Maybe you’re listening.

There are times during certain situations when words escape you, when you don’t always know what to say. Maybe someone you know has suffered the loss of someone close to them, or is going through the heartbreak that can come with the end of a relationship. Maybe someone has asked you a question and it’s thrown you completely. Sure, you know plenty of things, but your world is filled with a lot of other stuff that you don’t know anything about. The right words to say can be one of those things. Not always being able to say the right thing, at the right time is confusing, but it’s something that happens to all of us now and again. You can nail it, you can know in that moment exactly what you need to say, but then, on occasion, you have the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

Aren’t there so many times in your life when an email, a phone call or a text just won’t cut it? You need to have an actual conversation. Some of us find it easy to open up, whilst some of us are emotional hand grenades. Every day of your life involves you answering questions. No, yes, I’m not sure. Some questions are clearly more difficult than others, but the answers even more so. The ability to say yes or no is easy for some, but can be so difficult for the rest of us.

Take meeting someone new that you like, for example, isn’t all that you want to do is to enchant, impress or surprise them? Your reply to every question they ask you, is usually yes. It takes courage to say no though when a part of you wants to be saying yes. There’s no point in saying maybe, if you feel like you should say no. If you’re at a loss for words, isn’t it better to learn to keep your mouth shut? If you can’t find the right words, if everything you might say could be wildly off the mark, perhaps you should remind yourself that this could be the right time to listen? No is a complete sentence though. Don’t you have a right to say the n word without having to explain yourself? Maybe you say no to a lot of things, just so you can say yes to the one person or the one thing that you know you want. We all have different hopes and dreams, but don’t some of them go on hold if someone says no to you?

No one ever intrinsically really wants to hurt someone’s feelings if they ask you something important, and you can’t say yes. You might not always want to care too much, but you do, don’t you? The problem is knowing how to say no.

The ninth letter and the sixth letter of the alphabet. I and F, if. When someone asks you an important question, doesn’t so much weight hang on that one word? There are so many things we feel we should do or say that we really don’t have to. Sometimes we do have to though.

If I was asked a difficult question, I’d like to think I’d know just what to say.

It was a Saturday night and a friend is having a housewarming party. It’s always nice to get invited to things, so obviously the response is yes. I’ll know next to no one there, but there’s a fun element in meeting new people and having conversations about different subjects that I’ve maybe never had before. He’s super popular with everyone, a cool trait to have. There are so many people of so many various creeds, faiths and nationalities in his place, that Benetton could rock up to film a new advert, and no one would bat an eyelid. Wine is opened, there are a ton of beers in a bath that’s filled with ice, there are so many spirits and mixers on the go, you could make pretty much any cocktail that you want to. New people are met, conversations are had, and there is so much laughter. Pretty much a perfect evening so far. It looks like everyone is having a good time, people who have never met before add each other on Facebook and Twitter, because connections have been made. Numbers are exchanged.

The kitchen is the best place to be whilst at a party, right? A side effect of this, is that you end up opening beers for people or topping up their wine glass, but that’s okay. Standing next to the one bottle opener and corkscrew is my own fault, but it’s cool, always a good conversation starter. A girl that I’ve never met or even noticed yet, is looking around confused. I ask her if she’s okay, and she replies that she is, she just needs more wine. It’s lucky that someone is stood in the same postcode as a corkscrew. I ask which colour she would like, and I duly oblige. We start chatting, and she tells me that she’s Canadian and is travelling around Europe before having to go back home to start a new job in a month or so. Her conversation is on point, she’s clearly clever, and the time that we chatted with each other was enjoyable. As is the case at most parties, you get speaking to other people though, and your conversations move on.

I live in the city, so I know that I’m headed home alone, but his place is huge and a lot of people will be staying over, because they’ve travelled to see him and they don’t know the city. She’s one of those people. We bump into each other again later on in the night, clearly she needs more wine, and we chat once more. She asks for recommendations of things to see and do, and I scribble down the best attractions and the things that she shouldn’t miss, I’m not just a guy with corkscrew skills. One of the things I mention is the beach and she seems super excited to see it, and asks me if I would like to go with her, some friends and grab a coffee or an ice cream tomorrow. Given that coffee is always best enjoyed on a Sunday morning, I agree, and we arrange a time to meet back at my friend’s place, and then I can show her and her friends around.

