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

What dreams are made of.

Day 6.

Everyone has experienced one of those type of days. You wake up in the morning and you’re not motivated to do anything. Sometimes, maybe you can do nothing and laze the day away, but chances are that you still have things to be getting on with. It’s just life, but so full of duties, personal issues and responsibilities that sometimes it can be impossible to know where to start. None of us likes to admit it, but aren’t we all are struggling to get motivated from time to time? Often we simply can’t get started with doing what we need to do. It can be a daily struggle, just a circle that we can’t seem to escape. Things will change though, won’t they?

There’s an old Chinese proverb that probably nails it if you’re struggling. “Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, little wisdom.”

Doubt can be a useful thing, it keeps you guessing. Can you know the strength of yourself until you’ve been tested? What do you do to try and make things better, doubt your doubts before you doubt yourself? It’s okay, being scared about whatever you want to achieve in 2019 is natural. What’s the point in ever doubting your own instinct? Doubt everything, find your own motivation to do what you need or want to do next year. If you’ve ever met someone that’s famous or successful and you’ve managed to spend some time with them, you know intrinsically that even they have doubts, that they have fears, that they have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them from pushing on. Not a bad lesson to learn as a new year gets closer.

It’s tough to always be strong though, and perhaps the worst part about that to the people in your life, is that no one seems to ever ask if you’re okay. One of the problems with the world is that some people are always so certain of themselves, whilst maybe the wiser ones can be full of doubt. That’s fine, you figure out your own motivation, what’s going to make you happy. Letting someone else be a roadblock to what makes you fulfilled on your journey to your goals is stupid. Doubt will kill your dreams before failure ever will.
Show no fear, have no regrets, display no weakness. This might sound tough as this year closes but don’t waste a second of your life, it’s too short and you’re too fucking special.

We’ve all had a lot dreams growing up. Time to make some of them come true? Will there be difficulties? For sure, but these challenges will make you feel better once you get what you want to achieve.

Hard work and determination can take you where you want to go if you have an idea or a plan. Is there doubt about what lies ahead? Absolutely. Is there trepidation? You’d better believe it. What’s the point wondering about what if though? Several plans have been made, it’s your turn now. It could be a big year ahead for you if you want it to be one.

Just watch. Set, ready, go for the take off.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

Don’t hold back.

Day 5

The final day of the twelfth month of the year is approaching, so maybe you’re hard at work thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. Like all of us, there will definitely be some that you’ll never keep, but it’ll be the same next year and the year after that, won’t it? Perhaps keeping a resolution is having the motivation to carry on thinking about it or them throughout the next 365 days. What helps you to find that motivation though? Music? Travel? Why don’t we all try and live the life that we’ve always wanted?

Wanderlust. “A strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.” The Dalai Lama once said “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” Clever guy.

Maybe 2019 is that opportunity to make time to see the world that you want to see. Where do you go, what do you want to experience? Part of the fun is in the planning so how about putting a plan into action? Research things yourself or seek out friends for recommendations? It has to be more enriching to see something once, than hear about it a thousand times though. Choose to listen to what they say, or go and see on your own? We all dream of seeing somewhere that we want to go, how about next year becomes the year when it finally happens? How long before you decide that every day is either an adventure or a thing that we just watch go by? Think about falling in love with cities or countries that you’ve never been to and with people that you’ve never met.

Lots of things in your life are scary as fuck and deciding to take a trip, especially on your own is brave. It’s not always comfortable and sometimes it hurts. It can break your heart if you need to escape whatever situation you have going on at home, but maybe you find that it’s more than acceptable to go and get lost for a while, to discover new things about yourself. If you do get lost but you know that you’re heading in the right direction, then give yourself a pat on the back. Maybe all that you need to know is that it’s possible to go dream and discover new stuff. Collect moments, not things?

Shouldn’t any journey you take change you? You’ll snap plenty of photographs but aren’t the better parts of time away, the experiences that leave marks on your memory? You’ll experience some things that will stay with you but you definitely leave something good behind too. Take memories, but leave your own imprint. It’s about the journey, right?

