If.

How cool would it be if you could go back in time and have at your fingertips, all of the knowledge that you have now? If you could, you’d probably give your younger self a ton of advice. Which career path to follow, who you should pursue romantically, where in the world you want to see, decide on all of the things that you have in your day to day life that will make you happy. Sure, there will be some bad days and nights along the way, but you try as hard as you can to have the right people around you who enrich your life and automatically make your day better.

There will be a misstep now and again but just maybe our mistakes are the experiences that we need to learn. Things are constantly changing, you’re always evolving, whether it’s emotionally, physically or in any other number of ways. Your life won’t always be perfect, but don’t you want to look back on it and know that’s how you wanted it to be? You have to make the decisions though at some point, some easy, some more difficult, but time isn’t going to be on your side forever. Perhaps one day, you have an epiphany and you know what it is that’s out there for you from now on. Something can happen to you that makes you stop for a second and really think about your own mortality. Today was such a day. The human heart beats sixty to eighty times a minute. You don’t feel it, or notice it, but you certainly don’t want it to stop beating.

Has anyone ever made a bucket list?

I’ve done plenty of things in my life so far that I wanted to do, some big, some small. Get a tattoo, accept a dare. go on a blind date. Ask out the girl of my dreams, she said no, probably sensible on her part. Run across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise and sunset. Attend a film premiere. Look out from the crown of the Statue of Liberty, look out over New York from the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock observatory deck. See a band live in said city. Visit the Library of Congress, spend some time in Washington DC, visit the White House. To have done it when Obama led that great nation, was even better. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, it’s chilly up there, wrap up warm. Get lost in Venice with a girlfriend. Live in a different country, stand on the glassdeck of the Willis Tower in Chicago and check out the city. See the Northern Lights, take in a game at the Camp Nou. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Visit Arlington Cemetery. Cross the Equator. Ride the Cyclone at Coney Island and the Ferris Wheel in Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square. RIP. Not ashamed to say that I jumped in front of a kid just so that I could have the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. Sorry little man. Complete a Man v Food challenge. Try oysters. Buy someone a first edition of their favourite book. Visit the Red Light District in Amsterdam. If you’re about to ask a certain question, then the answer is no. Learn a foreign language that wasn’t forced on you from school. My Mandarin is fairly coming along! Stand on the pitch at Celtic Park. Complete a round of golf in under 100 strokes. Treat my girlfriend to front row seats to New York Fashion Week. Kiss a female celebrity. Look for the Loch Ness Monster. Ten minutes and that one was ticked off. Send a woman a drink across the bar. She didn’t send one back. Eat the hottest chilli pepper in the world. Dance on the piano from Big. See the Berlin Wall.

It’s nice when you can do things that you’ve always wanted to. Now’s the time to make a new list though.

If it’s meant to be, it’ll be?

There is no cure for curiosity, right? It’s difficult to take that first step and sometimes you don’t want to do all of your things alone. Maybe you need to take the plunge and ask the question, if there’s someone special that you want to share these things with? It’s a lot like penguins before they enter the ocean. Loads of them will go right to the edge, but none will leap into the water until one goes first, and then everyone follows. If one hesitates, they all hesitate. Take the chance, right?

Sometimes, you have no idea what it is you want, you just know you want. Sometimes, you know exactly what it is that you want to do though, to experience, to see. It can be difficult to think of things, on some days you’re not exactly getting punched in the face by the good idea fairy. If you make a list, does it matter if it has one thing or a hundred things on it? A small list is made. Baby steps, a list can always be added to.

Sit on the H of the Hollywood sign drinking bourbon. Write a book. Visit every NFL stadium, visit every MLB stadium. Combine them both and raise money for charity. I’m going to need some serious time off for that one. Visit Alcatraz and then run across the Golden Gate Bridge. Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Go to the airport and take the next flight to somewhere random. One of these is in progress and one will happen next weekend.

Wherever your story takes you, however difficult it is at the time, isn’t there is always some sort of hope that you’ll be okay? Better to be an optimist at heart?

The only things I like less than mysteries are surprises, so this will be a cathartic thing. You can put your entire personal life in a box and slam the lid shut but what’s the point? It’s a cliche but are we here for a good time or a long time?

Do we do all that we set out to do? Will we manage to tick everything off?

Maybe we do, maybe we don’t, maybe we will, maybe we won’t.

You have to ask yourself many questions when you’re making a list. What if you need to ask one more question?

@TheSamMcLeod

Minus the tears.

You can ask questions of yourself constantly. Sometimes those questions are not massively important in the grand scheme of things. What do I want for dinner? Which outfit am I rocking today? Now and again, the questions are a bit more serious. What do I want to do with my life, what do I want to achieve? Do I want to be in a relationship and in love? Who do I want that person to be? So many questions and sometimes, you don’t have all of the answers. Occasionally though, someone or something happens to you, and your question which you couldn’t find the answer to, gets answered for you.

Starting anything new is like a roller coaster. Ups and downs, but that’s okay, nothing is ever perfect. She was close to it though. I didn’t accidentally fall in love with her, but it wasn’t on purpose. You take a chance because you should. Sure, you might get hurt, but without taking the chance, how will you know? It would be like not going to the playground because you might fall off of a swing.

She was amazing. She is amazing. Her eyes have an endless twinkle. It took us some time but we got to the stage where we could mention the L word. Sometimes though, as good as things can be, and despite how long or short of a time that you’ve spent together, things come to an end. Could it be that the best time to figure out who you are, and what you really want out of life is just when someone breaks your heart?

We’ve all experienced being loved and we’ve all experienced having our hearts broken. Those experiences aren’t the same for everyone but we’ve all had them. It doesn’t matter who ended things, you’re both still allowed to hurt. One morning you’ll wake up and your heart, for the first time, won’t hurt as much as it did the day before. It might take a month, six months or a year of sleepless nights. You have to keep going. Letting go of someone doesn’t mean that you don’t care about them anymore. Perhaps you just hit that point when it dawns on you that the only person that you can really count on, is yourself. It’s not strength necessarily, isn’t it understanding? It can be the most painful thing you might ever have to do, hopefully though, you’ll get to a place where you’re okay again. Maybe one day, you’ll be able to have a relationship, even if it’s just a friendship. Right now though, any sort of relationship or any sort of conversation is out of the question. Both are irretrievable, at least for the foreseeable future.

I know we’re not supposed to talk.

In the aftermath of something ending, your brain works overtime, it would be easy to drive yourself crazy. You’re missing her or him, but you know that you need to move on. If you can’t do anything about it though, then you have to let it go. You know it’s for the best, and yet you still question things. Those fucking questions again.

Your heart and your head are a mess. Change is difficult, you can want to fight to hold on but sometimes it’s easier to not fight and to just let go. Maybe if you can manage to say goodbye to each other on decent terms, then there might be a future for you both in some way, shape or form.

I don’t want to and I can’t force it though. It’s causing hurt and pain, so this isn’t meant for me right now. Hurt and pain aren’t meant for any of us. Maybe when emotions are raw, the more you fight for something that isn’t for you, the more it’ll hit you back harder. It’s pretty much impossible to try and discard the memories though.

No matter how much suffering you’ve been through, you want to keep a hold of those memories. So I saved all of the messages, all of the texts, all of the videos. Those are the tangible memories, rather than the ones you think wistfully about in your head. Just to remind myself of how good it is. Shit, how it was.

I look at her eyes and there is a nothing there that means everything. Zero trace of anything that had gone before and I knew it was done. Relief, in a way, we were over. I felt an incredible sadness, because I might never look at her the same way again. I’ll never be that boy again because I was her boy. She might not admit it now, but she’ll never be that girl again because she was my girl. The girl who chased me to try and make me realise that she could be my everything. The girl who put up with me saying no all of the time but who loved me anyway, until something clicked in my head that all I wanted to say to her was yes.

My today is about to become my tomorrow. Time to move on? Impossible right now, the thought of it makes me feel like I’m standing on a diving board above an empty pool. When you tell yourself you’re done, you’re done. Aren’t you?

I shouldn’t miss you, I can’t help it, I just…

@TheSamMcLeod

Light up your wildest dreams.

When is the best time to start or try something new? Today, tomorrow? Maybe it depends on what it is, perhaps nothing should have a timescale. A new job, a new relationship, moving house, are all massive changes in your life. You can be excited and scared at the same time, just human nature, right? Fear plays a big part in all of our lives, it doesn’t matter who you are. Perhaps if you can understand that fear on some level, things become slightly easier. It doesn’t really matter if you’re scared of getting into a new relationship, or taking a new job, or moving, you have to confront your fears at some point.

A lot of the time, when we make a plan to change our lives, it’s easy to focus on all the practical stuff. Isn’t it true though, that changing your life starts with changing the way that you see things in your life? You don’t choose to alter things otherwise. You’ve identified that something isn’t quite right, so you look for something different that will make you happier. You’re brave, because change isn’t easy.

Change is scary, no doubt about it. What if it doesn’t work out? What if it does though? Maybe the only way to find out if you’re going to be truly happy, is to risk exposing yourself to everything. Everyone gets things wrong. Not many of us realise the importance of a decision until we make a mistake. If you make the wrong choice a dozen times in a row, does making the thirteenth choice right, negate everything that’s gone before? You can make errors, you can take a risk and look like the silliest person in the world, but you have to keep on going. Doing something different might give you cause for concern, but if it scares you, it might be a good thing to try. Whatever you decide to do though, you do everything to make sure that it makes you happy. Common sense.

Sure, doubts can happen, but don’t you still take that step? Mistakes are often seen as a failure, but are they really? You learn from everything. Regret what you’ve done, rather that what you haven’t? How many chances do we get in a lifetime, and if we let them go, will we regret them for the rest of our lives? Those moments, when we lose them, can’t be found again. They’re just gone. What if you decide against changing things for the better? You’ll never know about those lost chances, those lost opportunities, those lost possibilities. It’s okay to be scared though. So many of us live a life that doesn’t make us happy, but we don’t ever take the initiative to change our situation. Isn’t one of the best things about being alive, having a passion for adventure and experiencing new things?

Be something greater, go make a legacy?

For example, what would you give for one more night with someone that you’ve lost? One more conversation, one chance to make up for the times when you took them for granted because you thought that they would be around forever? Wouldn’t you grab every minute of it and never give any of those minutes back until there was nothing left of them? Why not do the same for yourself?

Not all decisions need to be permanent, but isn’t that the same with indecision? Don’t you need to make a choice either way? Maybe your future comes from your past. Maybe there is another life that you could have had, but you’re having this one, so you make it the best you can. What if something happens to you and you can make it a new one? Maybe you don’t settle down in one place or stick with the same job. Everyone is different though. Hopefully, most of us will live a long time and have the opportunity to change our lives and move into an experience, but it will only happen if we want it to.

Maybe everything you want is out there for you to grab it, but if you don’t reach for it, you’ll never know. The only person you need to convince is yourself. If things are perfect in your life, then you’re super lucky. If they’re not though, it’s time to convince yourself, that something needs to change.

Things are going to change.

Being in limbo hasn’t been much fun. A day came when it was time to start searching for different answers. Opportunities happen rarely on their own, sometimes you need to go out and find them. A new place to live, a new job, even someone new in your life. One step at a time though, right? Decide where you want to live. Find out what it is that you like doing best, and get someone to pay you for going to work every day. Let’s face it, the expert in what you do, was once a novice but you can be that person. High hopes. Discover if you’re ready for someone new. Two out of three seems to be okay with a certain American.

There can be many things in life that catch your eye, but not many catch your heart. You know which ones to go after.

A moment has just changed the game. Not just for me, but for a lot of people around me that I love dearly. I hoped this day would come, I didn’t know how but I always had a feeling.

Rewrite your history, light up your wildest dreams.

@TheSamMcLeod

There is not a single word, in the whole world.

When you start a new relationship, how early is too early to lay down the things that you both expect from each other? Where do you even begin, isn’t it more exciting to just get caught up in that initial whirlwind of something new, rather than worry about anything else?

If your mind made a choice for you though, wouldn’t it probably start with honesty between you both and work on things from there? Maybe it’s better to see how things progress first? You don’t want to have your words misinterpreted, you need to have them understood. Perhaps that takes time with someone new. The need that leaves you almost incapable of existing without the other person can be a tricky thing to deal with.

As your relationships with people move forward, whether just a friendship or not, you begin to realise that there are people in your life that you would crawl over broken glass for.

A lot of us have best friends. That one person that you know that you can rely on, despite anything else in the world. It doesn’t matter if you live next door to each other or if you’re thousands of miles apart, both of you know that you’re there for the other person. No matter what, no questions asked. If you’re lucky enough, maybe your partner is your best friend and you get to see them every day. Sometimes, you never have to worry about who has your back, who is behind you. Some people are not worth the risk. Some are. It’s important to choose wisely.

There is a lot to be said for having the person that you love beside you. Saturday nights on the sofa with a film. Sunday mornings reading the newspapers together. Days and nights out together. Don’t you realise that you only need those things when you need them? There’s no instruction manual though for how a relationship should progress. It doesn’t matter if it’s a romantic one or something purely platonic, you both just try and work things out the best you can, don’t you?

A day will come when you can feel like you’ve known someone for beyond forever. When you’re friends with someone, you don’t have to have anything in common with the people you’ve known since you were both in primary school. With old friends, you’ve got your whole life in common.

Your oldest friend isn’t always your best friend. What if they were one day though, and then they weren’t the next? Your initial reaction might contain a mixture of anguish, confusion and hurt. Wouldn’t you settle for being their second best friend? Doesn’t it depend on the circumstances? You want that person who is your first everything, because they’re the best. You’d take second any day.

We’ve been friends for longer than either of us care to remember. One day, I get an email and she’s gushing about this new man that she’s met. It’s pretty much impossible to be anything other than happy when the people that you care about most are happy. I was happy for her, for him and for me, because my best friend was happy. That’s how it should work, right? Shouldn’t the world run on happiness?

Endless conversations happened, visits were made to each other from thousands of miles apart and there was a glow in her eyes that I hadn’t seen in a long time. You can be incredibly delighted for someone and it should enrich yourself. That’s what I saw and it was amazing. This girl that I’d held hands with on the first day of primary school had met the man that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. Fedex and UPS can track millions of packages a day but some of us can’t find the one person to share the rest of our life with. I was a tiny bit jealous but not for long. It was lovely to see. They liked a lot of the same things. Physical attraction is important but isn’t having someone that makes you challenge yourself, smile, think, just as valuable? She told me that was what they had, it sounded like absolute perfection. They had promises in their gaze, promises to each other.

Sometimes a day comes though, and you realise that tomorrow will be different. Their ending was never supposed to be written. Trying to understand it all would be like shouting at the clouds, maybe sometimes the stars just don’t align. How were you to know?

It’s easy to think that two people are like one and one is none.

A call comes and the heartbreak is almost palpable over the telephone. We speak for six hours and then she sleeps. A decision is made, a journey of over three thousand miles is sorted, unbeknownst to her. You do something, because it’s the right thing to do. You can’t save everyone in your life but it’s your best friend, so you try. It’s not like you’re trying to make the world safer for everyone else, it’s just that one person who needs you now and maybe they don’t even know it. Isn’t love is giving a piece of your life to try and mend the holes in the life of another? Little things sometimes can make all of the difference. Sometimes all you can do is hold a friend closely and wish that you could take their pain away.

It’s difficult to imagine how someone can be happy when their fate lies in someone else’s hands, ready to be destroyed at any moment. Two pieces of a puzzle sometimes feel like they should fit together, but now, they couldn’t be further removed from each other.

Needless to say it was a surprise, but in true testament to our friendship, we picked up right where we left off. Hugs, crying, laughing, hours of absolute silence. Sometimes, some things are better left unsaid but those periods of quietness were never uncomfortable. The silence doesn’t have to invade, you can let it in of your own volition.

Witnessing someone who is very close to you struggle with their sadness is heartbreaking. It can consume you and you know that nothing is going to be the same for a long time. Their pain radiates onto you. If things cast a shadow in your relationship, then they can be pretty hard to look past or forget, not many things grow in the shade. That was their relationship but we both know that we’ll always be golden. We’re friends.

You do anything you can when a friend is struggling. When your heart is torn from your chest, sure, it hurts but it’s so much worse for them. You listen as much as you can, you give advice where appropriate. If someone has hurt someone close to you, isn’t it natural to want to exact some revenge, to try and hurt them back? Even if you’re going to throw verbal punches, do you ever know which ones are going to land? What’s the point? You focus on your friend.

He knows what he did and neither of us will ever forgive him. Nobody is perfect, we all understand that but you don’t say one thing and do another. It’s okay to fuck up, just as long as you learn something. You can’t always choose the situation that you find yourself in but you can choose how you react to it. Lesson learned and for more than one of them.

Maybe life is about more than moments with someone though? Don’t we all want something to do and something to look forward to for ourselves, as well as someone to love? Maybe life is about choices. They have to be made, but they always have consequences. Maybe we’re the vehicles of our own fate. All you want sometimes is to be happy, but is happiness a selfish desire?

It turns out that friends can break your heart too, but she has another that she can count on. Forever. Forever ever.

You’re my best friend. Remember two things, I love you like mad and just let the pain remind you hearts can heal.

Your timing was so wrong.

Remember when you were younger and everything was simple and there was no limit to your future? It was easy to think that nothing was going to hurt you with your eyes shut. As we get older though, we get scared now and again of things that we weren’t when we were little. No monsters hiding under the bed any more, no need to sleep with a light on, the fears become different, the older you get. There’s no point of being scared of everything, although no one should be ashamed when they feel afraid, we all do sometimes.

It’s tough to tell someone, especially yourself, not to be scared. There’s always something worse out there, right? It’s normal behaviour to shy away from the things that we’re scared of. Perhaps the more you do something though, the fear is not on your radar as much anymore. When you’re scared, when life is causing you to evaluate what you’re doing and where you’re going, then maybe you’ll find out what you’re really made of. Maybe you take a risk or two? Better to be the person that fucked up, than someone that didn’t even try. There will be days when you can’t see clearly, even with a telescope. Those days when you couldn’t pour piss out of a shoe if the instructions were written on the bottom.That’s okay though, on other days, maybe it’s your job to win the Oscar for the person that most has their shit together.

Chaos, darkness and uncertainty can hover around you when you’re frightened. Maybe we’re scared to try new things because we think we have to get them right, the first time round. Leaving a job and starting a new one? Ending a relationship because you think that you want to be with someone else? Leaving your home and starting fresh somewhere anew?

Being scared can be quite cathartic at times though. Maybe a rule that more of us should have is that if we’re scared of something, we just do it. How brave do you feel when you’re doing things that scare you? A bungee jump, a skydive, anything that takes you out of your comfort zone? You should allow yourself a smile in those moments. Doesn’t everyone deserve to wear a smile sometimes? Each of us are brave, perfect and unique, all at the same time. How cool is that?

It can be scarier if things have to change for you because you had to make the decision because of the actions of someone else. We all make errors of judgement but it’s easy for a mistake to turn into something worse. You don’t want to miss out on the rest of your life out of some misplaced sense of loyalty for someone who badly messed up. Once trust is broken, it’s pretty fucking hard to superglue it back together. If it had happened before, it’s no coincidence now. Coincidence had been left out of your lexicon years ago. You can forgive, but sometimes, forgiving is not forgetting. Now you don’t have two people looking out for you, it’s down to one. Scary as ever, but brave.

Some days are harder than others. One day is like a sky of rainbow sherbet, and then others feel like your life is that side of beef that Sylvester Stallone used as a punching bag in Rocky.

One day though, a chance of something new presented itself. It scared the shit out of me, I hadn’t felt a feeling like it, in what seemed forever. An opportunity for something exciting, a chance to leave some things behind. Some bad, some good. Exciting but scary. Terrifying, really. It felt so cold in that moment, that prostitutes could’ve charged me to blow on my hands and I would have coughed up. Maybe though when you’re afraid of everything though, nothing can hold you back?

It’s a cliche that life is a marathon, not a sprint, but sometimes don’t we want to sprint the marathon? We want immediately to know what comes next, what life has in store for us. Opportunities. Sometimes, all you need though need is a little luck. You can find hope when you’re in the middle of the most hopeless of nightmares. Are you less scared now, will people still try to pull you down? If they want to tear you apart, they better pull hard.

Having someone or something as an anchor holds you in this world and that’s comforting, even if it’s just yourself. You can feel a need to leave sometimes, but then at the same moment, you realise that you have nowhere to go, nowhere to be. Maybe sometimes to speed things up, you need to slow down. Ironic. Until the penny drops, like a copper in a fountain or a well, it’s just one of your wishes, waiting to be fulfilled. One day that chance comes, and you realise that your life can change forever, and for so much the better. You take the opportunity, don’t you?

Being scared kicks in again though and hesitation is too close for comfort. Do you take a chance on what you could have against the security of what you do have? Or perhaps, what you thought you had? Trying to decide, you can drop enough f-bombs to be heard in another hemisphere.

The city had started to darken. Staring out across the impossibly quiet New York night, a decision was made. There was a moment when I was incredibly scared that I’d blow my chance because I was afraid. It was a lifechanger, it would undoubtedly alter the chessboard of a lot of other people’s lives in a big way too. It took a while to decide, fear had reared it’s ugly head again. Was that opportunity still there? It wasn’t impossible, but is was improbable. Thankfully, yes, it was. It’s not goodbye to the people that I’m leaving behind, but perhaps, but some things are better left unsaid. Just for now, not forever. Sometimes you have to break your own rules, sometimes you have to protect yourself.

We might hope or think that wherever we’re going isn’t as bad as where we’ve been. Many cities in the world are beautiful cities. Like many beauties though, they can be temperamental. Like everything else that frightened you when you were small, it’s okay to be scared of opportunities.

There’s so much out there that we’re missing out on. We shouldn’t miss out on anything, we’re here until we’re not. For me, it was a long time being who I wasn’t. Missing something isn’t a feeling that you have to fix, but what if you need or want to fix it? Especially if it’s yourself or something important to you.

I thought we were done with each other. We’re not. I thought that I wouldn’t see you again, but I will. We have history and now we have a future. I don’t have the slightest clue as to what I’m getting myself into, but I think that it’s going to be fun finding out. It’ll be an adventure and I’m not scared any more.

Nothing’s going to hurt me with my eyes shut.

@TheSamMcLeod

Fuck.

When you’re with someone new, all you want is to be around them all of the time. That’s infatuation though, not love, right? Sometimes you’re going to need some time to yourself. Sometimes all you want is to say come and give me a fucking hug. Sometimes you just want to be alone. It’s not not love just because sometimes you want space.

We all have to like someone before we can love them though. She was easy to like. A little bit quirky, a little bit different to a lot of other girls. Sure, she was pretty, but there was substance behind her looks. Someone who you could be comfortable with, and whose company was always enjoying and stimulating. Love comes later. Is it a conscious thing though, rather than a feeling? You decide to tell someone that you love them but perhaps that only rolls off of your tongue after you feel that you’re falling for someone.

If you’re in love, you’re having a good time already. You’re with that one person that you adore and anything that they say or do brings a smile to your face. It never enters your head for a moment that in the excitement of finding someone new, there’s at least one other person out there in the world nursing a broken heart.

When you move on from like to love, then things become more special between you. You should tell that person how special they are because what if no one else ever has? Kisses that go on for hours, those hugs where you don’t want to let go. Perfection.

You discover more. There were shared interests of music, of fashion, of politics, about almost too many things to be able to believe. Sentences were often finished by each other.

Little presents would be bought occasionally, just because someone saw something and it reminded them of the other. Holidays were taken and memories were made. Getting lost in foreign cities but knowing that you’d find your way to where you needed to get to, because that one special person was by your side. Taking thousands of photographs so that you could look back and smile.

Conversations could be deep and meaningful one minute and then absolute nonsense the next. It was like a special language. As things progress and the further you both fall, the topic of conversation can get more serious. Where are we going, what is the plan, how long can this last?

You said forever, and I did too.

Fuck.

Isn’t it true that you’ll never know all that there is to know about someone, just as they’ll never know all there is to know about you?

That moment it dawns on you when you think you’re important to someone, but it turns out that you’re not any more. You can be angry, you can be sad, but no one can tell you how you should feel in that moment. Of course, it hurts like hell if someone tells you that they don’t want you any more, but wouldn’t it be worse if they didn’t tell you? It hurts because it was important, it mattered to you. Doesn’t there come a time though when you realise that you don’t, probably all of us don’t, always love the right person at the right time?

Words hurt more than anything else can sometimes, because they last forever. The pain in itself is going to be okay in time. What might linger on for a bit, the thing that hurts the most, is the person that caused you to feel that pain. What do you do when the one person you want comfort from the most, is the one who’s causing your pain? You want to be in their arms but you’d be equally as happy if they were hundreds or thousands of miles away from you.

Sometimes, someone you care about, someone you love, will hurt you. If it happens again and again, when do you tell yourself that enough is enough? It’s a difficult conversation to have, isn’t it? You can give, you can love, you can trust but it’s always the same person that gets hurt. You.

So, you decide to be alone for a while and to concentrate on yourself. It’s not the worst idea you’ll ever have, but maybe you just don’t want to be attached to anything or anyone any more.

You’d trade all of your tomorrows alone for a chance to go back to the first 24 hours that you had with them though. Wouldn’t you?

Maybe one day, it could be months or years later, you’ll get an email or a text out of the blue from them. Do you respond? On the surface, it seems like an easy decision, but let’s face it, you’ve moved on because you had to, and you found a better place. Will it be different the second time around? It’s unlikely, right? You shouldn’t get your hopes up because you’ve read and lived this story before and you know how it ends.

This love story could have been near perfect but sadly it only lasted a few chapters, certainly not as long as was first thought when the first page was opened. It’s not a unique story, it’s happened to people the world over and will continue to happen.

Those memories that you cherished so much, then became the same ones that tear you apart. Those photographs will likely be stored away, rarely to be looked at. The memories, like some people, just begin to fade away.

I almost forgot about you.

Exhale.

How we view ourselves is different from how others view us, isn’t it? We all live in a world where everyone likes what they like. Different food, different hobbies, different people, just how it should be.

Take good looking people for example. Does it matter how physically attractive someone is, if they don’t appreciate your personality? Everyone might think differently, because what you might find to be attractive is different from what someone else will find to be attractive. Also, your personality can make you more or less likeable, can’t it? Your personality, your outlook on life, your sense of humour are a massive part of what attracts someone to you. Isn’t compatibility based on how you and your partner think about each other are as a human being?

There are so many girls that are out of my league, no question. When you tell yourself that someone is out of your league, you begin believing it, don’t you? You ask someone out for dinner or drinks and they say no. It sucks. When someone turns us down, it’s always because of self doubt. We think that we’re not good enough in any facet of our life to hold onto this person’s attention. Maybe we’re not attractive enough.

Even when the situation is one that we don’t think we can control, don’t we all put people into a category? Too pretty. Too handsome. Not pretty enough. Not handsome enough. It’s incredibly judgemental but haven’t all of us seen two people together as a couple and wondered, “How the hell did they end up together?” If we think that way, aren’t we all contributing to a problem in life that we really don’t need? Who decides who is out of your league? Just you, right? As well as everyone else perhaps?

Doesn’t it all boil down to the fact that a lot of us think that physical beauty is the most important thing when we look for someone new? Are we all that predictable? Hopefully not. Aren’t we hurting our own self-perception though when we think that way? It’s hard to be vulnerable with anyone, especially if you think that someone will reject you. If you give into that fear, aren’t you actually missing out on some really great experiences. You’ll never know.

Before you even decide who is in your league or not, don’t you evaluate yourself? The mirror is an unforgiving mistress. Am I a six out of ten? Maybe a seven? A four? Who fucking knows if you don’t? What if someone else thinks that you’re a nine? Will I even give them the chance to tell me? We’re our own worst critic, and with that, comes self doubt. When we’re insecure, our self-esteem goes through the floor. When we think like that, how shit would it be if the person you liked, decided to like you back and then you thought that you weren’t a match because you thought that they were better than you? Don’t you trust yourself to have an interest in someone with similar qualities to yourself? It’s tough though.

Don’t we need to stop forming daft opinions based on how beautiful someone’s eyes are, how much the shape of their lips make us smile, how much their eyes sparkle when we look at them? No, would probably be the right answer, but all of those things are still important though, aren’t they?

The thing is, not everyone is like you or me. We all have a different idea about who we want as our significant other. Perhaps the point is that someone’s looks shouldn’t hold any more value than what their personality does. Their mind is more important than how they look or how their body is surely?

Shouldn’t we all stop buying into ideas about who we should see and about who should be interested in wanting to be with us? Remind yourself of this as regularly as you can. Also, remind yourself that no one is out of your league either.

At first, I thought people who were incredibly attractive were out of my league. You’d think once I realised that not everything is about looks, my thoughts wouldn’t be as shallow. It’s not that transparent though. I believed that if someone was smarter than me, or funnier than me, that they too were out of my league. Needless to say, I was wrong.

Aren’t the thoughts of our relationship goals being upset, by knowing that the other person is hotter, and being far more attractive than we are? Intimacy is traded for vulnerability. Feelings can go and fuck themselves at times.

Ironically, personality is such a big factor, so knocking back a person because of how they look could make you lose out on a person who could be great for you, if you just got to know them. On the flip side they might be totally wrong for you. How do you know until you try though?

No risk, no reward, right? If you like someone, you might as well try. Rejection? A definite possibility. Thing is though, you also might find that someone that you never thought would find you attractive actually likes you a lot. You need to ask though, or you need to answer the question if it ever comes. Have some courage.

She asked me to go for dinner. I haven’t said yes or no yet, I’m conflicted. She’s far too pretty and I’m average at best. She’s cute, she’s hilarious and she’s so self aware, how the hell am I ever going to match up to her? She’s out of my league.

We’re not out of touch but are we out of time?

@TheSamMcLeod