t want to hear it but at some point, you’re aware that you need to let people go, to let things go. It’s often easier to believe a lie, but what’s the point in lying to yourself if you know what the outcome will be?

A gentle rain kicks in as I trudge away along the pavement alone, I feel my heart fall into my shoes. No point harbouring a grudge though, there is still a life to live, no point on waiting for the truth one second longer than is needed.

Maybe it was a mistake to move, maybe it wasn’t. It’s fine, just life, the good, the bad and the ugly. Never let the last two diminish the importance of the first one, it’s okay to be blindsided. Wincing in pain because it physically hurts to be so close to someone that will never really want what she told me she did isn’t the best feeling ever, but it’ll be okay.

It was the biggest ever bottom of the ninth homer when she chose me but it’s done. It just hurts when you have the ability to remember everything and to not forget anything.

Time to leave again, moving on has to happen. What if she calls again though to tell me that she’s lonely and that she misses me?

Maybe you don’t have to be lonely alone.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Dive in blind.

Have you ever been in a relationship that you thought would last forever but didn’t? It sucks, but it happens, isn’t it what you do next that’s important? Sure, we all know that every day moving forward on your own won’t always be be full of rainbows and sunshine, and that sometimes, we’re going to go through some rough patches. What choice do you really have, don’t you need to tell yourself that you’ve got this even when you think you don’t? Maybe it takes a tiny piece of our hearts breaking to shake us awake and help us see that we’re worth so much more than what we’re settling for. You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, fuck, even months over-analysing things; trying to put the pieces together as if your relationship was a jigsaw, attempting to justify what could’ve and would’ve happened if only things were different. What’s the point?
Time passes, the pain slowly fades. Only you know when is the right time to move on, but another day spent thinking about who went before is another day not wondering about who comes next. Even when you know that you want to move forward though, it’s okay to have at least one foot on the brakes, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of vulnerability. Sometimes, it feels as if there are hundreds of reasons not to move on. Perhaps we hope that by trying to hold on, we somehow think we have a way of getting back to how things once were. You’ll get past certain people in time so give yourself the chance to do so.

Most relationships don’t end well, so when you finally meet someone new, you’re probably going to arrive with some baggage, the next person is going to have to endure some things that someone else has caused. Keeping baggage from the past is pointless though, right? Just because something has gone sideways, it doesn’t mean that you need to think that everyone coming will make things the same as they were before. Maybe when someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive.

Well, that’s the school of thought I’m from.

If you feel like you’ve been burdened with blame for someone or something that’s happened in the past, then it’s probably time to be moving on. Spending time on your own can be the best and something that you need sometimes, but it doesn’t mean that you want to be lonely. New people will enter your life every day, even if you don’t expect them to. Unexpected surprises don’t need to be a bad thing.

The girl from Vancouver met through work. She seems super nice but after a few drinks and zero kisses, she starts discussing baby names. Keen much? It’s nice to be liked but some people need to rein it in.

A long while later, a girl comes along one day. Kissing doesn’t feature again but there might be something. There are mutual interests, could this be a thing? One way pictures and videos start to come though that are overly explicit and that’s not cool with someone that you’re not even in a relationship with. If you’re sending those to me, damn skippy you’re sending them to other boys. Whatever it was, it doesn’t end well. She’s the girl who acts like she wants revenge on Dorothy for killing her sister by dropping a house on her. Bullet dodged and batting zero with Canadian girls. That’s okay, nobody bats a thousand.

A random meeting in a hotel bar with an American girl over a mutual love of a football match that we’re both watching. Too much beer, too much flirting and too much regret when she reveals that she’s more than a decade younger. The half your age plus seven rule is bullshit!

The nurse who sits and chats with me every night, who lives nearby and has cared for me for weeks. Stockholm syndrome almost. Funny, pretty, out of my league for sure. The question is contemplated but I see her outside smoking one day, deal-breaker right there. Sigh.

The Italian neighbour who lives directly above me and who knows where she needs to go when she needs something done in her apartment. Chivalry again, and whilst I’m old enough to own a toolbox, no one should shit on their own doorstep.

The one girl from Twitter who invites me for dinner. We interact frequently, she’s super cool but I’m not in a place to give her what she needs. She moves on, finds someone and is happy. Win win, nothing but love for them both.

We met reaching for the last for the last copy of the same book. Chivalry isn’t dead so obviously I gave it up. It sparked a conversation about our favourite authors, about similar books that we liked. Numbers were swapped and drinks are arranged. What an absolute disaster! If you need to wear glasses, wear them. Deciding not to, made her think she’d be more attractive. I couldn’t tell whether she was looking at me or trying to see if a bus was coming. The kicker was when she asked why I wouldn’t use ‘lol’ when we’d been exchanging messages. My response of ‘ I’m not a thirteen year old girl.’ went down as well as you’d expect. Thankfully.

The one girl that I had numerous business type coffees, dinners and lunches with that I thought might have liked me, but I was too scared to ask out. She’s married now and it fucking stings when I see them together, how different life could be. Her friend keeps telling me that she would have said yes if only I’d had the balls. I know you come from a place of kindness, but please, please stop telling me.

Thing is from all of this, it’s alright if someone breaks you in a hundred different ways, it just leads you to where you are. What if you need or want to get back to where you were? It could all change with one kiss. When you really care for someone, just maybe their mistakes never change your feelings. No matter how much we want things to stay as they were, maybe we need a change. Sometimes change is for the better, sometimes it’s not.

Is it okay to go back? If we both rewind to a time where I had you at hello?

Ready or not?

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Why isn’t this enough?

There are things in life that you know intrinsically are a bad idea. Take running with the bulls in Pamplona. Sure, it’ll be helpful if you’re not the slowest thing on two legs, who wants to be chased by something that could kill you? Base jumping, bungee jumping into a crocodile infested river, yes, that’s a thing, kayaking over waterfalls, shark cage diving, skiing off a cliff, skydiving, train surfing, trekking around an active volcano, wing walking, there are way too many things to mention.

Not all bad decisions will risk your life thankfully. Putting pineapple on pizza will never be acceptable, choose the toppings you want, but be prepared to face never-ending ridicule. Calling or texting that one person that you know isn’t a good idea after one too many lime cordials will be embarrassing in the morning, but the feeling will pass. Brown shoes with black trousers? Take one more look in the mirror before you leave the house.

Going back to someone that you were with once before, how can that be a good idea?

Everyone’s been with someone when things just didn’t work. It would be great if we all lived in a world where no matter what happened in our relationships, every little problem could sort itself out, although that’s easier said than done. Isn’t a relationship supposed to be about two people who are able to have their own friends, hobbies, lives and thoughts but still come home at night and be with the person they love? You should definitely be able to have your own time outside of your relationship as well as in it, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Everyone is different about what they expect from someone, maybe you just made a bad choice, hopefully no crocodiles were involved. Any relationship needs to find a happy common ground, communication and compromise is key, right? A relationship without any of these things is like a car without petrol, stay in it all you want, but it’s not going to go anywhere. Sure, it doesn’t always work so it’s time to say goodbye. So, you move on, you get by and after a while, you’re okay again. Nothing else for it, sometimes you lose, you win, maybe you cry, you definitely grow, lessons are learned. Aren’t they?

We tried everything under the sun.

What if you try to give it another go and it doesn’t work out? You’ve been burned once before, why do it to yourself again? You only ever get a second chance at something you took a first chance at though, maybe it’s a good idea. It applies to both of you, when you split, chances are that someone has fucked up. It’s okay to give someone a second chance, but are third or fourth chances a bridge too far? This time it is. We know that it’s not going to work out, we tried it before, time to just let it go forever. What the fuck was I thinking even contemplating it? All we ever do is all we ever knew.

Thing is, people aren’t always what you want them to be. Sometimes they disappoint you or let you down, but we’re all capable of doing those things. It’s not like you can just meet someone and expect them to be everything you’re looking for and then be angry when they’re not. Aren’t you misguided if you believe that someone will be exactly what you imagined them to be? Hopefully sometimes it goes the other way, you give each other a chance, and you both turn out to be better than either of you ever thought possible. Jealousy off the scale right there.

What’s broken is broken, isn’t it better to remember it as it was than attempt to try and mend it, rather than recall all of the bad times? It hurts, it stings, but I know that going back would be wrong for both of us. Life has become easier because I’ve accepted an apology that I never got. It probably won’t be tomorrow, or the day after that, but soon, things will be better. After all, a face that’s going to be full of smiles used to be a face hidden with tears.

A brand new start or a brand new ending? Let’s see.

It’s time to wake up from this, it’s time to make up for it.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

The last ones dancing when the lights go out.

Devotion. A noun meaning to have care, love or loyalty for someone or something. There’s a scale though, isn’t there? Some of the things in your life, not all, that you show any of those emotions to, you get to choose what they are. It can be big things, it can be small things but you’re in charge. Don’t all of us have a favourite band, drink, film or food that we love? Death Cab For Cutie, Carolina Reaper tequila, The Big Lebowski, phaal curry, love them all, but devoted? Nope. It becomes a bit more difficult with sports teams, assuming that you even follow any side, team or organisation. Again, there’s a scale though. If you live on the opposite side of the world to where your favourite team are playing, chances are that you’ll be asleep when they’re in action. Staying up through the night or waking at 4am to watch a game remotely shows devotion for sure, especially if you have to go to work straight after. Maybe that devotion takes away your choice, perhaps you’re not in charge as much as you thought.

It gets even more difficult when it comes to people, but again, and for most of the time, you choose who you let close and who you keep at arm’s length. It’s always a good idea to never not try and do anything by half though. If you love someone, don’t you try and love them with all that you’ve got? The L word isn’t just something that you just toss around. If you hate someone, and it’s a strong word, hate them until you feel better or until you forget about them. It’s okay to fuck up, haven’t we all let someone in that we thought would enhance our lives, before finally realising that decision made as much sense as bullfighting on a trampoline. None of us need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends that we can be certain of.

Lots of people will want to ride your coattails at one point or another when things are good, but what you need and want is someone who’s looking out for you all of the time, even if you don’t know or see it. Someone who resolves to always be by your side, maybe when no one else has your back. I guess you could call that devotion.

Thing is, you’re on the other side of that relationship too, you’ll do anything for the people that you care about. A few words, a hug, a smile. A call, an email, a quick text, it’s the little things sometimes. Sure, it’s difficult if they’re further away, but they need to know that you’re always available even if it’s just at the end of a phone. You know intrinsically though that if they really need you, that they can take comfort to know that you’re getting into your car, hopping on a train or a plane to head in their direction because you care about them. Who’s devoted now?

They need to know that you’ll always let them in, that you’re there with the door wide open. No matter what.

You have to either let those words leave your mouth or communicate with them in another way so that those people in your life, know unequivocally, that no matter what happens, no matter what’s needed, that you’ll always be there. Nothing wrong with having an unwavering commitment to the people that you care about, it’s just choices again. You either do something, or you don’t. You can love someone with every fibre of your being or not. Don’t we love all of the things that come together to make them a part of your life? Maybe it’s like Jenga, there’s only so much that you can add or take away without making the whole fucking thing collapse. Not if you let them know. To have it clear in your own head that they understand it doesn’t matter about highs and lows, they know there is at least one person who’ll support them through anything and everything.

It sounds like a noble thing to do, but it’s really not, just the right thing. Life gets in the way sometimes though, or we don’t appreciate that it’s not always clear. Perhaps it’s the smallest thing or a life-changing event for you to realise that not everyone you care about knows that you’ll always be there for them. Guilty as charged.

Cards, notepads, pens and stamps have been bought, how quaint, who even writes letters any more? It’s time for those special people to know, for that one special person to know that I’m here, that I’ve always been here and that I’ll always be there, no matter where I am in the world. My bad for not saying sooner. A shoulder to cry on? I’ve got you. Some encouraging words to help try and make you feel better? All over it. If harsh words are needed, then you’d better believe that you’re going to hear them. Tough love sucks sometimes but it’s love nonetheless. If something hits your mat, or even just your inbox, then now you know for sure.

Anytime that you will fall, I’ll be there to pick you up.

When there’s no one to hold you, I will still hold you down.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

This kind of day has no night.

Adversity sucks, it’ll break you or make you, but you can choose the way in which it manifests itself, even if you don’t realise it in that initial moment. So many of us are touched by adversity every single day, we fall down, some of us never get back up, whereas others go through tough times and discover things about ourselves that we never knew, and so we come out of the other side stronger. Just a mindset, right? It’s not always that easy though.

Maybe strength doesn’t come from the things that you think you can do to get past something, it happens from overcoming the things you think that you can’t do. Perhaps in times of adversity and change, we don’t realise that a figurative kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world to ever happen to us. Wouldn’t you take one if it meant that something amazing might happen to you after you get yourself together when your world has fallen apart? Stars are there all day, every day, but they can’t shine without darkness.

You can want to do everything yourself but it’s okay to lean on friends for advice, even if it’s just cliches and platitudes that you hear. Be brave, try and be calm, take a step back and look at everything closely, stay strong, push on with everything. All lovely sentiments but not necessarily inspiring. So you look elsewhere, let’s face it, you can find inspiration in a shit ton of different ways. Music, books, television, the medium doesn’t matter as long as it helps you move on.

Not moving mountains, but digging the ground that you’re on.

It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself when your life changes for the worse. Just maybe though, humility emerges at the exact point when your knees fall to the floor and we tell ourselves that some things need to change, starting with our attitude. It can be contagious, so you should want to make sure that your’s is worth catching.

Hospitals are never a good place to be in, unless someone is giving birth or getting better. When you spend 22 hours a day on your own, it’s easy for your mind to wander about what comes next and what your future holds, it’s difficult to get motivated. It’s okay to look at other people in your life though, and use them and their experiences to motivate you to try and help you.

The friend who’s just been at Yosemite and has posted the most beautiful pictures. Yosemite promptly gets added to the good list. A friend in Sydney who’s just had a baby, so the availability for babysitting duties has just been activated. The girl in Boston who keeps posting pictures of her adventures on the weekend, super jealous. The best friend who’s just had his first child after years of trying. He kept going, literally, and seeing his happiness in his baby girl puts things in a different context. The friend who has finally convinced the girl he’s liked for ages to go out with him. Is he punching? Fuck yes, but he didn’t give up. The other friend who decided to jack in his job and buy a motorcycle and ride across the States. How cool is that?

Sometimes, things come along unexpectedly that motivate you and are a lot less personal. 22 hours is a lot of time to fill, and although sleep happens fitfully, awake time still needs to be filled. Netflix, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, YouTube, all feature heavily.

A random show pops up on YouTube from Food Network as a recommendation, Guy’s Grocery Games, Kitchen Heroes. Just another food show, shouldn’t be anything overly exciting. Wrong. The owner of a restaurant in Richmond, Virginia who donates 100% of his profits to help alleviate hunger in his hometown. Humbling as fuck. The guy who used his restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to feed hundreds of people every day affected by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Astonishing kindness. The lady who opened a restaurant to everyone who can’t afford to pay for a meal but lets them contribute by helping out. The other lady who started a culinary internship for disadvantaged teens. How can it hurt to offer a helping hand?

Another recommendation follows straight after, The Brotherhood of Football. A story about a kid from Temecula, California, a promising young QB for Linfield Christian football who gets a bad injury and needs to get part of one of his legs amputated. There are tears but now, everything takes on a new perspective, life could be worse, people everywhere are going through much worse things than me.

You binge watch TV shows if you have some time on your hands, don’t you? Some can surprise you, you might not immediately a fan of what you think the content is, but until you watch it, you’ll never really know. Take Friday Night Lights, probably the second best television series of all time. We all know what the best is, don’t even @ me.

Things is, Friday Night Lights will make you feel all of the feelings. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anything about American football, it isn’t just about the game; it’s about relationships that will drag the caring out of you.

Take Coach Eric and wife Tami, it’s almost a perfect ideal of love and friendship. Ups and downs, making sacrifices so they can both carry out their personal dreams, whilst treating each other as an equal. Perfect relationship goal right there.

Obviously there has to be a bad guy in the show but what if deep down inside he’s a really good guy, even though he doesn’t always let it become apparent? None of us always make the right decisions, but he wants to, so that has to be important, doesn’t it? It’s okay too when you’re emotionally unavailable, which can be part of the allure to someone. Layers and vulnerability, anyone else beginning to recognise themselves? Seeing someone become a better person, never a bad thing. It can motivate.

How about those days gone by when a flirtation turned into a crush which turned into a relationship? We’ve all been there. Want to go to bat for the underdog? You’re in luck. 76 episodes will basically rip your heart out, yet you still come back for more. Maybe it’s time to ask that person out?

Sure, football is a major part of the series, but at it’s heart it’s about people having a fighting chance at making their dreams come true. Not a bad thing to be thinking about when you’re hurting, when you’re struggling. You find your motivation where you can. It’s not for everyone, but the levels of inspiration might just make you think you can do anything if you set your heart and mind to it. Never a bad thing to put yourself out there but also not to be scared any more to wear your heart on your sleeve.

Like strands in a ball of yarn, life can get tangled. Just maybe though, something good this way comes.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

The lessons.

Sir James Matthew Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, had it spot on, ‘Once you’re grown up, you can’t come back.’ How long does it take for that to happen though and what occurs in our life in order to make it so? Some of us are wise beyond our years, whilst others never want to be older, and like most things, it’s different for each of us. Just the naïveté of youth, right?

Perhaps it’s when you have things in your life that you look back on and wish you could change. It could be nothing quite so important, sometimes it’s simpler stuff, having the courage to ask that one person that you’ve liked for a while to have dinner or drinks with you. Setting up standing orders for your outgoings, opening a savings account, moving out to live on your own for the first time, shit, it could be almost anything. One day realisation kicks in though and you know that despite all of the important decisions you’ve made before, a choice is going to come along that’s going to define everything that comes next for you.

It sucks, but maybe part of growing up is just taking what you learned from all of the bad things that went before, moving on and trying not to take them to heart. The good things you definitely want to keep on doing and experiencing, don’t we all believe that intrinsically we’re a good person? For a lot of our days, we’re young and irresponsible, but maybe that’s what growing up is, you eventually learn from your mistakes.

It’s more than okay to have mixed feelings about growing up, apparently it happens to everyone. Still, you should never stop having fun, to make yourself smile, it’s okay to fuck up now and again. Did you make mistakes when you were young? Absolutely, but haven’t you made just as many when you’re all grown up?

Growing up is never easy, you keep a hold onto things that were important but that you don’t really need any more. Your mind can wonder what’s to come, obviously there are going to be moments when everything is fine, and other moments where you know that there are some memories that you’ll never get back. Certain people in your life are never going to change, and the hardest part is knowing that there’s nothing you can do except watch them, unless you remove yourself from that situation. It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realise that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on, even if you don’t really want to.

The hurt is palpable when you have to leave someone behind but you can’t always get what you want or keep what you had. There’s that choice again but you know you have to make it but how can you both go on when they were everything?

How will you exist, how will I exist?

A day comes and we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what could be. Different days, new days, those days that are yet to come. It’s okay to forgive each other for growing up and recognising that we both need a change. Again, everyone’s different but how many of the people that you’ve been involved with romantically are you actually still friends with? It’d be like adding your captor on FaceBook once you were released after being kidnapped, fucking stupid idea.

It’s a change that involves thousands of miles, quite literally. We weren’t miles apart before but days later we were, not everything has a happy ending. Benjamin Franklin has been quoted as saying that ‘Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.’ What if only two people know the secret? If you do believe that you’re a good person, is learning when it’s better to lie to the people in your life, rather than to hurt everyone else with the truth not a good thing?

Growing up, peer pressure, and what people in your life want you to be and what you think you should do can be life enriching, but also a massive pain at times. It’s important to surround yourself around amazing people that actually love you for you. We all have flaws but if you fuck up, isn’t forgiveness one of the best attributes you can have? How many times has someone bumped into you in the street and you’ve apologised? I’ve lost count of the amount of doors that I’ve held for people who haven’t had the good grace to acknowledge even the tiniest act of kindness. As an aside, top tip gents, if you have to pull the door, the lady goes first, if you have to push it, you go first. You’re very welcome.

Time away, discovering new things, a new start sounds like a great plan. A new apartment, new experiences beyond the wildest of dreams, new friends, a new job, life couldn’t be better. There’s always a but though. Thing is, despite reaching what can be one of the highest points of in life, what happens when it’s hard not to feel alone, to know that you’ve lost everything? The only tattoo I have reads is, ‘Only one who has lost all has the freedom and the ability to gain everything.’ Time to take my own advice and leave all of the good stuff behind. A choice is made about trying to grow further, to face those demons, and the loved ones in life who have been failed by me as well as those who’ve failed me. Three plane flights are booked.

One of those plans was a good idea.

Maybe we all need to start accepting ourselves for who we are, and whoever is not going to accept us, weren’t really meant to be in our lives in any way whatsoever. The most important thing that I learned is forgiveness is something that when you’re able to finally wrap your head around, you free yourself to move on. All grown up now and I shouldn’t have come back, it’s time to leave again.

It’s a constant back and forth for a while with both enduring different experiences. Sure, it might be the same story, but it’s being read through opposite lenses. Whose ugly side is the ugliest? It doesn’t matter, both of us know.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife