Like you’ve seen a ghost.

‘Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.’

Various days come when there are moments of reflection, you have a wry smile to yourself and try and realise why different things happened or didn’t happen in your life. You know deep down that you can’t always allow yourself to think about what you don’t have, or what you didn’t get, what you have or what you’ve lost. Memories have that way of popping into your consciousness at any given time though, hopefully more good than bad.

Although easier said than done, how is it a good idea to overthink everything, about what’s gone before, about what might have been? Just because someone got away, doesn’t mean that you’ll always be pining for them. No point on missing out on the here and now though, about everything that’s ahead. Don’t miss out on something that could be great just because it could also be difficult, take the leap. Sometimes you tiptoe into the water, but then aren’t you missing out on the adrenaline of plunging in headfirst, who wants to be engulfed with a tidal wave of what ifs?

What if you lose yourself for a minute or two?

It’s a Friday morning, the letterbox makes that familiar noise with mail hitting the mat. There’s a card, much more interesting than the usual utility bills and bank statements. It’s unexpected, it’s not my birthday, it’s not Christmas, so I’m intrigued. The words inside are surprising, ‘I just want you to know that I enjoy your company, that I love being around you. I want to spend more time with you, we could have fun together. If you want the same, meet me on Saturday at 5 where the bus used to collect us to take us to school.’
It’s unsigned, my mind starts working overtime, who could it be? Is it a love letter of sorts? Love letters never used to be thought as something out of the ordinary, but things changed with texts and emails. Why not do either of those things instead, shit, go crazy and dial my number.

Like a Magic 8-Ball, I didn’t come up with any real answers, but then the penny drops and I know who it is, let’s call her L. She’s a lovely girl, very pretty but it’s never going to happen. We’d been spending a lot of time together as part of a larger group, but she’s just split with one of my best friends and there’s a boy code. Once a friend is with a girl, she’s off limits forever. I head for football practice instead on Saturday, I’m too shy to let someone down in person.

There’s also the small matter of someone else, let’s call her M. She’s part of the same group, our parents are friends, so we spend a lot of time together, I’ve been to her house more than once. From the minute I met her, I wanted to know more. Cute, engaging, fun, sarcastic and super clever. Maybe sometimes you can know someone better in ten minutes than someone you’ve known your whole life. Obviously, I can’t say anything. Beautiful ships never sailed by my dock so I couldn’t speak to her, I just didn’t have the courage. A boy having the balls to try and tell an amazing girl that you like them? Like trying to put a jumper on a jellyfish. Despite her obvious physical attractiveness, she was like the ubiquitous girl next door, someone that you could play football with, and happily not mind when you ended up losing. Asking the question might cause the end of the friendship though, she’s too cool to be around and I’m too smart to let that go, so words are left unsaid.

The friendship continues but I have to move away for work. She’s the one that’s being left behind, but I knew full well what that cost of that was, although thankfully M will never know. We could have been two perfect circles entwined, but it is what it is. Thinking of how it could have been if I’d done something, if I’d said something. There’s the feeling of loss, the feeling of never knowing what could have been, the feeling that you let someone that you always wanted slip right through your fingers.

We’re in touch less and less, just everyday life.

Another day comes and that familiar sound of the letterbox is heard again. It’s an invite to a party, catching up with old friends will be fantastic.

Years have passed, M walks in an hour or so after me but she hasn’t changed a bit. Part of me hopes the only reason she even came to this party, is so that she can see me. Pretty arrogant male behaviour.

Everyone is catching up with everyone so we don’t meet again until around midnight. She kisses me on the cheek, we hug and it’s like how it always was, the girl next door is back in my life. Drinks are bought, glasses are clinked, maybe it’s time to say something, Dutch courage always helps, right? Just as I start to say those words that should have been said before, another friend whisks her away to dance. Hours pass and the night winds down. She comes over, leans in for a hug and kisses me, whilst holding my cheek. She puts her mouth to my ear and whispers, ‘I wrote you a card once, asking you to meet me because I wanted us to be more than friends, I was in love with you. I was so hurt and disappointed when you didn’t show up. I’ll love you always, take care.’ My heart drops, I can’t stop blinking. Friends say ‘What is it, you look like you’ve seen a ghost?’

Sometimes we meet people and neither of us guesses that the other is someone who feels it too. That can’t be a good thing.

Soon after, it’s almost like she makes sure that I see her leave with someone else, sometimes you can read the tea leaves as well as anyone. Will another chance come along? No, sometimes you only get one shot. The knowledge that there is one other soul out there who has your number, right down to the last decimal place hurts though. How often does that happen?

You just have to see her and you know that she’ll break you in two.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

In my head, in my heart, in my soul.

A lot of us have a daily routine, dropping the kids off at school, picking them up, telling your other half that you love them, preparing dinner. Everything in your life can be normal, there’s nothing wrong with that. You’ll have some things that’ll come along too which will take you out of your comfort zone and that’s a cool thing. We’ll all have some days, nights and moments that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives when those chances present themselves, but you can make your own moments too, right? Travel, random acts of impulse, some family and friend things, we can all choose the things that we want to do. It’s great to say yes to things, but it’s entirely your prerogative to say no to others. It’s your life, you choose how you want to live it. When you’re old, don’t you want to look back on your life and recall all the memories that you cherished? That you still cherish.

The thought of getting old gets to all of us at some point. We all know that we’re going to die, it’s hardly breaking news. Perhaps Jhonen Vasquez articulates it better than most, “Nothing quite brings out the zest for life in a person like the thought of their impending death.” If you’ve made sure you’re exactly the person that you hoped you would be, then maybe you’d care a little bit less if you died tomorrow. If you’re going to die young, is it better to make that as late as possible? How do you want your world to end? Better with a bang, rather than a whimper surely.

A day will come when time and life shake hands and say goodbye to each other.

When you get told that when that day is likely to come, one of the last things that you need to be facing is an ordeal worse than the one you’ve just learned about, far less eight ordeals. Bang over whimper though, remember? Take a moment to think and then decide on the journey you want to take with the days you have left. It’s going to be a tough flight home, hard to tell people what’s happening, but it needs to be done. Sometimes it’s the silliest things that make you think. A remake of Point Break is watched on the plane and it’s surprisingly decent. If you’ve seen the film, you might have clicked that the Ozaki 8 is entirely fictitious, although the ideas behind it are real. Something clicks, a decision is made, eight choices/ordeals are chosen.

Ordeal 1 – Emerging Force (Dangerous Rapids)
Ordeal 2 – Birth of Sky (Mountain BASE Jump)
Ordeal 3 – Awakening Earth (Sky-to-Earth BASE Jump)
Ordeal 4 – Life of Water (Surf a 60+ Foot Wave)
Ordeal 5 – Life of Wind (Wingsuit Flight)
Ordeal 6 – Life of Ice (Snowboard an Unridden Line)
Ordeal 7 – Master of Six Lives (Climb a Cliff Face With No Safety Gear)
Ordeal 8 – Act of Ultimate Trust (Put Your Life in The Earth’s Hands)

Numero uno, kayak the Inga Rapids on the River Congo, the deadliest and largest rapids on the planet. Less than half the people who attempt it make it out alive, the odds are not good to make it onto the second one. Assuming all goes okay, mountains will quite literally be on the horizon. Base jump from the highest point off of one of the tallest mountains on the planet, seems a bit easier. Who doesn’t want to scale Mount Kilimanjaro? The bonus is that it’ll be quicker heading down than going up. Number three could be the end. Skydive from an airplane into the Cave of Swallows, the world’s deepest natural cave shaft in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. The Empire State building could easily fit inside it, no pressure. Maybe a whimper would be a better idea. Four and five sound more than achievable. Nazaré on Portugal’s Silver Coast for some surfing and then onto Switzerland, one of the world’s best wingsuit destinations. Snowboard an unridden trail? Heading for a spot few people have ridden, where to go? Fjörðum in Iceland, Skeena Mountains in British Columbia, Gangkhar Peunsum in Bhutan, the world’s highest unclimbed peak. Good to have choices, I guess. All being well, six down, two to go. Do a Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2 and head for Utah’s jagged Dead Horse Point? The Eiger, El Capitan in Yosemite or Mount Asgard in Nunavut. Ultimate trust, something we’d all like to have about everyone and everything in our lives, so if number eight makes it onto the horizon, then why not go big? The highest recorded cliff jump in history is a touch under 60 metres, just under 200 feet. Standing atop a cliff, stretching your arms out, staring down, and jumping off from hundreds of feet into the water below has to be epic, I guess there’s a reason it’s called tombstoning. Greece, Hawaii, Vermont, all good options. Might as well go out in style though, Angel Falls in Venezuela ticks the boxes. Home to the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world, more than 16 times the height of the current world record height. Fuck it, why not?

Failure or success, everything remains exactly the way that it was, I’m me and you’re still you. Whatever we were to each other, nothing has changed. No one needs to be out of mind because they’re out of sight. A moment will happen one day and all will be as it was before.

It’s okay to accept that the earth folded in on itself.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

Wasting words on lower cases and capitals.

Every one of us has had a secret or secrets at some point, right? If someone trusts you enough to let you in on something they want kept private, then you can take it one of two ways. Be humbled that they trust you enough, or be angry that they’ve asked you to keep something to yourself that no one else can ever find out. Maybe the best way of keeping one is to pretend that there isn’t anything you need to keep to yourself? Let’s face it, with secrets, there are the ones you want to try and keep, and the ones that you don’t dare tell anyone. Sharing secrets with even one other person, will change the whole dynamic of the relationship. Every day we make decisions. Get married, don’t get married, take this job or don’t take this job, go left or go right, and at the time, they don’t seem like they matter, but they do. Same with secrets, what to do? Keep the blood in your head, and keep your feet on the ground.

We kept it safe and slow.

Working in executive search, a lot of the job is client networking. Telephone calls, regular email contact, catching up for coffee now and again, corporate dinners. Sometimes work can be just like your personal life, you develop relationships with people, some you’re in touch with more than with others. Just a natural thing, whilst appreciating the need for being careful to embrace everyone on a professional basis, you know that you’re going to enjoy the company of a few, rather than the many, when those relationships progress onto something on a personal level. It doesn’t mean you need to be boyfriend and girlfriend, friendship is more than okay.

There’s a girl, we get introduced by a mutual contact and we catch up regularly. Every time I call her, I have to go through her personal assistant. It’s cool, I’ve not met her yet, but she’s super nice, super professional and her boss tells me that she’s amazing. The aforementioned calls, emails, dinners all happen regularly, purely professionally, all perfectly arranged by her PA. A friendship develops, we start to talk more about things happening in our personal lives over random coffees. Always nice to get a different perspective on things you have going on. When she finds out I’m single, she teasingly says that setting me up with her PA would be a good idea, but the thought of mixing work and pleasure doesn’t appeal, so with a smile, I politely decline.

Is it a good idea to say no, will I still be okay with it later or will I regret it? Regret is a funny thing, something that you either have to let go of or decide to live with, it’s a decision only you can make. As few regrets as possible in our lives would be great for all of us. Sometimes part of regret is about the one that got away, the one you can’t quite forget.

A call comes in one late evening and I recognise the number. It looks like more work might be coming my way, but it’s not who I thought it was though, it’s the PA who wants to meet to meet and to talk about herself rather than her company. No problem, just another tiny secret that I won’t share with anyone else. Coffee is arranged, we agree to meet outside at a specified time, remember we don’t know what each other looks like.

We meet, a hug and a cheek kiss is exchanged, before coffees are ordered. What should be no more than a twenty minute meeting turns into two hours. Once her work advice is given, we speak about music, travel, a multitude of things. Hands down, she knows about and likes as much of the same things as I do, more so than any girl that I’ve ever met. Maybe her boss is a clever lady after all. She throws into the mix that her boss likes me in more than a professional capacity. We giggle at the thought, smile a lot and my mind wanders, this wasn’t what was expected. A goodbye and a hug follows, she heads in one direction and I head in another.

A couple of days later, a thank you card follows, a lovely touch. An acknowledgement message is sent to say how kind that was. Text messages are exchanged, and a friendship evolves, although we don’t meet up.

I don’t realise that she lives near me, although she knows where I stay after spotting me heading into my building after work one night. It’s late on a Friday, a text arrives and she says she has a bottle of wine, would I like to share? Who doesn’t like wine? The intercom goes, she climbs to the top floor and makes her way along the corridor. I see her coming as I look through the spyhole and open the door. We look at each other, dead in the eyes and we kiss before the door has even closed. The wine is left untouched. She doesn’t stay, I sleep alone, not my choice. I get told that this is nothing more than a one-off and that I need to hide this meeting from everyone, especially her boss. Just another secret to keep.

The pattern repeats itself though. A text comes, kisses happen, no wine gets drunk and she doesn’t stay over. Developing relationships is easier at work than it is now. Maybe I’m not for her? We all want to swing for the fences, but don’t we need to be able to read the pitch first?

Her work circumstances change and she relocates, good news for her, bad news for someone else. Damn me for giving such good fucking advice!

Months pass, I start seeing someone, but I know it’s not right and on a night out, I know that I need to tell her, it’s only fair. We’re in a club, my iPhone pings and guess who it is? She’s back in the city and is at a bar next door. Whilst I really want to go and see her, it wouldn’t be cool. I say the words I need to say though and I head home alone.

Have you gone and done something you really shouldn’t have? Home wasn’t the right option, once I did what I needed to do. I wanted to be in that bar. If an artist signs a painting, it’s not because he’s only going to paint once. If we kiss, it’s not because I only want to kiss you once, twice or three times.

I send a message later, but the response comes the day after, containing just seven words. Maybe in another time or another place. I’ve missed my chance. Again. For all of us, think about the words you think but never say.

You hurried up and lost me, hurry up and find me again.

Perhaps it was never meant to be, neither of us told the other about what we expected from whatever this was.

Neither clear nor descript.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

It’s not a failure we could help.

Now and again, we come across a situation that we find irresistible, someone or something that it’s difficult to say no to. A new job opportunity maybe, perhaps the chance of a new relationship. No real way though of telling at the start if either are going to be good for you. It’s easier to change jobs than partners, but you’ll never know if one or both will work out if you don’t try. It’s always exciting to be attracted to someone new, to something new. Depending on how your life is going, it’s cool to not want to take a chance on someone or something, it’s not always going to be ponies, rainbows and unicorns, so a leap of faith is needed. Shit or get off the pot.

Isn’t it also true that sometimes it’s hard not to like or love the people or things that will end up hurting us the most? Some of us can be attracted to people that have the ability to cause us pain. There’s fighting, hurt, a lack of trust. Frequent break-ups but lots of great make-up sex. Feelings of blame, jealousy, being undervalued, all are far too much drama for anyone to have to deal with regularly. Can you dislike or like someone at the same time? Sometimes it’s the conflict that keeps things going. You both know that you’re no good for each other, but you dance the dance, until one of you plucks up the courage to say that it’s not working any more. Just life, making choices every day, you need to be strong enough to trust yourself, right? Things are tearing you both apart, better to break than be irreparably scarred. It’s more than okay to be physically attracted to someone, but perhaps it’s not wise to have a proper relationship with them. Quit whilst you’re ahead? Wish one another well and don’t look back.

What’s the point in chasing a train when you know that it’s already left the station. You cannot outrun a ghost.

Death Cab For Cutie are in town and are playing at the Sydney Opera House. It’s sold out, but I manage to find a pair of tickets online. I arrange to meet the seller outside and one of my best friends is coming along too. Perfect. She has to decline at the last minute unfortunately, so I make the spare available online. A random girl replies first, so now it’s her ticket, and although I’ve not spoken to her, far less met her, shared interests are a good start. It’s a couple of hours, it could and should be fun, even with a stranger. We arrange to meet at the Opera Bar for a pre-show drink, it’s one of the nicest spots in the world with a knockout view, that gets even better when you snag seats facing the Harbour Bridge.

I pick up the tickets and I get to the bar first. I’m not presumptious enough to order for her before she gets here, so I get a beer and grab those wonderful seats. A few minutes later, I can smell perfume behind me, and in some way I know that my new concert buddy has arrived. We shake hands which is frankly ridiculous, I ask what she wants to drink and I head for the bar. As I wait, I glance back over and there are an insane amount of people saying hello to her. We all know that one person who seems to know everyone so I don’t think too much about it, I grab her drink and head back.

The conversation flows easily, she has the cutest inflection to her voice. We head upstairs and grab our seats. It’s more of an intimate venue than I expected, and again, she seems to know everyone. We share the same first name so every time that someone says it out loud, I look around, but of course, they’re not speaking to me, she’s the object of attention. She’s not a natural blonde, but she’s a natural beauty, so I can see why. Again though, I forget about it, the lights dim and the show begins. She knows the words to every song, pics and videos are taken, it’s an amazing couple of hours. During the interval, the conversation flows as easily as before, I know it’s going to blow when the night ends, I don’t need a map or compass to see the direction I want to be heading in.

I live in a different suburb, but she invites herself for a nightcap, so we catch the ferry. We get to a bar that is less than a hundred paces from where I live, I give her money for drinks and excuse myself. I come back and more and more people are saying hello, how popular can one girl be, weird.

The night ends, she comes back to mine and although there’s something there, neither of us are those kind of people. A quick glass of fizz follows, I give her the tour, she takes the spare room, shorts and a tee and kisses me on the cheek, thanking me for a good night. Sleep follows.

I hear the coffee machine when I wake, I smile and take the chance to grab a shave and a shower. The doorbell rings, I go downstairs to find friends that are borrowing my flatmate’s car for the weekend. They look quizzically at the girl disappearing back upstairs and then at me. I grab the keys for them, she comes back down minutes later, kisses me on the cheek and leaves with my number with a smile, we’ll see each other again. I apologise, look back at my friends and one half of the couple sees that I look confused. He asks, ‘Do you know who that is?’ I confess I don’t, I don’t even know her surname. He laughs uncontrollably and tells me that she’s nationally famous and appears regularly on TV. Spot the stupid expat.

They leave, still laughing, and although a high five is handed out, they don’t know that anything happened. I make a dick move, stick her name into an internet search engine and the penny drops.

Days, weeks and months pass, emails, phone calls, texts are exchanged. We meet up regularly and she now knows that I know who she is. It doesn’t change anything, I don’t think, things are kept private. One day, an invite drops through the postbox for a gala event and I’m the plus one. The kilt is on, we meet up, but something is different. No hands are held, there are zero hugs, don’t even start me on kisses. The red carpet belongs to her alone, I might as well make myself comfortable on the sidelines. Plenty of pictures are being taken of her but you can probably guess how many I made it into. It’s made very clear what her priority is and it’s not a guy in a kilt.

Who wants to settle for something that isn’t right? I’m a little heart heavy, but sometimes you have to close a window even when you know that you’re not going to like being on the other side of the glass.

Was I in your way, when the cameras turned to face you? No room in frame for two.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

Let the lightning guide you.

‘All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.’

Not just the words of the next tattoo, but consonants and vowels that some of us might choose to try and live a tiny part of our lives by. It’s more than okay to dream about the things that we want to achieve, the things that we want to do, we all have them on some sort of level. Sure, chances are that not all of our dreams will come true, but don’t we need to try and make them happen? Depending on what they are, you know that they’ll take patience, a shit ton of hard work and and every single time, you’ll need to be answering the questions that are going to be asked of you. Whilst that can be tough, you might as well enjoy the journey, right? It’s entirely possible to overthink the questions that might come at you tomorrow, but what if you dream about tomorrow’s answers today? Daydreaming is always allowed. It’s cool to lose yourself in a world of daydreams that excite you, to imagine your life situation changing in a way that will make you feel better every single day. Everyone can choose which research to believe in terms of what we read or hear, but it’s widely believed that our average daydreams are about fifteen seconds long and that we have a couple of thousand of them every day. Can it really be right that we spend a big chunk of our time being awake thinking of things that for now are just fantasy? It’s always good to embrace the idea of there being something more in the world for all of us, for everyone else that you care about.

Some of us live in a dream world every day, some of us don’t; and then maybe there are those of us who fuse both together. When something that you’ve dreamed about forever, finally looks like it might be coming true, it’s difficult not to be scared. Are you breathing half the time?

I’m in a city that I thought I’d never be in and I’m alone. It’s a choice and I’m more than comfortable with it, but the realisation sets in that it might be nice if someone else could see the things that I’m seeing. You can share photos on a variety of social media sites, but it’s the experience with someone being with you that makes the experience. It’s cool to be here, and whilst the scenery is spectacular, it’s tough not to have thoughts drifting to somewhere else, to someone else. Daydreaming. Still, no point feeling sorry for yourself, if you’re going to take a trip, then you might as well do all of the things that you want to. You try and enjoy decent cuisine at home, so you make sure that you try and find places that you might like to eat at when you’re away. The city, shit, the country is renowned for beer, so you partake. It would be rude not to, when in Rome. Just a saying, not my current location.

Beer al fresco, with a view that is absolutely bonkers. I do the tourist thing, I take a picture and send it to a good friend. My mobile rings. It turns out that the locals aren’t massively impressed by the sound of Right Above It by Lil Wayne blaring into their quietness, and whilst I’m apologetic, it’s no worse than the generic Apple or Nokia rings. Suck it up people, have you never watched Ballers? Plus, we’re outside. Anyway, I’m daydreaming and the call sparks me back to life.

Thing is though, the call is about one of the dreams that I’ve had. Unfortunately, it’s not Anna Kendrick calling trying to take me out on a dinner date, but it’s nearly as good. That’s actually a lie, it’s nowhere near as good. What it is though, is a chance to go and live in a city where I want to be, doing a job that I love. Maybe it won’t be a dream any more. Are there hurdles to cross? Yep, but my thoughts can turn once again to the people and the things that I’ve been dreaming about.

A daydream in your head is just that and it will only ever be that until you actually achieve it, until you do it. So do it. Time to step outside, time to step out? Go for it, leave it all behind you.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

Get up off your knees.

One of the most difficult aspects of growing as a person is learning how to forgive yourself after you’ve fucked something up, if you’ve made a mistake. What if you don’t even know that you’ve made one though? It’s entirely possible that you didn’t think you did anything wrong, but if someone important to you thinks that you’ve let them down, then they’re right, their perception is their reality.