Find a winding road where strangers meet?

The trip is amazing, but it could have been so much better. It wasn’t part of any plan, it wasn’t noted down in any map that I’d thought about. Sometimes your worst nightmare comes true and it’s time to get away, to look after myself and collect my thoughts.

It hits home that I’m on a plane alone but I also realise that I won’t remember the time I spent working, it will be thinking about the new things I’m seeing, the new experiences from somewhere that I never thought I’d be. This going to be cathartic, hopefully. There’s so much that I’m not going to see, but I know there’s how much more that I need to experience. Sometimes you know that it’s not what you look at that matters, it is what you see. Be important to yourself.

Discover, explore, travel. Those things. Yesterday might be gone, today could be great, maybe tomorrow will be even better.

Tell yourself that no one you can hold you back from where you need to go.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

There’s nothing for me to miss.

Day 4.

“There is an end to everything, to good things as well.” It’s a quote by Chaucer that’s over 600 years old, and has changed over time, most of us now know the derived version as “All good things come to an end.”

No one likes losing good things, but maybe that loss helps you to be better in the long term. Some people will always come and go in your life but the loss of some hit harder than others. Aren’t we all tormented now and again by some past relationships? Maybe 2019 will be the year that you put her or him behind you and move on. Be honest with yourself, you can’t start the next chapter if you keep re-reading the last one.

It’s okay to miss someone, because don’t you also miss the part of you that you had when you were with them? You shared experiences and more, and now that’s gone. Maybe you shouldn’t be missing them but you feel what you feel in any given moment.

It’s funny how all the feelings you had when you were in love with someone can sit gathering dust in the back of your mind, only to come flooding out at the slightest reminder. You hear a song maybe, and it all comes back to you. Now you’re thinking about them again. Fuck. Is there much point thinking about people from your past though? Sure, there will be times when you think it’s a good idea to call them and see how they’re doing. Do you really care about how they’re doing, aren’t you just trying to get back an idea of what you had? No point hurting yourself, you liked them, but there’s a reason why they didn’t make it into your future. It hurts like hell when the person that made you feel like a million dollars one day, decides that they don’t want you the next. She chased me because she liked and wanted me. She got me, but then she left me.

From best friends to strangers.

Your friends rally round because they get it too. She made me feel like less of a man because I couldn’t give her what she wanted any more. Some friends have bizarre traditions and one that we have is to convene a tribunal if one of us is being a dick about something. There are times though that people know when to be there for you. No tribunal needed, everyone knows that the hurt is real.

It turns out that time can be a healer. Regret her? No point, she was exactly what I needed at one time and it must have been the same for her.

Maybe the biggest test comes when a boy and a girl meet after their breakup. That feeling you get when you bump into into your ex and you’re looking your best though. You still remember things, don’t you? The eyes, the smile. It happened randomly one day. We looked at each other, smiled, traded pointless words, had a hug and left. The funny thing is that one of us knew that it was a good idea that we split. In that moment, the penny drops that all we really shared was an address, a bed and a lot of lies.

She calls, but I leave it to go to voicemail. Hours later, I listen to the message and as it finishes, I hear the words, “You’ll never find someone like me.” There’s a regretful smile because that’s exactly the point. She’s the past and has nothing new to say to me any more. She ranks amongst one of the most beautiful people that I’ve let into my world but there’s not going to be an idiot ex who wants her love again. I thought I still loved her but then I realised I just love the memories of who she used to be.

Is she sorry for the way she treated me? I don’t know, but maybe I do care, even if it’s only a tiny bit. It’s a new year coming soon though so I don’t worry about that. The focus is on my own growth, maybe she’ll be the one who makes me strong.

If you’re hurting right now, be proud of your heart. It’s been broken, cheated and stabbed but it’s still working. 2019 might just be your year.

My ex? We’re not friends, we’re not enemies. This shit is dead and gone, it’s not what it used to be.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

Ticking of clocks.

Doesn’t having a type seem a bit restricting? You can say that you only like blondes, but then you can meet a brunette or a redhead who turn out to be fabulous. Do you ignore someone just because of some silly rule that you’ve created for yourself? Sometimes, someone comes into your life straight out of left field. Okay, it’s a baseball reference, but all it means is that something has happened to you that’s a little bit different, something untypical, something unusual. Hopefully it’s not a bad thing. You don’t need to try and find someone that you’re compatible with, maybe they find you, but you still need to work up the courage to talk to them. There are obvious pros and cons of dating, but you keep going until you find the person who might be the one. Could this finally be it?

It’s perfectly okay to decide to try someone new. Any new relationship always begins with a first for the both of you. Someone has to ask the first question and someone has to be ready with the first answer. There will be plenty of more firsts to come, if the answer to the question was yes. A first date, a first drink, a first meal together, a first kiss. Anything new is exciting. First never follows, right?

Sometimes though, one of you falls harder than the other.

What happens if one of you is rebounding? Perhaps the person that you meet, still hasn’t moved on from their previous relationship. They might want nothing to do with their ex, but feelings don’t just go away. Maybe that makes them want to embrace something new, as hard as they can. It’s understandable though. Do you wait around for the previous love, even though there’s a chance you’ll get hurt again?

Once they’ve moved on though, that first love can become interested again, sparking hope that everything can work again for them once more. Maybe the new person in your life now has this constant debate of whether or not to move on properly. It’s not easy for them but you need to think of yourself, so now you’re not sure what to do. First you lose trust, then you get worried. Another first. You can naturally become distant and that almost makes them more needy. Someone can tell you that they want you, but if their head isn’t in the right place, doesn’t that make you hesitant? Understandably, you don’t get too close, too fast. You feel hurt, so you move on. All well and good but too soon? It’s easy to get caught up in a back and forth game of who has your heart.

Getting close to someone can make us vulnerable, liking someone can somehow scare us off. When you truly open yourself up to someone and give them your trust, it can be an uneasy feeling. Someone new can do nothing to jeopardise things, but we can still be irrationally worried that something bad is going to happen because of things that have happened to us before. When you lose trust in someone or something, it’s not difficult to feel anxious and to expect the worst. It’s not fair but you feel how you feel.

It’s natural that you have the feeling that you’ll get hurt again and that you’ll become trapped about worrying what to do. The emotional miles add up. No one ever tells you where the edge of the pool is. You just wade out there and at some point, you find yourself in deep water. Do you keep on swimming or do you turn back? It’s easy to ask yourself, how am I the lucky one?

That feeling when you become close with someone. Maybe it’s something and nothing initially. A thing that just happened in the moment. It grows slower for one of you, but it still grows.

When you meet someone who has recently left someone, they might have chosen to move on, but isn’t there still going to be a love between the two of them? Maybe they chased you though? A lot of us have pursued and a lot of us have been pursued. We’ve all been rejected, and most of us have rejected at least one person in our lives. We all lose now and again, sometimes we win, nobody’s completely infallible. We know it’s unfair but it is what it is. Life.

Maybe you can be happy with someone new, but you can’t shake the feeling that maybe you should have stayed where you were. Maybe moving on was wrong, and you’re frightened that you’ll lose that love forever. Choose. You’re either in or you’re out. There are no more games to be played.

Focus on yourself. You never want to be so busy living that you forget to make a life for yourself. There’s no point in going looking for a pineapple if you already have a peach.

It was her. She was the one who showed interest first, she wanted this relationship first. She became confusing, someone that you couldn’t talk to about how you were feeling. She became cold and avoidant. It was confusing, given how she’d previously been so inviting. She said she wanted something, and then suddenly she wanted something different. Someone different.

I look at her and have no idea what she’s thinking. I used to think that I liked not having the answers to everything important. Now I know that I need them. I need to know. I do not deserve to wait around forever when you were there first.

@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.