I fucked it up again.

How do you define character? Doing something that you don’t want to do but deep down knowing that you should? Standing up for, or protecting someone close to you regardless of what they’ve done? Just be trying to be a good person, full of compassion and love for anything and everything around you? Choosing to be as good as you can be from the moment that you step out of bed? Sure, we all control our own choices, but sometimes someone might throw you a curveball, they need you to keep a secret for them. People are entitled to their secrets, but is it selfish of them to decide to share those with you, especially if they know that it’s going to have an impact on your life? What if it’s a secret that affects two of the most important people you know? One of them has confided in you, whilst the other person has no idea about any of it. It’s not always easy to decide what the right thing to do is, but is keeping secrets the equivalent to lying? It’s probably right that the best way to keep a secret is to pretend that it doesn’t exist. Easier said than done. Anyone who’s ever been entrusted with a big secret and who struggles to keep it, knows exactly what that feels like.

All of us are blessed with free will though, you can choose to decide between saying nothing or saying something. The moment you share a secret however, you’ve lost all semblance of control with it. Keeping the secret that now belongs to you and maintaining your silence is probably the best way to go, right? Maybe it’s about not being owned by someone else’s secret that’s the easiest way to cope with someone messing with your conscience, your moral compass.

If I’ve learned anything about women, and I probably haven’t, it’s that pride and stubborness have a way of warping men’s thinking, whereas perhaps the ladies in all of our lives, can manage to be a bit more composed when it comes to making a decision. Girls seem to have that ability to always find the right words. I don’t know whether to speak up or hold my tongue, there’s going to be consequences either way.

I can read between the lines, I want to run from everything.

Moving to live and work in a new city and country is exciting, everything is an adventure, the newness of it all is intoxicating. Meeting new people, experiencing a different lifestyle. Discovering new hobbies, finding a local watering hole for those after work drinks, travelling and seeing places that you never thought you’d see in your entire life, pretty damn cool. It turns out though, that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still get homesick. Whilst you’re forging a new life for yourself, it’s easy to be a tiny bit sad from time to time. Thoughts turn to the people that I’ve left behind and a plan is hatched after six months to go back and visit. Quick tip, if you move to the other side of the world, either get your friends to figure out what time difference means, or switch your phone off at night! Calls are made, flights are booked, and I don’t know it yet, but plans are made also, catching up with friends will easily be the highlights of the trip. If I was any happier right now, I’d be triplets.

Two of the most important people in my life are in a relationship and dinner reservations are made for the first night back. They didn’t know each other until one night years ago when I played matchmaker and set them up, and they’ve been together ever since. She ends up having to work so it’s a boy’s night, there will be time to see her again. It’s a night you’d expect, two friends letting off steam after not seeing each other for so long. It’s more of a liquid dinner and then it’s onto a night of bar-hopping. We bump into some of her female friends and they join us. Way too much tequila is had but after a 37 hour journey, I know that sleep will come easily tonight. I have to say my goodbyes but can’t find my friend to say goodnight. As I leave, I see a couple kissing and my heart sinks. It’s him but it’s not with his her. Shit has gone sideways. He sees me, she leaves and there’s an immediate demand to know what the hell is going on. He confesses to seeing someone else for months now and begs me to keep his secret, he doesn’t want his relationship to end, but he doesn’t want to let go of this new girl either. Talk about a hospital pass, what to do now? Damned if I tell her and damned if I don’t.

It turns out that she has to go away for work for a week, so I have time to mull things over. I’ve been friends with her for a lot longer so I have to say something. Don’t I? I put the responsibility back on him and decide that some secrets are meant to stay secret forever, I don’t want any part of it. Little did any of us know that one of her friends told her that she saw him kissing the girl that night, and that I saw it also. A storm is coming and I’m inadvertently a part of it.

She comes home and we meet for coffee and I’m oblivious to what she’s aware of. She tells me that she knows, accuses me of being disrespectful and a shit friend, hard to argue. She leaves in tears, so I sit there on my own learning the cost of keeping something to myself. No matter how much you try to contain a fire, it always burns the way it sees fit. I’ve been the arsonist, can I be the fireman? I reach out because you care all the way or you don’t care at all. Still no response and my heart hurts, especially as I have to leave soon.

The timing’s poor, I know it’s never right.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

It just takes some time.

Day 12.

2019, another day of growing. Another day of growing up though?

When we’re young, the thought of getting older doesn’t enter our heads too much. We’re young, we’re innocent, we pretty much don’t have a care in the world. Our parents look after us, we get the love that we didn’t know we needed, but it’s there. The cost of clothes, food, things to do as a family are all covered by someone else. You don’t know yet how grateful you are because you’re not emotionally mature enough. One day things change though, and then maybe one of the two most important people in your life aren’t there anymore.

Relationships end, but you only know and understand that when you’re older. Dad was there and then he wasn’t. He visited a lot though, so at first things didn’t seem too different. We hung out, we did things that any child and parent would do, kick a ball around, go to the park, hit the funfair. Essentially though, you’re being raised every day by a single parent. Money is tight, things are hard and despite the other parent being around, you realise that things are different now. No trips for the three of you together, less attention obviously, and a dawning realisation that your life will probably never be the same again.

A lot of older people say that your schooldays are the best days of your life, but at the time, you think they’re bonkers, right? There’s a saying that “there’s nothing more pure and cruel as a child.”

Word spreads at school and the bigger boys, the bullies are lapping it up. Fun is made of the fact that he’s not around so much. Your clothes aren’t as new as they once were and you know that she can’t afford what she once could. No fault of anyone, just circumstance. It doesn’t stop those bullies taunting you every day, to the point where you wish that the day could end and you could be at home. Going home with a black eye or blood on you, quickly makes you learn that it’s better to lie, rather than to hurt someone else with the truth. I tripped, I fell, it happened at sports. You might not be religious but you pray for the weekend to come.

You dread Monday coming around, don’t you worry what their bitter hearts are going to say?

Is it true that people who love life don’t hurt anyone? Perhaps the more that some people hate themselves, the more they want others to suffer hurt, emotionally or physically. It’s so difficult sometimes to be yourself in a world where a lot of people around you during your formative years, are trying to make you be someone else. Bullying is fucking horrible, but it turns out that there’s no reason for it to stick with you forever. Bullying is for people who zero confidence, they’re scared of you. You have something that they don’t, and that’s why they pick on you. Try not to let their words affect you because they’re the ones needing confidence, not you. Sure, you try and do all of the little things it takes to dodge them as you grow up, but you should never stop trying to having fun too. You don’t want to become everything that you were afraid of when you were growing up.

It’s tough and sometimes you hold on to things the way that they used to be. You can wonder what’s to come for you and that’s okay. You can feel bullied as an adult but don’t all of the same rules as a child to try and get past it all, still apply as you get older? There are new days to come, there will be other days to come.

This year could be amazing, maybe you have something on your horizon that excites the hell out of you? Is there sometimes a part of you that thinks because something came together so beautifully and so quickly, that it doesn’t mean as much as something you struggled with? You might be imitated by many, but you’re duplicated by none.

Don’t write yourself off yet.

@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

I don’t know why you wonder why?

Isn’t being all about yourself, the surest way that you’ll end up being all by yourself?

Her ego could stretch the shit out of the universe. The problem was with it though that it appeared to have no end. One day she asked him to admit that the majority of things in his life were about her. They weren’t, he told her that and she didn’t like it. They were doomed from the beginning, although he didn’t know it at the time. That person that makes you laugh when no one else in the world can. You need to find them, don’t you? He thought it was her but it wasn’t. He realised that he needed to fall in love with his own heart because she wasn’t opening up her heart to him.

He thought that maybe he just needed to relax, trust her and that everything would be okay. He was no Robin Hood though, he was so wide of the mark.

When we were kids, we used to trust everything that we were told. Somewhere down the line, we stopped. We questioned things. He finally questioned whether or not she was a good idea and concluded that she wasn’t.

The brain. Who knows why it believes what it believes? Neurons and synapses? Maybe it’s your heart that directly impacts what your brain thinks. 99% of the time, he wanted to believe her and the things that she said but he knew that they weren’t all true. That other 1%? It was full of hope. Idiot.

She didn’t want to know how he felt, yet, she wanted him to know everything that she felt. Selfish, right? She was mesmerising and heartbreaking all at the same time. She thought that she was being interesting to him, in every minute of every day, when in reality, she was only being interesting to herself.

They both ended up where they are. Part of him still thinks that he didn’t make a mistake about her when they met, about who she was, about who she is. He saw the heartbreak coming though but it took him a while to get out of the way.

She’s not all bad, she has a fire that burns bright. There is a heart beating behind her craziness, it’s in there somewhere. She is almost perfect. Almost. No matter how much you try to contain a fire though, won’t it always burn the way that it wants to?

He now can’t understand what hurts more, missing her, or pretending not to. He can’t tell her though, that would only stoke her ego.

She was great in parts but she wasn’t the person that he could shape his life around. He couldn’t take the chance in the end. He never ever took her for granted though, it was nigh on impossible to do so. His own pride wouldn’t allow it, call it male stubbornness. Yet, there they were, imploding right in front of each other. Evel Knievel couldn’t jump the gap between the two of them now. It’s not your job to try and change someone though, is it? Even if you could, you can’t shape someone that has no shape.

It’s alright though, isn’t it? It’s certainly okay to her because it’s about her ego. Most of the time, perhaps all of the time, it’s got to be about her. Does she even know that’s why she’s there where she is and he’s not? He would have been there though. In a fucking heartbeat. Guess what fucked it? How do you even manage to give yourself permission to think that you’re better than everyone else?

Everything became a competition and only one of them could win. It wasn’t him, he failed quite spectacularly but he’s okay about it now. Or at least he thinks he is.

Having gone through the relationship with her, it changed his outlook. He’s more aware of how he treats other people now. He has his own ego but it’s not like the world owes him anything, not like how she is. We all make assumptions, we all have biases, we all have our own ego. It’s just the levels that are different, isn’t it?

She might have been the love of his life but now neither of them will ever know. She was the one when he was no one. Now, she’s nothing. It doesn’t even bother her. Her fucking ego.

He thought that he was clever enough to make whatever decisions he wanted to make but she filled him full of doubt at the end. It turns out that meeting her and sharing the things they did has made him better though. Even although she was bad for him, she made him better for whoever comes along next.

He learned not to allow her ego and insecurities to stop him growing, to stop him doing the things that he wanted so she clearly isn’t all bad. If you can meet someone and they make you better, then it’s a positive experience, I guess.

The thing is though, when you have a love affair with yourself, you still sleep alone at night.

And you wonder why, no one’s by your side?

@TheSamMcLeod

Now I see you in a better place.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The lesson learned?

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

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

@TheSamMcLeod

Simpatico.

Simpatico. A person who is likeable and easy to get on with. Someone who is characterised by shared attributes or interests; they’re compatible.

A relationship ends. It’s the worst. It can be difficult to escape the pain, the hurt, the emotional turmoil. You have to learn to cope with it though. Easier said than done? It’s over but perhaps your heart and your brain aren’t quite ready to accept it. That’s natural.

Maybe the only way to overcome a split is by realising the fact that the relationship is done and dusted. Don’t glance back, try not to think of it, that should make it easier to move on. Right? Wrong?

During tough times and after the end of everything that you held dear, your family and friends are going to be the biggest crutches that you’ll ever need. Whilst that’s cool, what do you do? Go out and try and be the life and soul of the party? Maybe you prefer to be alone? Neither option is wrong. The one most important thing though is to give yourself some time. Absolutely, the anguish will tear you apart but what has happened, has happened.

So what now? Moving on? To be able to move on though, you need to learn to forgive him or her. Is it important too though to forgive yourself? If you were the one doing the breaking, it’s on you. Isn’t it better to remember things though as they were and move on? It has to be the same rule though if he or she did the breaking.

If either of you have made mistakes, isn’t there is always another chance for either of you? You can have a fresh start, a clean go at things.

Love can make things great and hurt all at the same time. You wouldn’t want to live without it though, would you?

Does anyone understand women? Maybe they’re just meant to be adored and treasured and never understood? Perhaps the same applies the other way?

If someone in your life loves you the way that you want to be loved, then never let them go. It ‘s easy to think though that love can be something that just happens when two people who are batshit crazy and full of lust for each other become misguided. Not true, right? It has to be something deeper.

If you’re in love, do you ever really know whether your love comes from the person you’re with, or the idea of being with them? Hopefully, it’s the former. An instant spark, a slow, lingering flame that becomes brighter? It can be easy for your brain to be confused with a new love but your emotions will never lie to you.

Intrinsically, doesn’t everyone want to really want to love somebody forever? Sometimes though, maybe you just don’t know if it’s possible to do so until the end of time. You have to keep going. Don’t you? What is the point otherwise?

Love and lust are are so confusing. Take a new boy or girl home, tell them you like them, tell them how beautiful, pretty or handsome they are. The next thing you do if you’re lucky? Turn out the fucking lights!

A new love isn’t like lights, especially traffic lights. Go for it, get ready to go or just stop? Who the hell knows but hopefully, you’ll work it out. You can probably never control who you fall in love with, it just happens, perhaps when you least expect it.

It can be confusing. It’s happened but do you always know that in your heart of hearts that it has begun? Maybe one day, you’ve been talking about someone and all of a sudden you catch yourself with a huge smile on your face? A friend might call you out on it and you blush. That has to be love. Doesn’t it?

It’s bizarre to think about how big of an impact you can have on someone or that they can have on you. Either of you don’t even have to speak. A cheeky glance. A knowing smile. Perhaps a wink. It can make the day seem brighter. Doesn’t that then become part of the reasons for the love? Will either of you ever understand or wonder just how much of you or them belongs to the other? You would fucking hope so!

Is it not the best feeling in the world if he or she smiles at you because then you know? For a fleeting second, isn’t that heart bursting stuff for you, knowing that you crossed their mind?

You need to man or woman up if you’re moving on, why be shy? Do you never wonder which hurts more, saying something and wishing you hadn’t, or saying nothing, and wishing that you had? Tough choice. Be bold though.

It is super hard to pretend to like someone you don’t, but even harder to pretend to not like someone when you really do. What is the worst that could happen? They say no. Fine, you move on. There will undoubtedly come a stage where you need to spill your feelings though. One person in the relationship always has to first, that’s just the natural order of things. The worrying thing is that it’s not telling him or her how you feel that scares you. What will their response be? Just try it. It’ll be okay. Put your heart out there.

One day, you’ll look at that person and you see something different than you did the day or night before. It’s almost a switch. It’s been turned on. Now you know. The person who was just a friend is now so much more and maybe the only person that you can ever imagine yourself with.

Keep your eyes open.

@TheSamMcLeod

A reason for all that I do.

An ex girlfriend of mine once went to a psychic. She was asked to take photos with her of the most important people in her life. Clearly, I featured in this and the psychic saw my photo and was happy to tell the then girlfriend about what she could expect from me.

The almost verbatim quote is “He’s good for you but he’s Peter Pan, he’ll never grow up”

When I heard this, I thought it was incredibly harsh. I was 24 at the time, I had a girlfriend who I loved but I also saw my friends regularly, I enjoyed a night out, with and without her, where was this coming from?

How could someone know that from one photo? I’m sceptical about the whole psychic/horoscope thing, I can’t see how anyone can guess what is in someone’s future. That said, I understand that a lot of people put a lot of faith and trust in it and I massively respect that.

How amusing is irony though? Fast forward to years later. I live on my own in a flat that I love. I have a massive television. I have music pictures on the wall. I have foreign movie posters adorning my hallway. I have a video games console. I have a MacBook. I have separate wardrobes for work clothes and casual clothes. I have bookcases on every single wall. Christ, I even have a trouserpress, it is clearly a boy pad.

More and more, I’ve thought about that day and how maybe what that psychic predicted was going to be true.

Newsflash, not true. I’ve changed my thinking and some of these things will be no more. It’s time to grow up and evolve and I’m looking to share my life with a girl who has become my best friend. Scary times, yet exciting at the same time. Holidays, house hunting, every day is an adventure.

I just want you to know.