We’re all human, bound to mess up now and again, even if we don’t realise it at the time. When you’ve inflicted hurt upon someone, forgiving yourself can prove to be the difficult part, it’s easy to keep telling yourself that you’re nothing but a social hand grenade. Even when you finally find out that you did something that caused them some pain, or if you’ve been forgiven, it’s tough to not to examine where you went wrong. Making mistakes, taking risks, even accidentally, no other way to live, right? We all get up in the morning, we all step out of our front door at the start of each new day, learning is important, don’t we all want to be a better person every day? It’s tough when clearly something has happened though and you’re left in the dark. If the dynamic has changed and you don’t know why, and they don’t tell you why, what can you do? You can ask the question, but if they’re less than forthcoming, then all you can do is hazard a guess. Sometimes shit just falls out of the sky for you. Nothing else to do but focus on yourself, try and get through each day and be done with it. If you’ve said sorry for whatever it is that you’ve made a mess of, then you’ve done all that you could. Fuck, you can say sorry and not even know why, some people are just polite. Tomorrow is a new day, and although it’s easier said than done, there’s no point in continuing to worry about something that you can’t fix. Zero point in taking yourself out at the knees before you’ve even learned to walk in any given relationship.

On the flip side, perhaps it’s much easier to forgive than to say sorry; maybe it’s something we learn as a child. As we all get older, we realise when people hurt us, it’s not always a reflection on us, it’s more to do with their flaws and insecurities. There will be good times and bad times, and maybe you shouldn’t want it any other way. Still learning. If that someone doesn’t want to tell you where you’ve gone wrong, then saying sorry and forgiving them for their silence is the way to go. Holding grudges is bad for the heart, the mind and the soul.

Let’s be honest, no matter what you’ve done, you’re never beyond redemption and if you can see that, fuck it if someone thinks that they’re so perfect that they can’t front up or think that they’ve never made a mess of things.

It’s normal human behaviour that when people are hurting inside, they believe that no one else in the history of the world has been hurt as much as them. It’s tough to say, but none of us are that special. Everyone messes up sometimes, and you don’t have the monopoly on feeling hurt or let down. If someone saying sorry isn’t enough, then it says more about you than it does about the other person. No one wants to be in the ‘friend’ column, rather than the ‘I love you’ column, but what’s the point in hanging on for someone who won’t be honest with you.

Friends are always important, especially when it comes to needing advice. As is the case with all people you have in your life, some will tell you what you want to hear, but some will be brutally honest. Let her go or try and resurrect things, what to do?

They say let you go, but I want you back.

From thinking about her every day, she’s gone to crossing my mind less and less. Days and weeks pass when I don’t think about her at all. It’s no reflection on her, we’re just not in contact. Sure, she’s missed, but again, what’s the point in thinking about something that you can’t fix.

I have to travel to discuss a potentially life-changing work opportunity. As beautiful and big a city as this is, it’s a small world. I think I see her, but it can’t possibly be her, guess she has a doppelgänger, maybe we all do. It’s the first time I’ve thought about her in what seems like forever. Still shaking my head at the coincidence, I walk into a store and a song comes on shuffle that reminds me of her, iTunes has that way of messing with you at times, doesn’t it? Still listening to that song, I can’t bring myself to skip it, so I check my emails whilst browsing stuff that I don’t need. A note is there, but at least I finally know why we’ll not be anything. Autocorrect on a message changed ‘wasn’t’ to ‘was’ and it altered the entire context of the conversation.

It’s innocent, but she made a choice to not query it initially and not let me know why she was confused. It hurt then, but now it’s okay. It’s been said before but it’s fine to say again, there’s nothing wrong with being humble.

Girl, I’m sorry I let you down, so stupid that I messed up.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

Call me Superman.

Most people probably have a day of the year that we enjoy and like best. Our birthday? New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Australia Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, All Saints’ Day, Liberation Day, there are way too many to mention.

How about Lupercalia? If you’re not Italian, it’s understandable if you’ve never heard of it or have no idea what it is. Shit, even if you are, it’s perfectly understandable to have zero clue about the origin of it. Just an ancient Roman festival held every year between February 13 and February 15 celebrating fertility and health, who doesn’t want to be have both of those things? Spotted the day that falls in the middle yet?

Valentine’s Day, what an absolute minefield, even if you’re in a relationship. Do you celebrate it, what do you buy your significant other, do you cook, do you have reservations about even doing anything at all? Fuck it, go all in or don’t bother at all, reservations are for restaurants, aren’t they?

A lot of the days mentioned have become commercialised but that’s not to say that they mean anything less to any of us. The fourteenth day of the shortest month of the year can be a tough one if you’re on your own. It’s too easy for thoughts to turn to the last boy or girl that you can’t stop thinking about. Maybe you told them how you feel, maybe you didn’t, but you still think about them, don’t you? If they said yes or no, then things go one way or the other. You get together or you don’t. If you didn’t ask, then how will you ever know, especially if you can’t stop thinking about them? Is it worse if they know and they don’t do anything about it?

The person that whenever they decide to be in touch with you has the ability to make you doubt yourself beyond reason. Emotions and feelings, it would be nice sometimes if they just fucked off. Who wants to second guess themself, to be anxious, to ask if this is something that you really want to pursue or that you should simply let go of. Isn’t the first step is to figure it out for yourself, and then take a deep breath and choose which way you’re headed? Identifying the emotions that you can’t stand feeling about someone is super important.

Sounds easy when you say it, but you know they’re your emotional kryptonite.

It’s easy for that someone to make you feel rejected or worthless but deep down you know that you’re not. Feelings again, do they really help though? Just when you think you’ve moved on from what you had or what it is that you think you wanted, an email drops into your inbox. The ping of your cell lets you know that you have a new text. Some people even go old school and write you a letter or send you a card, the sound of the letterbox means you have mail, always exciting to see what’s come for you. Except when it’s not.

By their very nature, emotions that we can’t tolerate feeling, overwhelm us. Do you respond? How many times have you gone to try and send an email or a text message and then read it back and delete it before sending? Should you even reply in the first place? You were doing okay and now they’ve made the first move and you need to make a choice. Reply or delete, the ball is in your court now. Doubt though. It’s important to remember that it’s just a feeling, it’s not going to kill you. Carry on with the way things are going or take a chance and type out some words that might change everything for you, how do you choose?

Maybe it’s a new dilemma for you, difficult not to feel like you stumbled in and bumped your head.

I’m in a hotel for a week and everyone knows that they can be a pretty lonely place. Still, it is what it is, so you try and make the best of it. When you’re in a strange city and you don’t know anyone, it can be difficult to meet people. Nothing new, we’ve all been there. A day off comes up, but you’re always awake at the same time, so I get up, throw on the running gear and head out. As I’m pasing through reception, I spot a fellow guest, she catches my eye too and we smile at each other. It’s not even 6am and she looks immaculate, clearly out of my league, so I think no more of it, other than it’s a nice start to the day.

I bump into her the next day, and the next and the next one after that. She’s super shy, but friendly and we talk when we see each other. If you can make someone laugh, make someone smile, then regardless of anything else, isn’t that a cool thing? The aforementioned loneliness is sorted by spending time together, chatting, sharing wine and talking about different places and things that we’ve done. Could it ever be something? For once, my head and my heart align and I think not, but it’s still cool to spend time with someone that you have fun with. I don’t ask the question because I know that she’ll say no and I don’t want to hear that word, I just enjoy the moment. Let’s face it, It would be like if I glued my head to a railroad track and then waited for a train to come along. We’re inseparable for the next week and the other people that have shared our time, told me to go for it but I can’t, no is not a nice word. I can see in her face that she knows what I think but the week ends and we both go our separate ways.

We see each other again more than once, but it’s friendly, nothing more, but I know that she knows, that I know. Time to distance myself, there is no contact for what seems like an eternity but I’m cool with it.

Lupercalia, the middle day comes along, and there’s a card that drops through the letterbox, and a message that pings into my phone. ‘Happy Valentine’s Day.” Just ignore them and wait for my stomach to stop bouncing around? It’s hard to decide.

Call me Superman.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife