Don’t let yourself sink.

‘Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.’ James Conant, a former president of Harvard said those words, clever guy. Maybe the consonants and vowels that left his mouth are about stepping out into the unknown and finding out what we’re all made of, perhaps trying to find that positive attitude towards change and your willingness to take risks in order to move forward with everything that you have going on in your life. Some days are easier than others though, aren’t they?

Just how it is, different things have a way now and again of hurting your heart or throwing you a curveball. When whatever you have going on throws you a left hook, you always want to hit back harder if you can. Easier said than done sometimes, but the thing is, if you look hard enough inside, you can always find something redeeming in even the worst of situations. It would be nice if we were immune to hurt, emotionally and physically but none of us are superheroes.

That said, the easiest thing in the world to do when you’re struggling with things is to sit and feel sorry for yourself. Hopefully a day comes though when you’re done sulking, you realise that you need to suck it up and fight back. Stick on the big boy pants and start with the one person that you can directly affect, maybe you’ll surprise yourself. Haven’t you got to keep moving on, try and get past all of the bad shit and look for something that will keep you moving forward? There’s nothing easier than doing all of the things that we always do, but when you get that feeling of doing that something different, shouldn’t you try and begin a new chapter? Sure, it matters what your life story has been up until that moment when you get that you’re not happy, or when you realise that you need something more. Undoubtedly, special things have happened to you so far, you’ve perhaps met the best person in your life that you’ll ever meet, you know that you have someone that you’ll love forever unconditionally. How about embracing the fact that you can write the rest of your story though, even if it’s just a tiny part?

We’ll all check out one day but before you do, don’t you want to check in first? Do something that you’ve always wanted to do, even if it’s risky, even if it might accelerate the checking out process? None of us wants to let the world rob us of something that we’ve always dreamt about doing. Sometimes you realise where it is that you need to be in that one moment when you suddenly get it and you need something to get you through whatever you’re experiencing right now. Maybe it’s time to completely let go of what you know, what you’ve been comfortable with, even just for a little while.

You haven’t come this far to fall off the earth.

When January 1st comes around, we all hope and believe that the new year will be our year. Some of us will make resolutions, hopefully most of us stick to them, but there’s that curveball again, something happens that you didn’t see coming. The end of a friendship, a relationship. The start of a new friendship, a new relationship. Illness, having to move house, switching jobs, fuck, it could be almost anything, couldn’t it? Good and bad things, they happen to all of us.

2019 is not going to plan so far.

Flying thousands of miles across the world to try and resurrect something that never really stood a chance. Having people that are important pass on. Being subjected to unexpected hospital stays, leaving said hospital, and then having to go back because your male pride makes you ignore medical advice because you had a ticket for the game. Spot the idiot. It turns out that this idiot though accidentally did something good amongst all of the bad, this unexpected stay might actually do some good and take care of something that was unexpected. That said, anyone who’s ever been in hospital knows how lonely a place it can be, what is there to do? If you said to your younger self that you’d spend more than 20 hours of your day in bed, you’d be pretty excited. Who is she, do we take showers together, where do we order food from, does anywhere deliver beer? Do I even float the idea of her wearing a Celtic top?

Just silliness, but a long time spent on your own gets you to thinking. If you’re facing challenges, isn’t it natural for your thoughts to turn to all of the things that you always wanted to do? Like every other choice or decision in your life, you need to pick one first, the rest can follow later. Sometimes you have no clue where the ideas about all of the things that you want to do in your life came from.

The night grows dark, but I’m wide awake. I post a tweet looking for advice about something that I’ve always wanted to do and a good friend replies with a belter of a recommendation.

I have zero clue why, but riding a freight train across the US has always been a thing. Is it illegal? Yes. Is there a chance of being arrested? Absolutely. Could I die? You know it. NYC to LA is the preferred option, always good to end a trip with meeting a close friend. There was a study conducted once and a thousand people were asked if they could know in advance whether or not they would want to know the day of their death. 96% of people said no. Is it wrong to want to be one of the other 4%? Chances are, it might be on one of those days. The journey could last a day, it could last a month.

On the outside looking in though, doesn’t it seem that people who are the happiest do whatever it takes to get to whatever they feel one of their highest points is to overcome all of their obstacles? Perhaps it begins with doing something that you never thought you’d do.

What will it take? Courage, determination, hope, perseverance and strength. Damn skippy, but that’s the same for anyone of us who’s fighting with something. It’s tough but don’t giving up on something that’s challenging.

Wherever it is that you want to get to, make fucking sure that you appreciate the view.

Just keep your head above.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

The world could change it’s heart.

Day 2.

The time for the tradition of making resolutions in 2019 is edging closer.

If something has happened to you this year that’s knocked your self-confidence, then isn’t there only one resolution to make for 2019? Love yourself more? There are other things that are important, of course there are, but is anything more vital than your own self-esteem being at a healthy and high level? Maybe one of the best days you’ll ever have arrives when you decide that your life is your own. It sets you up to be better to everyone else that you care about or that you come across during every day, doesn’t it? No point in beating yourself up over any mistakes that you might have made in the past. There’s no longer a need to say or make an excuse to anyone, now you lean and rely on yourself. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stand in your own sunshine.

Life becomes better, surely? Those difficult decisions that you need to make in your life are a bit easier to decide upon because you trust yourself more. What’s the point taking this incredible journey through your life with the handbrake on? Wouldn’t that make you feel more deserving of all of the good things that you desire? You might find that you have more focus than ever before, you can go and try and achieve all that you want. Treating yourself better can be tough but how great could it feel, if and when you get there?

You move forward and and hopefully you doubt yourself less than you did before. Your opinion of yourself increases, so maybe you don’t need the attention or validation from other people that you did before, certainly not those individuals that caused you pain in 2018. Why worry about what others think of you, do you care more about their opinion than you do your own? Accept who you are, but go ahead and make the changes that you want to, not just because you think that someone else wants you to be different. You’d give anything for an inner stability, wouldn’t you? It’s tough when things you have going on are negative or uncertain at times but all of us can push through, even if you might need some help now and again. Keep the good people close.

Maybe there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark.

Don’t we all need to realise how important that we are to the lives of some people? How essential you can be to someone that you might never even have met. Don’t we all leave something of ourselves when we interact with another person? Maybe 2019 will be the year that you find a shit ton of stuff to care enough to make room for in your life. You should be number one though.

No one wants to be relying on someone else for our happiness. If you have someone that you love and are in love with, then that’s fantastic, but make you happy first of all. Let someone in when you know that you’re ready to trust yourself to be in touch with everything that you’ve got going on. Maybe it’s the case that if you can’t love yourself, no one else will be able to. Isn’t it only you that’s responsible for you?

Go and do that one thing that you want to do in 2019. There will always be someone out there to tell you that you’re making the wrong decision but lose them from your life, fuck what they think. It’s about you. Baby steps, but you don’t need to know what the entire world needs, what is it that you need? Go and do it. Why waste time?

Each of us has suffered various emotions this year. Feeling defeated at times, hurting at loss, struggling to know where we are or where we’re going, but we’re still here.

Beautiful people don’t just happen. Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.

We’re stars and we’re beautiful

#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

Live on and be yourself.

Someone once said that in everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

I’ve never been one of those people who have had dozens of friends. I have a small circle of really close friends who I would do anything for. Due to circumstance, I moved house a lot when I was younger and to very different geographical locations within Scotland and beyond. In hindsight, it was a good thing because I managed to meet some people who I managed to connect with and build a friendship with.

Still though, I’ve managed to retain contact with the people that matter most. That’s how it should be, right?

There are four of us boys that are incredibly close and those boys have always been there for me when I’ve needed them. No questions asked, they always have my back if needed and I’m the same for them. We’ve shared good times, some bad times, some secrets and pretty much anything that you could think of.

Today, one of our band of four, shared the biggest secret yet. He told us that he was gay and that he’d met someone that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.

Massive news to us but more massive for him. He explained that he’d wanted to tell us for years but was afraid that we’d discard him as a friend. Proud is not the right word but I’m glad that we all told him in unison that we liked, respected and loved him no matter what.

The other three of us had no idea.

We went out as a foursome as teenage boys and did what teenage boys did. We hit on girls that were way above our league. We were unsuccessful more times than not but our friendship and banter more than made up for it.

We’re good friends and I’m so proud of all of them. Especially proud of one of those people tonight. I’ll stand there at your wedding and will be as proud as punch.

Congratulations to you both!