The story needs more pages.

There are some questions that you know you need to avoid asking. When is your baby due? Always a good idea to make sure that the lady in question, is in fact, pregnant. That was an awkward moment. Are you seeing anyone? No one’s status matters in the way you speak to them unless you’re into him or her in a big way. When you meet someone new, it’s probably not a good idea to query what went wrong in their last relationship. Why aren’t you married? Marriage is an absolute minefield of a topic, best avoided at all costs. Why are you single? Yep, great question to ask, everyone who isn’t with someone else sits around pondering the reasons why they can’t seem to find someone that they’re compatible with. If you’re male, you know it’s an unwritten rule that you can never ask the age of a lady, no good can come of it.

Maybe sometimes though, you need to channel your inner kid curiosity. Who, what, why, where, when, how, those little fuckers never stop asking questions. The absolute wonderful naivety of youth, don’t we all wish that we could go back to that time, even if just for a few moments? Asking questions without having an agenda, without being judged, just a natural impishness to settle things in your own head. You know you can’t get the answer you want if you don’t ask the question. If you never shoot, you’ll never know. Isn’t it true that the only stupid question is the one that’s never asked? There’s nothing wrong with being curious about things and finding yourself slightly confused by the world.

Clearly some questions hold more importance than others though. What to have for dinner tonight isn’t quite as meaningful as what you need to ask someone that you think you might have feelings for or that you think you might be falling in love with.

How do you define what love means to you? The need for the well-being of another person that you care about more than yourself? Having a thing with someone so deep that the twinkling in their eyes becomes important to your own feeling of content? To see that person that makes you happy smiling every day more than once? Someone that you care about so much that you would do whatever you could to stop anything bad from happening to them? It’s all subjective, if you’ve sussed it out, you’re doing well.

I can’t seem to get it right.

Life as a sixteen year old boy isn’t that complicated, there aren’t too many questions that you need to ask. Hopefully you know where your next meal is coming from, school, sports, hanging out with friends, you probably know what every day is going to bring. Until someone comes along and messes all of that up.

Every day at 8am, the bus rocks up to take us all to school. It’s not a long journey, twenty minutes or so and everyone gets lost in their own little world. Personal CD players are everywhere, conversation is scarce. Everyone knows everyone else, some sit on the top deck, the cool kids sit on the bottom at the back, nods are exchanged and everyone loses themselves for a while. With it being a small town, chances are that you saw most of the people that you share the commute with over the weekend anyway, you were probably hanging out with a lot of them. You see this lot more than your own family, no need to be inquisitive, what type of questions do you need answered?

One Monday morning is different to the others that have gone before. The appearance of a new girl on the bus has nearly all of the boys going to the extreme step of taking their headphones off to listen to her voice rather than whoever was their artist of choice. It didn’t hurt that she’s incredibly pretty but immediately we all knew that she was major league whilst we were all the Triple-A equivalent.

Day after day follows and you know you’re in trouble when you start looking forward to the journey to school. Slowly though, a conversation happens, a friendship begins and continues to evolve over the next weeks, months and years. I fell in love with her in stages.

We hang out a lot but the subject is never broached. Having the friendship is infinitely more important than the possibility of fucking things up on a romantic basis, but do the two need to be mutually exclusive? Now would be an ideal time to have that ability again to not care about asking a question. Maybe it’s a healthy thing to hang a question mark on the things that are super important to you, no point diving in if you’re not sure that you’re going to get the answer you want. A lack of self confidence? It’s always easier to talk yourself out of something rather than into it. Sometimes a stubborn mind is a blessing, sometimes it’s anything but. Once an idea forms in your head though, can it be stopped?

Eight words have never travelled from my lips to her ears but maybe it’s time that she knows, if she doesn’t already. Wish me luck.

I’ve been in love with you for ages.

@TheSamMcLeod

The last ones dancing when the lights go out.

Devotion. A noun meaning to have care, love or loyalty for someone or something. There’s a scale though, isn’t there? Some of the things in your life, not all, that you show any of those emotions to, you get to choose what they are. It can be big things, it can be small things but you’re in charge. Don’t all of us have a favourite band, drink, film or food that we love? Death Cab For Cutie, Carolina Reaper tequila, The Big Lebowski, phaal curry, love them all, but devoted? Nope. It becomes a bit more difficult with sports teams, assuming that you even follow any side, team or organisation. Again, there’s a scale though. If you live on the opposite side of the world to where your favourite team are playing, chances are that you’ll be asleep when they’re in action. Staying up through the night or waking at 4am to watch a game remotely shows devotion for sure, especially if you have to go to work straight after. Maybe that devotion takes away your choice, perhaps you’re not in charge as much as you thought.

It gets even more difficult when it comes to people, but again, and for most of the time, you choose who you let close and who you keep at arm’s length. It’s always a good idea to never not try and do anything by half though. If you love someone, don’t you try and love them with all that you’ve got? The L word isn’t just something that you just toss around. If you hate someone, and it’s a strong word, hate them until you feel better or until you forget about them. It’s okay to fuck up, haven’t we all let someone in that we thought would enhance our lives, before finally realising that decision made as much sense as bullfighting on a trampoline. None of us need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends that we can be certain of.

Lots of people will want to ride your coattails at one point or another when things are good, but what you need and want is someone who’s looking out for you all of the time, even if you don’t know or see it. Someone who resolves to always be by your side, maybe when no one else has your back. I guess you could call that devotion.

Thing is, you’re on the other side of that relationship too, you’ll do anything for the people that you care about. A few words, a hug, a smile. A call, an email, a quick text, it’s the little things sometimes. Sure, it’s difficult if they’re further away, but they need to know that you’re always available even if it’s just at the end of a phone. You know intrinsically though that if they really need you, that they can take comfort to know that you’re getting into your car, hopping on a train or a plane to head in their direction because you care about them. Who’s devoted now?

They need to know that you’ll always let them in, that you’re there with the door wide open. No matter what.

You have to either let those words leave your mouth or communicate with them in another way so that those people in your life, know unequivocally, that no matter what happens, no matter what’s needed, that you’ll always be there. Nothing wrong with having an unwavering commitment to the people that you care about, it’s just choices again. You either do something, or you don’t. You can love someone with every fibre of your being or not. Don’t we love all of the things that come together to make them a part of your life? Maybe it’s like Jenga, there’s only so much that you can add or take away without making the whole fucking thing collapse. Not if you let them know. To have it clear in your own head that they understand it doesn’t matter about highs and lows, they know there is at least one person who’ll support them through anything and everything.

It sounds like a noble thing to do, but it’s really not, just the right thing. Life gets in the way sometimes though, or we don’t appreciate that it’s not always clear. Perhaps it’s the smallest thing or a life-changing event for you to realise that not everyone you care about knows that you’ll always be there for them. Guilty as charged.

Cards, notepads, pens and stamps have been bought, how quaint, who even writes letters any more? It’s time for those special people to know, for that one special person to know that I’m here, that I’ve always been here and that I’ll always be there, no matter where I am in the world. My bad for not saying sooner. A shoulder to cry on? I’ve got you. Some encouraging words to help try and make you feel better? All over it. If harsh words are needed, then you’d better believe that you’re going to hear them. Tough love sucks sometimes but it’s love nonetheless. If something hits your mat, or even just your inbox, then now you know for sure.

Anytime that you will fall, I’ll be there to pick you up.

When there’s no one to hold you, I will still hold you down.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

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 enemies, that shit is dead and gone, it’s just not what it used to be.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions