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

Now I see you in a better place.

Caring. Loving. Manners. Politeness. The right thing.

You hold the door open for everyone. You apologise when people bump into you. Not something that you should do, but hey ho, you do it, the right thing. It’s definitely not the wrong thing. Politeness and manners though, never bad things.

Most of us, perhaps all of us would do anything for the people that we care about. The people that we love. Whatever they need, you’re there, aren’t you? A friendly ear, a hug, a smile a word of advice? It turns out that you’re considerate of other people’s feelings. Who knew? What if they’re really struggling though? If they have issues or problems going on, are you able to be there?

It’s not always easy to have that sense of intuition though as regards their life, about what they have happening to them. You could be forgiven for not knowing that anything is going on, for not knowing that everything isn’t okay. For not knowing that they might be having a difficult period. Sometimes, perhaps all of the time, that person in your life has to reach out to you. It’s easier said than done, granted, but don’t they need to let you know that everything isn’t okay and that they need your help?

If they don’t reach out though, what can you do? Not a great deal really. The one thing that you know intrinsically though is that you will do and have done anything and everything that you could. Hopefully for a large percentage of us, that’s in our nature. It’s inbuilt hopefully.

All of that should be part of your daily make up, shouldn’t it? Be good, be kind, be nice. No games. Always.

What happens though when you really need to step up? To do anything? To be the person that the one person in your life thinks that you can be. You step up, don’t you? What happens though when it’s tougher than you think? What happens when you lose someone close to you?

Sometimes the person who tries to keep everyone else happy is always the most lonely person, so never leave them alone, because they will never say that they need you.

He was a childhood friend but then suddenly he was gone, taking with him, like everyone does, a lifetime of private and unknown dreams, experiences, fears and hopes. Again, like everyone does when they pass, he left the good parts of himself behind to everyone that he loved and cared about.

He left pretty explicit instructions about what he wanted his friends to do with his ashes after he passed. Cheeky to the end. Scatter some of them from the top of the harbour bridge in Sydney. We don’t think we hit anyone. Let some go underneath the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Dump some into Niagara Falls. Spill whatever is left into the East River from the Brooklyn Bridge. We might have hit people in NY, it was windy! Apologies.

He had a soulful kindness, a never-ending generosity. My heart twisted in my chest when the call came. When every fibre of your being wants to shut down, do you have a choice? Not really. You know what you have to do. Just do the right thing, despite how hard it might be for you personally. You have to suck it up, it’s not about you any more. Whatever you are asked, no question, no possibility of saying no. You’ve been in tears for days, your eyes are red, you might look like you have a thousand yard stare. Staring at yourself in the mirror is a scary thing because you don’t want to see the face that’s looking back at you. You just get on with it though. Sometimes the sadness grips you so suddenly and with so much intensity that it takes every breath you have to just keep moving. The worst part is that you can do everything to protect your heart and it’ll still get broken.

Sometimes it’s better to just let things be, to let people go. Don’t fight for answers, don’t look for closure, don’t chase explanations.

It seems that he was just nursing a new secret in a life that was already full of old secrets.

It’s been easy since to have pangs of guilt from promises that weren’t kept about keeping in touch, we’ve all been there.

The lesson learned?

Love your fucking life with all that you can give. Take photographs of everything, especially the people that you love. Tell those people that you love them on a regular basis. Talk to random strangers. Do things that you’re terrified to do, because fuck it, all of us will die one day and not many people will remember a lot of the things that we did. Take your life and make it the best story in the world. Always choose happiness. Life is too short to fuck around with negativity, pain and remorse.

Friendship is when people know every little detail about you, but yet they still like you. Isn’t it?

@TheSamMcLeod