Raise your glass in slow motion.

Everyone is guilty. Guilty of giving too much, of taking too much. Of not saying the words that we should have said, of articulating more words than was needed in any given situation. Not all of us keep in touch with family and friends, fuck, all of the people in our lives as much as we should. Sure, some of those people in your life will begin to fade away, it’s just life. Maybe you move away, they move away, you gradually lose touch, it’s not necessarily a conscious decision but it hurts on some sort of base level at least. On the flipside, there are people that you choose to keep around, regardless of where they are in the world, but now and again there comes a time when you have to make a choice about who those people are. Is this person making my life better or even just enriching it? It can be as simple as just liking the cut of their jib, they’re your friend. Sometimes though you have to know when to let go. Now and again time closes the door on any relationship that you have, not necessarily because you failed but just because something inside you finally has the balls to tell you that this particular someone or something no longer fits in your life.

What now? Lock your door, keep yourself to yourself for a while, and then start looking for new doors that you want or are ready to open? Is it a sign that you’re changing and you know that it’s going to be okay? Fingers crossed.

Letting go is incredibly tough though. It matters if we worry about the future without the ones that we no longer want to have in our lives, or if we keep thinking that we’ve made a mistake if we choose to let them go. You trust your heart and your mind though, right? Is it painful at times? Damn straight it is, it can be super hurtful when you know that you have to move on without certain people. No matter how hard we try to keep things as they are, sooner or later we’ll confronted with a decision to make, whether we like it or not. Our attempts to hold on to all of the negative people and things that were familiar to us, inhibit our chances to try experience happiness and joy in that particular moment and indeed in those future moments. Maybe it’s more than one moment and perhaps our lives are always supposed to be about change. No matter how hard we try to keep things as they are, sooner or later we’ll be confronted with a decision to make whether we like it or not.

It can be a good thing sometimes because now we can open up ourselves to to new experiences, new people, new possibilities. It sucks though when that time comes. It’s so clear, I should’ve seen it.

It blows my mind and I don’t understand it.

A change in life presents itself, different things are suddenly are on the horizon and decisions need to be made. Difficult ones, the worst kind. When you’re continually in touch with people and it’s a one way road, it’s time to say goodbye, isn’t it? Focus on yourself for once. Scratch that, focus on the most important person in my life, not me, a young girl who will benefit from this life altering decision. This is for you. Em, it will always be you.

Con te partirò is a beautiful song. It literally means ‘With you I will leave.’ This time though, it’s a solo journey, although there are people that will be left behind that I care about. That said, it’s important to forget what and who hurt me but I’ll never forget what it taught me. Some people need to be left behind because things and people weren’t who I thought they were. It might be the same from their perspective and that’s okay, we all believe what we want to. Maybe sometimes people come into your life just to teach you how to let go. We won’t be in touch again. In person, over Facebook or Twitter, Instagram, whichever social platform you wish to choose. No one wants to be shitty, but if you don’t want to keep in touch, then that’s okay, but don’t expect the same the other way around when a new life is starting. 10,394 miles or 16,727 in kilometers depending where you are in the world, it’s not my loss. Perhaps the worst thing is that this choice won’t even be on their respective radar but that’s okay. Easier to say goodbye than have someone bid you farewell, I guess.

Letting go isn’t a one time thing, it’s something you have to do over and over again. That’s a sad thing. Time to take a second look.

See your eyes, they’re wide open.

@TheSamMcLeod

It’s not a failure we could help.

Now and again, we come across a situation that we find irresistible, someone or something that it’s difficult to say no to. A new job opportunity maybe, perhaps the chance of a new relationship. No real way though of telling at the start if either are going to be good for you. It’s easier to change jobs than partners, but you’ll never know if one or both will work out if you don’t try. It’s always exciting to be attracted to someone new, to something new. Depending on how your life is going, it’s cool to not want to take a chance on someone or something, it’s not always going to be ponies, rainbows and unicorns, so a leap of faith is needed. Shit or get off the pot.

Isn’t it also true that sometimes it’s hard not to like or love the people or things that will end up hurting us the most? Some of us can be attracted to people that have the ability to cause us pain. There’s fighting, hurt, a lack of trust. Frequent break-ups but lots of great make-up sex. Feelings of blame, jealousy, being undervalued, all are far too much drama for anyone to have to deal with regularly. Can you dislike or like someone at the same time? Sometimes it’s the conflict that keeps things going. You both know that you’re no good for each other, but you dance the dance, until one of you plucks up the courage to say that it’s not working any more. Just life, making choices every day, you need to be strong enough to trust yourself, right? Things are tearing you both apart, better to break than be irreparably scarred. It’s more than okay to be physically attracted to someone, but perhaps it’s not wise to have a proper relationship with them. Quit whilst you’re ahead? Wish one another well and don’t look back.

What’s the point in chasing a train when you know that it’s already left the station. You cannot outrun a ghost.

Death Cab For Cutie are in town and are playing at the Sydney Opera House. It’s sold out, but I manage to find a pair of tickets online. I arrange to meet the seller outside and one of my best friends is coming along too. Perfect. She has to decline at the last minute unfortunately, so I make the spare available online. A random girl replies first, so now it’s her ticket, and although I’ve not spoken to her, far less met her, shared interests are a good start. It’s a couple of hours, it could and should be fun, even with a stranger. We arrange to meet at the Opera Bar for a pre-show drink, it’s one of the nicest spots in the world with a knockout view, that gets even better when you snag seats facing the Harbour Bridge.

I pick up the tickets and I get to the bar first. I’m not presumptious enough to order for her before she gets here, so I get a beer and grab those wonderful seats. A few minutes later, I can smell perfume behind me, and in some way I know that my new concert buddy has arrived. We shake hands which is frankly ridiculous, I ask what she wants to drink and I head for the bar. As I wait, I glance back over and there are an insane amount of people saying hello to her. We all know that one person who seems to know everyone so I don’t think too much about it, I grab her drink and head back.

The conversation flows easily, she has the cutest inflection to her voice. We head upstairs and grab our seats. It’s more of an intimate venue than I expected, and again, she seems to know everyone. We share the same first name so every time that someone says it out loud, I look around, but of course, they’re not speaking to me, she’s the object of attention. She’s not a natural blonde, but she’s a natural beauty, so I can see why. Again though, I forget about it, the lights dim and the show begins. She knows the words to every song, pics and videos are taken, it’s an amazing couple of hours. During the interval, the conversation flows as easily as before, I know it’s going to blow when the night ends, I don’t need a map or compass to see the direction I want to be heading in.

I live in a different suburb, but she invites herself for a nightcap, so we catch the ferry. We get to a bar that is less than a hundred paces from where I live, I give her money for drinks and excuse myself. I come back and more and more people are saying hello, how popular can one girl be, weird.

The night ends, she comes back to mine and although there’s something there, neither of us are those kind of people. A quick glass of fizz follows, I give her the tour, she takes the spare room, shorts and a tee and kisses me on the cheek, thanking me for a good night. Sleep follows.

I hear the coffee machine when I wake, I smile and take the chance to grab a shave and a shower. The doorbell rings, I go downstairs to find friends that are borrowing my flatmate’s car for the weekend. They look quizzically at the girl disappearing back upstairs and then at me. I grab the keys for them, she comes back down minutes later, kisses me on the cheek and leaves with my number with a smile, we’ll see each other again. I apologise, look back at my friends and one half of the couple sees that I look confused. He asks, ‘Do you know who that is?’ I confess I don’t, I don’t even know her surname. He laughs uncontrollably and tells me that she’s nationally famous and appears regularly on TV. Spot the stupid expat.

They leave, still laughing, and although a high five is handed out, they don’t know that anything happened. I make a dick move, stick her name into an internet search engine and the penny drops.

Days, weeks and months pass, emails, phone calls, texts are exchanged. We meet up regularly and she now knows that I know who she is. It doesn’t change anything, I don’t think, things are kept private. One day, an invite drops through the postbox for a gala event and I’m the plus one. The kilt is on, we meet up, but something is different. No hands are held, there are zero hugs, don’t even start me on kisses. The red carpet belongs to her alone, I might as well make myself comfortable on the sidelines. Plenty of pictures are being taken of her but you can probably guess how many I made it into. It’s made very clear what her priority is and it’s not a guy in a kilt.

Who wants to settle for something that isn’t right? I’m a little heart heavy, but sometimes you have to close a window even when you know that you’re not going to like being on the other side of the glass.

Was I in your way, when the cameras turned to face you? No room in frame for two.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

Let the lightning guide you.

‘All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.’

Not just the words of the next tattoo, but consonants and vowels that some of us might choose to try and live a tiny part of our lives by. It’s more than okay to dream about the things that we want to achieve, the things that we want to do, we all have them on some sort of level. Sure, chances are that not all of our dreams will come true, but don’t we need to try and make them happen? Depending on what they are, you know that they’ll take patience, a shit ton of hard work and and every single time, you’ll need to be answering the questions that are going to be asked of you. Whilst that can be tough, you might as well enjoy the journey, right? It’s entirely possible to overthink the questions that might come at you tomorrow, but what if you dream about tomorrow’s answers today? Daydreaming is always allowed. It’s cool to lose yourself in a world of daydreams that excite you, to imagine your life situation changing in a way that will make you feel better every single day. Everyone can choose which research to believe in terms of what we read or hear, but it’s widely believed that our average daydreams are about fifteen seconds long and that we have a couple of thousand of them every day. Can it really be right that we spend a big chunk of our time being awake thinking of things that for now are just fantasy? It’s always good to embrace the idea of there being something more in the world for all of us, for everyone else that you care about.

Some of us live in a dream world every day, some of us don’t; and then maybe there are those of us who fuse both together. When something that you’ve dreamed about forever, finally looks like it might be coming true, it’s difficult not to be scared. Are you breathing half the time?

I’m in a city that I thought I’d never be in and I’m alone. It’s a choice and I’m more than comfortable with it, but the realisation sets in that it might be nice if someone else could see the things that I’m seeing. You can share photos on a variety of social media sites, but it’s the experience with someone being with you that makes the experience. It’s cool to be here, and whilst the scenery is spectacular, it’s tough not to have thoughts drifting to somewhere else, to someone else. Daydreaming. Still, no point feeling sorry for yourself, if you’re going to take a trip, then you might as well do all of the things that you want to. You try and enjoy decent cuisine at home, so you make sure that you try and find places that you might like to eat at when you’re away. The city, shit, the country is renowned for beer, so you partake. It would be rude not to, when in Rome. Just a saying, not my current location.

Beer al fresco, with a view that is absolutely bonkers. I do the tourist thing, I take a picture and send it to a good friend. My mobile rings. It turns out that the locals aren’t massively impressed by the sound of Right Above It by Lil Wayne blaring into their quietness, and whilst I’m apologetic, it’s no worse than the generic Apple or Nokia rings. Suck it up people, have you never watched Ballers? Plus, we’re outside. Anyway, I’m daydreaming and the call sparks me back to life.

Thing is though, the call is about one of the dreams that I’ve had. Unfortunately, it’s not Anna Kendrick calling trying to take me out on a dinner date, but it’s nearly as good. That’s actually a lie, it’s nowhere near as good. What it is though, is a chance to go and live in a city where I want to be, doing a job that I love. Maybe it won’t be a dream any more. Are there hurdles to cross? Yep, but my thoughts can turn once again to the people and the things that I’ve been dreaming about.

A daydream in your head is just that and it will only ever be that until you actually achieve it, until you do it. So do it. Time to step outside, time to step out? Go for it, leave it all behind you.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

We all get lost sometimes.

How far would you go for someone you love?

You don’t have to be in love with someone to love them though, it’s an important distinction. You can have a ton of different kinds of friendships, romantic relationships, best friends, casual friendships, work buddies. Clearly, you love a few people more than others, but maybe some of the most beautiful friendships in your life are the ones that have no semblance of any romance. Being completely platonic is cool with friends of the opposite sex. You might be in a relationship, but isn’t it healthy to have a wide circle of friends of both sexes? Relationships get built, some fall apart as time goes on, but it’s okay to let some people go.

Just a decision. We think, so we do. Our doing shapes the people and things that we choose to experience, and then those experiences help to define our character, right? In each moment, we define who we’ll become and who’ll be a part of our lives.

For all of those people that you choose to keep close, you want nothing but the best for them. Undoubtedly, you want the same for yourself, but you’re always looking out for the special people in your life. For them to get everything that they want, difficult as that is, to not have to suffer any heartbreak, ultimately you just want them to be happy.

Things don’t always work out though, and one day you might find out that someone you love is struggling.

When heartache hits, most of us resort to different things to try and numb the pain, it’s natural to feel in that moment that we have no other choice. Alone time definitely features heavily, but hopefully you don’t decide to do something that you shouldn’t. It’s easy to lose yourself in a bottle, or to go for something harder to try and help you cope, but we don’t have to do any of those things, there are more cathartic choices, but it’s difficult. It’s okay to lock yourself away from the world for a while and just try and make yourself better. Sometimes all you want to do is stay afloat, even deciding to be alone for a while can be scary. Days and nights are hard though, sometimes part of you can think that it would be a blessing to just even survive. Dark times.

We all get lost sometimes, you know?

Life can be an assault course, not many know what it has planned for us, or what might the next bump in the road might be. Hold on to everyone that you love and try and face whatever life throws at you? It’s easy to get lost along the way, and make wrong choices but aren’t all of our mistakes there to be learned from, to make us stronger?

Take a deep breath and let it go, you shouldn’t be drowning on your own.

A message from a friend arrives and it’s not good news. Something bad has happened, she won’t be in touch for a while and crying so much that she’s almost drowning in tears. More than one mutual friend has got the same message and needless to say, we get worried about the person we care about. Calls go unanswered and unreturned, emails and text messages are the same, a ring on her doorbell sounds like the loneliest sound in the world right now.

I have your back, no matter what the situation. If you love someone, you do whatever it takes, the consequences can go and fuck themselves. Any pain will be suffered just to share anything you need. No matter how much you feel down, if you need a helping hand, that’s what you get. If you need someone to give you shit and tell you a few home truths about how good a person you are, then that’s what you get. If you just need someone to listen or shoulder to cry on, that’s what you get. You get anything you want and it’s not a limited time offer. We fight together, you don’t have to face everything alone, guess who’s going to be right there? You can want to let go, but know that I won’t.

Please reach out. We’re friends, so we’re in this together forever, there will be a lifetime of me being a lifeline for you. I won’t let go.

And I hope you know.

@TheSamMcLeod

Take it all in your stride.

Day 9.

A new year, perhaps one of those times when you think what the next twelve months will hold for you. How lovely would it be if all of us got everything that we wanted in the year ahead? Imagine too that we all achieved all of our goals in 2019? If you’re making an important decision, isn’t it a good idea to ask if the answer that you come up with, will move you closer to your goal or farther away? If the answer is closer, you know what to do. If it’s farther away, you know that you have to make a different choice. It’s super important to know who you are, to be able to make your own decisions.

We all make some every day and those can impact on whether you have a good or a bad day. Some decisions are obviously more important than others, deciding whether or not to change job, to leave someone or to start something new with someone else. What do I want to start doing, what do I want to stop doing, what do I want to keep doing? What to eat or drink, what to wear, are easy things to think about, you almost always decide instantly about the choice that you make. A lot of us are lucky and sometimes know intrinsically what the right thing to do is, whilst others fail to decide on anything without sleeping on it first. You can’t wait too long though because maybe over time, your indecision becomes a decision. When you’re having trouble making a decision, are you making it too soon? It’s okay to be on the edge if you’re finding it difficult to decide because there are times that having a choice can spell trouble, and you don’t know if it’s your head or your heart that has the right answer. Fuck. Some of us even go out of our way when it comes to avoiding having to make a decision. Bizarrely decisive. Why though? You can make mistakes and know why you made them, but it was your choice. Every decision can bring something bad, some good and can definitely teach you some lessons.

Don’t run, don’t hide behind it. Stand up and shout about it

The troubling part right now is that a certain day is drawing closer, and it’s nearly time to choose between having the possibility of having a yesterday again, or thinking of what tomorrow could bring. That yesterday could be amazing, but what if the other choice is better in the long run, how do you choose? Perhaps the idea is to go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that’ll enhance your life more. There’s a song lyric that says that “sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.” It might just be right.

It’s okay to doubt yourself but sometimes we all have to have the courage to decide what our higher priorities are. It’s okay to say no to some things when you really need to say yes to others. Some of the bigger decisions mean that you have to explain to the people closest to you about why you’re making them. You shouldn’t have to, it’s your life, but humility is something to hold dear and you need to have a difficult conversation with them. Does there come a point when the penny drops that you can’t live your life to please others? The choices you make belong to you.

If someone has wronged you and you want to give them a second chance, you can’t hold onto the hurt that they gave you and still be happy. Forgive and forget, choose yesterday and see how things go. Time for a new start and moving on? Choose tomorrow. You look hard at your life and ask yourself plenty of questions. Can I take this leap or do I try and hold onto what I might be losing by choosing tomorrow? Will either of these choices make me grow emotionally? If it’s time to make a decision about what comes next for you, keep your fingers crossed. Living life on the edge in 2019?

Stay strong and never doubt it.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

Your beautiful destiny.

Day 8.

One day it hits you that you’re not really a child anymore. When that time comes though is different for everyone of us. When you move out of home, maybe after your first relationship when that person breaks your heart. Perhaps you know that the end of your childhood is here when you realise that you know as much as the adults in your life do. Maybe it happens when you start looking back on things and wishing that you could change them, it’s all subjective. Whenever it is, we grow up almost overnight because we have to. A stage in your life when your innocence disappears, a time when our awareness of having to be responsible kicks in. Sucks, right? Can one of your resolutions be to try and rediscover the things that you enjoyed before you had to put on your big boy shoes?

As you grow up, you get told a shit ton of things by people, especially your parents. One is almost universally being convinced that you can do anything with your life. It’s a nice thought, but the thing is, somewhere between being a child and becoming an adult, things change, your plans change. Your parents mould your world but then one day, you get to do it all for yourself and maybe even help contribute to someone else’s. We need some advice now and again about growing up and facing all of the things that life is going to throw at us, but you can choose to take whichever piece of wisdom you get given. Don’t we all want to find that X on our own personal treasure map though?

Growing up doesn’t need to be a bad thing, it lets us find our own place in the world, to find out who we really are, and to live the life that we imagined we’d have when we were younger.

Yet as the days continue to pass, don’t you find that the dreams you had then, and the reality you have now, are miles apart? Hopefully, it’s as good as we imagined, but often it’s slightly less cool than we’d pictured. Maybe the only thing we really want back is our childhood, but you know that those days will never return, you can’t get them back.

When we were younger, it was a time when delight was the only season. Not yet proper adults, just young people living the life that makes us wistful now. Breaking curfews, getting grounded. Gatecrashing a party, kissing as many of the girls there as you wanted, or who were willing to let you, and you didn’t think anything of it. Stumbling home early in the morning, shaking your head and smirking at everyone heading to work. Everything was given to us, anything was possible, at least if you didn’t let your parents know about half of the stuff you’d been getting up to. Who would spill their secrets?

Maybe all you want to do sometimes as an adult is to get away from all of reality.

Growing old is happening to everyone but, is it possible to never grow up?

Everyone makes mistakes when we’re young, but if we counted those mistakes up against the ones we make as an adult, do any of us actually think that there were fewer when we were younger?

Growing up is difficult, because there will always be a moment when everything is a struggle. Won’t there always be a moment though when everything is perfect? Sure, you might have memories of doing some things that you won’t forget but know that you’ll never experience them again. Your life and the people in it are going to change, and the hardest part is realising that there’s nothing you can do about it.

A girl who I’m not with, but who I’ll always have love for, once went to a psychic and was asked to take photographs of the significant people in her life. She was told that I was Peter Pan and that I’d never grow up. So far, she’s been absolutely spot on. A different place will be called home this year but it won’t be Neverland.

No one likes getting older, but for some of us, maybe 2019 is the year to grow up. Maybe it’s time to go shopping for some big boy shoes.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

Rewinding the picture.

Day 7.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions