Rewinding the picture.

Day 7.

Alarm, an anxious awareness of danger, a warning sound or device.

It’s the last day of the year. It’s time to say goodbye to all of the bad things in your life that happened in 2018, but perhaps it’s farewell for some of the good things too. Letting go is difficult though, isn’t it? Whether it’s a friend, a job or a relationship, it can be so hard to let go of attachments, especially if you don’t really want to, but some things are necessary. You’re moving forward, so you’re letting go of the past that was beginning to drag you down. Good on all of us that have the bravery to make that decision.

If you want to forget something or someone, there’s little point second guessing yourself about the original decision you made to let that someone or something into your life. You live and learn, isn’t that the common saying? It can be even tougher if it’s a boy or girl that you were close to but what’s the point in hating him or her? Maybe you found out he or she was doing something that they shouldn’t have been, you just know sometimes that something isn’t quite right, but when you begin to question it, their barriers go up, and so your shutters tend to come down. Not everyone’s a mystery though, lots of people are open books and sometimes you just forget how to read. Sure, your world is a tiny bit emptier with their departure, but maybe they’ve been let go to free up space for someone that you might really need in 2019. It’s okay to get to the stage where you realise that someone belonged only to your past, time to begin to accept it, as much as it might hurt to do so.

It can be cathartic, the day comes when you understand everything that you need to do, the choice that you need to make, will be the day that you stop trying to figure your shit out. Letting go isn’t a thing that you do once though, it’s something you have to do every day, over and over again. It can be obvious to yourself that, although you’re down, you’re by no means out. New year, new start?

There’s a girl who was with someone else, and then they got together. She left her ex to start something new but there was always a part of him thinking that if she could do that to him, she could do it again. There goes the alarm.

It’s hard to let go of someone he cares about and it’s even more difficult to let go of the belief in her. The disappointment of finding out someone isn’t who he thought they were will sting for a while, but it’s time to see what lies ahead from tomorrow onwards.

Should he send a message to wish her all the best for the year ahead?

When that clock chimes at midnight, if you’re tempted to text a certain someone from your past on New Year’s Eve, don’t. Nope, just don’t do it, hopefully sense kicks in, there goes the alarm again.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

What dreams are made of.

Day 6.

Everyone has experienced one of those type of days. You wake up in the morning and you’re not motivated to do anything. Sometimes, maybe you can do nothing and laze the day away, but chances are that you still have things to be getting on with. It’s just life, but so full of duties, personal issues and responsibilities that sometimes it can be impossible to know where to start. None of us likes to admit it, but aren’t we all are struggling to get motivated from time to time? Often we simply can’t get started with doing what we need to do. It can be a daily struggle, just a circle that we can’t seem to escape. Things will change though, won’t they?

There’s an old Chinese proverb that probably nails it if you’re struggling. “Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, little wisdom.”

Doubt can be a useful thing, it keeps you guessing. Can you know the strength of yourself until you’ve been tested? What do you do to try and make things better, doubt your doubts before you doubt yourself? It’s okay, being scared about whatever you want to achieve in 2019 is natural. What’s the point in ever doubting your own instinct? Doubt everything, find your own motivation to do what you need or want to do next year. If you’ve ever met someone that’s famous or successful and you’ve managed to spend some time with them, you know intrinsically that even they have doubts, that they have fears, that they have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them from pushing on. Not a bad lesson to learn as a new year gets closer.

It’s tough to always be strong though, and perhaps the worst part about that to the people in your life, is that no one seems to ever ask if you’re okay. One of the problems with the world is that some people are always so certain of themselves, whilst maybe the wiser ones can be full of doubt. That’s fine, you figure out your own motivation, what’s going to make you happy. Letting someone else be a roadblock to what makes you fulfilled on your journey to your goals is stupid. Doubt will kill your dreams before failure ever will.
Show no fear, have no regrets, display no weakness. This might sound tough as this year closes but don’t waste a second of your life, it’s too short and you’re too fucking special.

We’ve all had a lot dreams growing up. Time to make some of them come true? Will there be difficulties? For sure, but these challenges will make you feel better once you get what you want to achieve.

Hard work and determination can take you where you want to go if you have an idea or a plan. Is there doubt about what lies ahead? Absolutely. Is there trepidation? You’d better believe it. What’s the point wondering about what if though? Several plans have been made, it’s your turn now. It could be a big year ahead for you if you want it to be one.

Just watch. Set, ready, go for the take off.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

Don’t hold back.

Day 5

The final day of the twelfth month of the year is approaching, so maybe you’re hard at work thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. Like all of us, there will definitely be some that you’ll never keep, but it’ll be the same next year and the year after that, won’t it? Perhaps keeping a resolution is having the motivation to carry on thinking about it or them throughout the next 365 days. What helps you to find that motivation though? Music? Travel? Why don’t we all try and live the life that we’ve always wanted?

Wanderlust. “A strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.” The Dalai Lama once said “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” Clever guy.

Maybe 2019 is that opportunity to make time to see the world that you want to see. Where do you go, what do you want to experience? Part of the fun is in the planning so how about putting a plan into action? Research things yourself or seek out friends for recommendations? It has to be more enriching to see something once, than hear about it a thousand times though. Choose to listen to what they say, or go and see on your own? We all dream of seeing somewhere that we want to go, how about next year becomes the year when it finally happens? How long before you decide that every day is either an adventure or a thing that we just watch go by? Think about falling in love with cities or countries that you’ve never been to and with people that you’ve never met.

Lots of things in your life are scary as fuck and deciding to take a trip, especially on your own is brave. It’s not always comfortable and sometimes it hurts. It can break your heart if you need to escape whatever situation you have going on at home, but maybe you find that it’s more than acceptable to go and get lost for a while, to discover new things about yourself. If you do get lost but you know that you’re heading in the right direction, then give yourself a pat on the back. Maybe all that you need to know is that it’s possible to go dream and discover new stuff. Collect moments, not things?

Shouldn’t any journey you take change you? You’ll snap plenty of photographs but aren’t the better parts of time away, the experiences that leave marks on your memory? You’ll experience some things that will stay with you but you definitely leave something good behind too. Take memories, but leave your own imprint. It’s about the journey, right?

Find a winding road where strangers meet?

The trip is amazing, but it could have been so much better. It wasn’t part of any plan, it wasn’t noted down in any map that I’d thought about. Sometimes your worst nightmare comes true and it’s time to get away, to look after myself and collect my thoughts.

It hits home that I’m on a plane alone but I also realise that I won’t remember the time I spent working, it will be thinking about the new things I’m seeing, the new experiences from somewhere that I never thought I’d be. This going to be cathartic, hopefully. There’s so much that I’m not going to see, but I know there’s how much more that I need to experience. Sometimes you know that it’s not what you look at that matters, it is what you see. Be important to yourself.

Discover, explore, travel. Those things. Yesterday might be gone, today could be great, maybe tomorrow will be even better.

Tell yourself that no one you can hold you back from where you need to go.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

We’re just strangers.

Day 4.

“There is an end to everything, to good things as well.” It’s a quote by Chaucer that’s over 600 years old, and has changed over time, most of us now know the derived version as “All good things come to an end.”

No one likes losing good things, but maybe that loss helps you to be better in the long term. Some people will always come and go in your life but the loss of some hit harder than others. Aren’t we all tormented now and again by some past relationships? Maybe 2019 will be the year that you put her or him behind you and move on. Be honest with yourself, you can’t start the next chapter if you keep re-reading the last one.

It’s okay to miss someone, because don’t you also miss the part of you that you had when you were with them? You shared experiences and more, and now that’s gone. Maybe you shouldn’t be missing them but you feel what you feel in any given moment.

It’s funny how all the feelings you had when you were in love with someone can sit gathering dust in the back of your mind, only to come flooding out at the slightest reminder. You hear a song maybe, and it all comes back to you. Now you’re thinking about them again. Fuck. Is there much point thinking about people from your past though? Sure, there will be times when you think it’s a good idea to call them and see how they’re doing. Do you really care about how they’re doing, aren’t you just trying to get back an idea of what you had? No point hurting yourself, you liked them, but there’s a reason why they didn’t make it into your future. It hurts like hell when the person that made you feel like a million dollars one day, decides that they don’t want you the next. She chased me because she liked and wanted me. She got me, but then she left me.

From best friends to strangers.

Your friends rally round because they get it too. She made me feel like less of a man because I couldn’t give her what she wanted any more. Some friends have bizarre traditions and one that we have is to convene a tribunal if one of us is being a dick about something. There are times though that people know when to be there for you. No tribunal needed, everyone knows that the hurt is real.

It turns out that time can be a healer. Regret her? No point, she was exactly what I needed at one time and it must have been the same for her.

Maybe the biggest test comes when a boy and a girl meet after their breakup. That feeling you get when you bump into into your ex and you’re looking your best though. You still remember things, don’t you? The eyes, the smile. It happened randomly one day. We looked at each other, smiled, traded pointless words, had a hug and left. The funny thing is that one of us knew that it was a good idea that we split. In that moment, the penny drops that all we really shared was an address, a bed and a lot of lies.

She calls, but I leave it to go to voicemail. Hours later, I listen to the message and as it finishes, I hear the words, “You’ll never find someone like me.” There’s a regretful smile because that’s exactly the point. She’s the past and has nothing new to say to me any more. She ranks amongst one of the most beautiful people that I’ve let into my world but there’s not going to be an idiot ex who wants her love again. I thought I still loved her but then I realised I just love the memories of who she used to be.

Is she sorry for the way she treated me? I don’t know, but maybe I do care, even if it’s only a tiny bit. It’s a new year coming soon though so I don’t worry about that. The focus is on my own growth, maybe she’ll be the one who makes me strong.

If you’re hurting right now, be proud of your heart. It’s been broken, cheated and stabbed but it’s still working. 2019 might just be your year.

My ex? We’re not friends, we’re not enemies. We’re just strangers, it’s just you and me.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

It’s complicated.

Day 3.

Maybe life has been reasonably safe for you in 2018, and that’s a fantastic thing, but could 2019 be an opportunity or time for a little danger? Christmas is gone, so if you’re making a list of what’s on your mind of what you want to achieve next year, you don’t need to check it twice. What is on the list for next year though, safe things or dangerous things? Get fit, don’t eat so much, lose weight, be in touch with people more? All of those things are great, but they’re safe, aren’t they? That’s okay, but isn’t the dawn of a new year a chance to stretch yourself and do some things that you didn’t think you could do, that you didn’t think was a possibility?

Everyone has a different impression on what constitutes taking risks. A bungee or parachute jump, travelling somewhere that you’ve never been before, moving house, perhaps starting something new with someone. Sure, the world is a dangerous place to live in at times, but isn’t part of enjoying it, experiencing something you never expected that you would?

It can be difficult though, because when you make any decision, the best thing you can do is obviously the right thing and probably the worst thing you can do is nothing at all. What if you don’t know which is which, whether to say yes or no to something? Maybe you seek advice from your friends, it’s not a bad idea. All of us are different though about what we perceive to be the right or wrong thing to do. Trust yourself?

Is the wrong thing at the right moment okay? It might not go as you planned, but it doesn’t mean that it was a bad idea or the wrong choice to make. Everything’s not going to go perfectly all of the time. Everybody has said or done the wrong thing and regretted it later, but at the time, you’re in the moment so you can’t help it. As you get older, you become more guarded about some things that you want to say yes to and you definitely get used to learn the things you want to say no to. Maybe the first thing that comes into your mind if you have to make a choice is the wrong thing. If you find yourself afraid or scared, does that means you’ve chosen poorly? Perhaps nothing’s dangerous if you know what you’re doing.

You still make a choice if you have to though, don’t you?

We used to message each other every day but then, all of a sudden, those messages stopped coming. There are no words that can be articulated to explain why, but clearly something changed. Something changed again and then she sends a new message years later. Suddenly, a decision is difficult. Stop and think about the words to reply with. Don’t reply at all? What’s going to happen? Could it be a thing? It’s dangerous to try and find out but a leap of faith is needed. Say yes and then worry about the consequences of it all going wrong later? Say no and regret not saying yes? It’s got the potential to be a new thing but is it dangerous for something to scare you that much? Tough to know, but tougher not to know? Your emotions have a way of playing with your head.

If it happens, will affection, appreciation and attention be enough? Maybe the biggest lesson is to not stop doing the things you did to get the person you want once you have them.

A dangerous choice needs to be made. Good or bad things will happen, fuck it, a reply is sent.

Am I out of my head, am I out of my mind? No one has to get it, just you and me. Nothing’s that bad if it feels good.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

The things no one can see.

Day 1.

Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year. If you have children, then maybe the 25th of December is all that it’s cracked up to be. Is there anything quite as heartwarming as the smile and the look of wonder on a child’s face, as they open their presents? Tradition is important at this time of the year. Presents, sure they’re materialistic, but who really cares? Everyone has their own things they do every year. Bucks fizz for breakfast, bacon rolls for lunch, maybe an afternoon nap. Isn’t part of the fun of the day, running downstairs on Christmas morning and discovering the pile of presents waiting for you under the tree, especially as a child? Is it really Christmas until the tree goes up? It’s all worth it though when you switch those lights on and see those smiles again. Don’t be doing that shit before December, it’s just not right.

A lot of us don’t have work to worry about for a couple of weeks, healthy eating goes out of the window, and it becomes acceptable to start drinking at 10am on a Tuesday morning. It’s also acceptable to be sitting around in your pyjamas all day and watching Christmas movies. You’ve checked out when your favourite Christmas film is on, Elf, maybe Home Alone. Usually when you have time off from work, there’s that pressure to actually do stuff. It’s different at this time of the year, you can sit back, have a few mince pies, a glass of something and feel no regrets. Spending time with family is maybe something that you don’t do much during the year, but the festive season is a chance to put that right. Sure, some of those family members might be annoying, but Christmas gives you that chance to spend some time with them.

It’s not always easy though if you’re not around the ones that you love. Christmas can be a lonely place and time. For all of it’s tradition of being together with family, it can make those feelings of loneliness feel difficult, regardless of who you have around. Tougher if you’re on your own though, right?

You can think too much about things just now. The year is nearly over and it’s been an emotional one. You’ve lost someone close to you, a relationship has ended, perhaps you’re not where you want to be or who you want to be with. The thought of a new year can be cathartic, hopefully everything changes for you if this year has been one that you’d rather forget. Time to make resolutions?

You can be who you were or who you’ll become.

How shit is it when you’re never more alone than when you’re in a relationship? Someone who has no inclination of your feelings and oblivious to your fears. There’s a casual compassion of friends sometimes, but on one level you understand it, everyone is busy at this time of year, even if they’re not religious. Better to be riding solo?

You don’t have anyone around to spend this magical day on, so what do you do? Travel is always a good plan, take yourself away and experience something and somewhere new. Dinner won’t be easy, but you could rock up somewhere and do something different, who says that pizza at Christmas is a bad idea? Shop for gifts for yourself, always nice to have something to open, even if you already know what it is. You can do all of these things and still be lonely though.

Maybe all you need to do is rejoice and reflect. Maybe things haven’t gone your way. Maybe you’re still grieving for everyone that you’ve lost in the last twelve months. It’s okay not to be immerged in the spirit of this time of year as long as you’re okay. It’s okay to remember one thing.

If it all goes wrong, just hold on.

@TheSamMcLeod

#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

You wet my eyes.

That initial feeling you have when you meet someone new, you expect or hope for fireworks. The feelings that you get when they do something that gives you goosebumps, the things that makes you smile. The gentle tug of your sleeve followed by said smile and a wink when they want you to look at something that they’ve seen, a wink that could melt a snowman’s socks. That person who could rearrange your soul with just one look, someone who fits with you like a plug in a socket. The type of sound they make when they laugh. Their laugh clearly belongs to them and you know immediately that you love it.The way that they play with their hair. It’s new, but it’s exciting and scary all at the same time.

Isn’t life for all of us a roll of the dice? You take a chance on someone because it might be the best thing to ever happen to you. Sure, you could get hurt, but you gamble, don’t you? Science will tell you that it takes a third of a second to fall for someone. If it goes wrong though, shouldn’t you be grateful that the wounds you have, you survived long enough to be able to lick?

A random Thursday is spent late night shopping with one of his best friends. A girl waves at them from across the street and whilst he doesn’t recognise her, his friend does. They cross over, they’re introduced, and she seems perfectly lovely. The two of them chat away as old friends do, and their accidental meeting ends with an invite to a party a couple of days later. His friend is into the girl, and begs him to come along. A plan is agreed, even if it’s shit, it’ll only be a couple of hours, no harm in meeting new people and helping out a friend. You want to impress everyone so he dresses accordingly.

It’s a nice night, a lot of people are in the back garden listening to music and enjoying themselves. It’s cool, a lot better than he thought it would be. He knows nearly nobody there but it’s okay. More than one girl takes his eye, but he also knows that’s not the best thing to be thinking about when he’s trying to be a good wingman for his friend. The night gets longer, the drinks flow and the conversations continue. One girl kept glancing at him but she wasn’t doing anything about it. They get to chatting as the evening passes, and he doesn’t have to give anything to her but his attention, something he was willing to do. When she stroked his neck, he finally dared to believe that it was going to happen. They kissed more than once, it was almost perfect.

The night ends and he goes home alone, but numbers are exchanged.

Circumstances alter when he finds out that she was already with someone when she kissed him, so they lose touch. It’s not something he wanted to do but it’s his decision and he’s okay with it. Eventually.

Weeks later, his phone rings at 2am and it’s her asking to see him. She’s nearby, can they talk? It’s nice to be nice, and no man should ever want a lady to be out on her own that late at night, so he acquiesces and apologies are made from her immediately for what went before. One of his rules is that as long as you say sorry for something you’ve done, no grudges are kept, everything is okay again. Forgiving can be forgetting. Trying to understand her was a bit like pointing a microphone towards the stage at a gig, and hoping to hear someone whisper, but he was willing to give it a go.

She’s single now and things progress between them as the weeks and months continue. His rental property agreement is coming to an end and whilst he’s thinking of moving in with a friend, they decide to get a place together. It’s great, they move in all of their individual stuff and both decorate together. Fabulous nights follow. He has a photograph of her on his bedside table and she has one of him on her one. Random thoughts became an actual reality. Discarded tubes of toothpaste, plates left in the sink and underwear left on the bathroom floor were things that he never expected, but it was okay because it was her. She tells him every day that she loves him but he doesn’t need to hear it if he has her word that she does. Once is always enough, just another rule.

A day comes and he can’t find his keys. They’re not on his side of the bed, so he checks her side, just in case they’ve fallen down there. A letter is found and it’s open and it’s from the guy that she was with when they first kissed. He shouldn’t read, but can’t help it. It’s pretty explicit and it’s clear that he’s visited their house more than once when he was away for work. His heart forgets to be a heart for a second. It’s been broken before but not like this.

If you go looking for something, then you might well find it. It hurts all the more when you find something that you didn’t want to, and you sure as shit, didn’t expect. It’s something, a whole lot of somethings. The problem with growing older with someone is that you realise that you’re into something bigger than yourself, so you have a responsibility to another.

She comes home but he doesn’t say anything, just gives a hug and says hey. Are the cruellest lies told in silence? Pretty quickly after, he watches as she texts someone that isn’t him. Clearly, sometimes pain is the driver and it doesn’t have brakes. There was so much she could have said but she chose not to.

He thinks she still loves him, but can’t try and escape the fact that he’s not enough for her. He’s not blaming her for falling back in love with an ex. There’s no anger either, just a lot of pain. He thought he could imagine how much this would hurt, but he was wrong.

It’s important for them to talk. She doesn’t know entirely why yet, but she’s about to find out. She knows there’s something that he’s not telling her. He knows it’s time to do something that he doesn’t want to do but he has to. There’s a look in her eye, maybe it’s regret. Who fucking cares any more. He holds her and looks directly in her eyes so she knows that he sees her. The conversation happens, they’re oil and water now and she knows it.

He leaves and now he’s not looking at her any more. He doesn’t turn around because he can’t, no point in looking back. He calls a girl who has been messaging him for weeks and who is clearly interested. He convinced himself that it wasn’t cool though, so he stopped after that initial call. Why? Not because he was thinking of finding someone new, but he didn’t want to be like her. No longer trusting someone is saddening if you still love them.

I only called her one time.

@TheSamMcLeod