I return at the admittedly early arranged time, but it’s only her standing there, everyone else is too hungover, it seems. It’s cool though, a couple of hours at the beach is always good, whether alone or in company. I point out things on the way, she takes plenty of photographs, of the buildings, of the beach, of the dolphins that we see swimming in the harbour and we grab coffee. It was fun, I walk her back, we hug, say our goodbyes, and I head back home. Not at any point has anything romantic ever crossed my mind, I was just being nice. If someone is nice or polite to you, it doesn’t always mean that they’re flirting with you.

A couple of days later, I get a message asking if I’d like to go and visit her, have dinner, drinks and stay with her? Maybe I could join her on the next part of her trip and we could see more things together? How bad are men at reading signals? The dots begin to connect, but everything has changed in that moment. Too many things are in the cons column for it to even be a possibility. I’m going to have to say no to her because I still want to be saying yes to someone else.

Maybe I don’t know anything anymore. Perhaps the silence, between that message coming through and me still not replying, is only awkward because I don’t have any confidence in it. Don’t you have to decide who your priority is without feeling guilty? I don’t want to hurt you, but it’s not fair to say yes, when I need to say no.

I write because I never know just what to say.

@TheSamMcLeod

Pretending.

Omertà. Among the Mafia, it’s the code of silence about criminal activity and a refusal to give evidence to the police. It’s a slight variation of the Italian word, umiltà, which means humility. It’s about having rules and solidarity with the people that you’re closest to.

Maybe all of us in our lives have an internal code of conduct. A way of how we want to live, how we want to behave every day, how we want to be perceived by others. Is it just morality? Perhaps it’s intrinsic inside you, something that you know that you have to stick to at all times, no matter what, no questions asked.

Some rules are nowhere near as important as morality, but if you make rules, you have to stick to them. No possibility at all of deviating from them, no matter how much you might want to. Some rules are meant to be broken, but there are also rules that you can’t break. Omertà.

Ladies have a code, right? You can be damn sure that some boys have one too, although, clearly, they all vary between groups of friends, mine included. Some of the rules are serious, some are ridiculous but they’re all adhered to.

If you’re introducing a friend to a girl that you know that he likes, he automatically becomes the best guy on the planet. You talk him up in every single way that you can. It’s always your job to be a good wingman.

It’s unacceptable to try and hit on your friend’s girl, during, or after their relationship. You’re also forbidden from asking her if she has any friends that she can set you up with. Not cool.

It’s your responsibility to tell your friend if you ever discover that his girl is being unfaithful.

If your friend has a girl, you’re always super nice to her every time that you’re in her company. If he asks for your honest opinion on her though, then that’s what he gets. No bullshit, no sugarcoating, no pretence. If we see that girl messing you about and expecting you to do whatever she wants you to, all of the time, a serious conversation will be had.

If your friend is out with a new girl for the first time, and within the first ten minutes he’s not feeling it, you will answer his cry for help text with a call, giving him an excuse to slip away. 100% of the time.

No man hug takes place without a handshake first.

No selfies, even if a pretty girl asks you to take one with her. It’s not happening, they’re strictly forbidden.

If the girl wears sunglasses on top of her head, she’s given a wide berth. Just take them off ladies, we want to see all of you.

Never trust a girl that wears sunglasses on top of her head. It’s not right, just take them off if you’re not wearing them.

Food is never shared, under any circumstances. None of the friends can ever have a sip of anyone else’s beer, but we will buy you your own one.

Neither hamburgers or pizza are ever eaten with any form of cutlery. Ever. Ever ever.

You always offer up the last beer and last slice of pizza, even if you want both.

If two of you walk into a public bathroom at the same time, and there are only three urinals that are free, it’s immediately understood that neither of you takes the middle one. Conversation is a no-no until you both leave.

You do not touch anyone’s laptop or phone to send prank emails or messages. No bueno.

If you go on holiday, definitely do not send us postcards. Offers of duty free are expected though.

Rock, paper, scissors will be used to settle any disagreements about who is right.

If any of us are hanging out and regardless of whether or not the DVD is present, if Die Hard is on TV, it’s getting watched. Best Christmas movie ever.

It’s okay for some or all of us to have that same crush, but we all know the rules. If two or more of us happen to like the same girl, whoever calls dibs first, has dibs.

My best friend is in town for work and we arrange to meet at his hotel for drinks before heading out. I get there just as a message comes through that he’s stuck in a meeting and will be late. No problem, a drink at the bar by myself, it is. A beer in hand and football on the TV, things could be worse. Things are about to get a whole lot better. A girl walks out of the lift, orders a drink and sits down at the bar too. We lock eyes, smile at each other and then I get back to the football. It turns out that she’s into the game as well and also begins to watch. Truth be told, she’s more vocal than I am, which makes me smile and we get chatting. Her friend is running late too, so we spend over an hour talking all sorts of random nonsense to each other. She makes me laugh and smile to the point that I’m not even chasing my friend to see how much longer he’ll be. She’s fantastic company and it doesn’t hurt that she’s super cute. Her friend finally rocks up, so we smile and say our goodbyes with lingering glances. Only then do I realise that I didn’t ask for her number. All I have is her first name and the hotel that she’s staying in, but no one wants to be that creepy guy hanging about all night waiting for her to return.

Shortly after, my friend arrives, apologises, and gets changed quickly. We hug, handshake first though, remember, and we head out. It’s always good to see an old friend and we catch up about everything. We talk shit about sports, what our mutual friends have been getting up to and he tells me about this girl that he’s met. She sounds amazing, but if I ever meet her, she could be subjected to some of the rules. I tell him about the pretty much perfect hour that I just spent with a girl waiting for him and he reminds me of the rules too. It’s just how it is, any of our other friends would think the same. As I don’t have her number, the possibility that anything will happen is highly unlikely though. Drinks go on, long into the night and we leave at closing time. A plan is made, hotel for a quick nightcap and then a taxi for me once we’re done catching up.

We get there and the bar is empty, apart from two girls, sat chatting to the barman. Upon hearing the night porter let us in, they turn round and my friend’s face breaks into a massive smile, at just about the same time as mine. There’s the girl from earlier, how lucky am I? There’s the girl I was telling you about, he says to me. I’m no longer smiling, I’m hoping that she’s not the same girl but I know in my heart that she is.

We get drinks and start talking, but I’m not a big part of the conversation. She looks at me quizzically and you can tell that she’s wondering what’s changed in the space of a few hours, but I can’t tell her. I’m just trying to play it cool now, but that’s not what I want to do. You don’t have to be a genius to figure that there is something between us. He doesn’t click, but then she does as he’s talking to her, she knows. She smiles at me wistfully and I gently shrug. Dibs.

Crushed. I guess that’s why it’s called a crush.

Some things have to remain a secret though. Omertà.

@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

I met a superhero.

No matter what you do, no matter what you achieve with your life, isn’t there always at least one moment when you have to give yourself a pep talk? You can be feeling so good about everything that’s going on in your world one day, and then tomorrow comes, and you can’t see how things can possibly get better for you. Ups and downs, just part of life. You can’t dwell on it though, you need to pull yourself together, and the best person to help you do that, is usually the face looking back at you in the mirror. You constantly ask yourself questions when you have one of those kind of days. Are you happy? Did you do things today that mattered to you?

If you’re struggling, and you have no one to turn to, you go it alone, you make decisions on your own. Sure, you have people in your life that you care about and who could give you advice. Family is important, friends are important, but if you’re lucky, you have that one person in your life that makes every day better. You want to be with the person who tells you to have fun when you go out with your friends, and who gets excited when you come home. Someone that you can share sunrises and sunsets with. Love should be a partnership, not a dictatorship, right? None of us are here forever so if you’re going to share your life with someone, you need to choose wisely. Someone who makes the good times better and the hard times easier. You can be an individual, but still be part of something bigger than yourself.

Whoever you choose, is just another choice, as harsh as that may sound. Don’t we all make choices every day? What to do, what to eat, what to wear? You want your life to be the best that it can be, so you choose. None of us want to just exist though. Isn’t it all about challenging things, challenging yourself, evolving, exploring and thriving. We’d all like to be an absolute rockstar in life, and to stand out everywhere in everything that we do. To stand out to the people that we love. Becoming a superhero to someone would be pretty cool. Who doesn’t love superheroes, as long as you don’t choose someone who’s your kryptonite. Maybe, all this time, your superpower has been loving someone else.

The person who sleeps beside you. The person that you decide to try and make a life with. The one person that you discuss the big decisions with. The person you hold, hug, kiss, touch. It’s a big decision deciding who you embark on the journey with. Maybe you take advice from people, you listen to everyone, maybe you listen to yourself. It’s impossible to be everything to everyone in your life, but there’s always a part of you that can’t stop trying to do it all, to try and make everyone happy. That’s tough, but you try, don’t you? You want to become the person who you always thought that you would be. There is one person there by your side, supporting you and making you better. Doing for you, what you do for them.

What happens if that one person isn’t around one day? Or every day?

They’re gone, you’ve lost them. You can want to do nothing about it, but you can also want to do everything about it. Fuck. Maybe Marilyn Monroe said it best. Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together. It doesn’t feel like that at the time though, does it?

If that day comes, you can have no idea where you are any more, what to think any more. You’re standing still, maybe you’re even going backwards, everything has changed. What do you do? You miss stuff. The care, the friendship, the joy you shared, the happiness, the love, the support, the warmth. Maybe the worst part is losing the friendship. That one person who stepped into your life and who always had your back.

When something good happens in your life, you want that one person there to share that happiness with. For some of us, thankfully, we can have that. For some of us, we can’t. Figuratively, it can feel like your missing a leg if that person isn’t around.

What do you do though? It’s not cool to jump straight into someone or something else if you really loved who you’ve just lost. Is your life just pretend for a while? Pretend you never met her? Pretend only superheroes exist? Pretend that the love that you shared would have died out anyway in time? Pretend that their love won’t belong to someone else in time? Pretend like your heart doesn’t hurt? Pretend that you’ve forgotten her name?

Maybe you are a superhero, and maybe there is no kryptonite. You’ll find out in time if you want to move on, won’t you?

This heartbreaking moment could be your reckoning. Perhaps you look at everything differently now. Inadvertently and suddenly, nothing is without meaning. No excuses for what you say or do. In the nicest possible way, fuck what everyone else thinks. You set new goals, because it’s just you now. Nothing is a bad idea any more. You’re a superhero, you just don’t know it yet.

A superhero who would give anything and everything for people in your life without looking for praise or validation. Giving without taking, we’ve all fallen for a superhero at some point.

Don’t you love who they are and what they make you? You don’t need a fictional superhero anymore, because you have one now. Or you did, but you’ve lost them. Fuck.

I want you to know that I’m hurting but I don’t want to tell you.

I met a superhero. I lost her. I want her back.

@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.

You elevate the life in me.

Trust, ironically is hard for me to trust. It’s part of the reason that my circle of friends is small. I’m a bit of a social hand grenade when it comes to making new friends.

At least I know that, but I also know that it’s on me. Is there anything better than having friends though, making and keeping those special people in your life? You should never lose a chance to make new ones, right?

True friends are the people who make you smile every single time that you’re in touch with with them, remotely or in person. New friends can often have a better time together than old friends, can’t they? It’s that excitement you get when you start a new relationship.

If you’re a decent human being, then you should kind to everyone, but you want to choose the best people to be your friends, don’t you? No point in choosing them otherwise. Assuming that they choose you too or that they accept your friendship in the first place.

It’s nigh on impossible for you to know which of the strangers you’re going to meet that’ll become your friend. Being polite to everyone is a pretty good rule to live your life by though. You don’t want to be careless with other people’s hearts and you shouldn’t tolerate people who are careless with your heart.

It can be tough however. A lot of us are closed doors, we can’t just open up when we’re asked to. Some of us aren’t pieces of paper, you can’t unfold us and find out what you need to know. Aren’t there always parts of us that we want to close off from the world? Bits of us that we can’t even touch ourself because they’re too painful. Too tough, right? Now and again though, you meet someone who instantly gets you. Someone who illuminates the in-between.

What is the meaning of a good friendship? How significant it is in your life? Those friends can give us comfort when we need it, can’t they? The Japanese have a word, kenzoku, which when translated, means family. It implies the deepest connection of a friendship. Pretty cool.

It’s not always that easy though. Good people come, good people go, bad people come, bad people go, it’s just life. You always know intrinsically when something comes to an end. It’s simple though once you get past your heart hurting. When you let certain people and memories go, it just means that you’re making some room for other people and other memories to take their place. You need to let some people go, to detach yourself from their life. Before a new chapter begins, you tell yourself that the old one needs to end.

Regardless of where about in the world your new friends live in relation to you, you automatically understand that there are precious few that you should hold onto. You work hard to bridge the gap in geography and time initially but then it becomes second nature, you make your friendship work. Sometimes it’s easier than that, things just click and a random conversation leads to a new friend. Someone that you can tell anything to. Someone who can tell you anything that they feel that they want to. A new friend.

Happiness with your friends is all you want surely? Those smiles of new friends can help if you’re feeling down. You would do the same for them without thinking and hopefully you pull each other through if either of you is having a bad day. Good advice is shared and you can definitely accept inalienable truths from a good friend, sometimes either, might be what you need.

You can take advice from anyone but sometimes it’s that new friend who can help you see what you need to.

It was random how she came along. Just someone reaching out to someone else. That first contact meant that other contact followed. A conversation started. It turns out we have a lot of things in common. Sport, music, our sense of humour. Don’t forget tacos. It’s a new friendship and it’s pretty cool. We’re in touch when each of us wants to be. Hours or days could go by with silence and that’s fine. We’ll converse back and forth for ages and that’s fine too. I sleep when I need to, she sleeps when she needs to. One of us will be awake whilst the other sleeps and we just go about our day or night. We’re just friends but again, that’s pretty cool.

It’s amazing how easy it is for things to change in your life. You might think your day will be the same as the last and then you wind up somewhere new. It’s a new friend, a new boyfriend or girlfriend, maybe a breakup. Maybe at the same time, each moment we experience has another thousand moments underneath that makes it looks different. Make a new friend, what’s the worst that could happen?

My day, my experience was meeting someone new that makes my days better.

@TheSamMcLeod

Maybe you just need a friend.

A big part of depression is feeling alone, even if you’re in a room full of people. You can be surrounded, but if you don’t feel like you can talk to anyone, you might as well not be there because you’re on your own. Loneliness can feel bad and good at the same time though, can’t it?

You don’t want to do anything, you don’t even want to wake up because you’ll just be expected to see the day through. It’s no way to live your life.

Having a good day day can be tough sometimes. It’s about finding as many beautiful moments in your day, isn’t it? What happens though if trying to do that for 24 hours is just too much to ask?

Sometimes, all you can do is just stay in bed, and try to sleep before you begin to fall apart. Again and again. You don’t want to crumble but you can’t control it. Sometimes sadness isn’t audible, no one hears it.

A lot of the time, the nights aren’t much better. Those feelings that wash over you as you’re in bed, staring at the ceiling. Replaying in your head all of those things you didn’t get right. Regret has never been a cure for insomnia but it’s tough. You might cry until your eyes close, so eventually you manage to fall asleep. You wake up though and you remember. It starts again. You don’t want to see a single person. You’re in bed with the blinds or curtains closed. Whatever happened to you is your own fault, isn’t it? You’re drowning. No point in being alive any more, you might as well be dead.

Can’t it be difficult sometimes to see the incredible person that you are? Maybe all that you need to know is that someone would miss you if you weren’t around. Sometimes all you want is for someone to wrap their heart around you. Life. It’s about making a mark on the tapestry on someone or something, isn’t it?

One day someone is going to walk into your life and they’re going to need you to love them. Maybe that’s what love comes down to. You have someone who cares enough to devote themself to you so that you spark yourself back into normality. Can you hang on? Perhaps all you want to be is the best version of yourself for that special boy or girl.

Some people don’t and won’t ever understand how you might be feeling unless you tell them. How desperate you are to have someone to tell you that they love you and that they wouldn’t change you for the world?

You can look at someone but not see them for what they really are. You can take or judge someone at face value, but you can be so wrong, can’t you? Everyone has secrets. Sometimes it’s those secrets that burn inside of you that keep you going. There will be wounds that never show on your body that are deeper and that will cause more pain than any cut you have that ever bleeds. Just life, right? Believe that someone else is undergoing the same battles that you might be experiencing.

For a while, hopefully a short while, you can tell yourself that you’ve strayed off of the path where it is that you want to go. You’ll find your way back to where you want to go, won’t you? Night comes though and the struggles start again. You don’t to be with people and you don’t want to be alone. Fucking hell.

Is depression a war that you can win? You’d hope so but it’s a battle you fight every day. You never stop, never get to rest. It’s one messy thing after another.

Your judgement is constantly questioned by the people you know, but it’s just something that you have to deal with. Breaking down doesn’t mean that your life is done. A day comes when you’re finally in touch with the bad things going on in your life. You can cope, you get it. You can accept it eventually.

Ever wonder how the darkness wins? Better not to think about it, right? Who the hell wants the darkness to win?

Happiness is an ongoing battle, a complete struggle, a never-ending fight.

In a strange way, you can fall in love with your depression. You can love it because you think it was all that you had or have. Depression isn’t the part of your character that makes you matter. Don’t think so little of yourself. Don’t feel that you have little to offer the world because you do. You matter. Mental health matters.

As clumsy as you’ve been, there’s no one laughing.

@TheSamMcLeod