Laugh when you cry.

Does everything happen for a reason? We’ve all heard that bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people, but isn’t it complete nonsense? Everyone of us does good things in our lives, sometimes for ourselves, sometimes for others but now and again we fuck up. It turns out we can all be a dick. We hurt the people we care about, we hurt the people we don’t care about, and sometimes it’s not even on our radar. It’s just fallibility, the tendency to make mistakes or be wrong about something, a situation, it could be anything. Hopefully we all get the big things right though and if there are wrong decisions made, they’re for tiny matters that don’t affect anyone too much, us included.

Good things happening in your life are the best. A new relationship, meeting new and old friends, an exciting job opportunity, the chance to travel, it could be anything, couldn’t it? Ticking off bucket list things, your team winning the World Series, current champs, thank you very much. Seriously though, don’t we all try and work every day to make things better for every single person in our lives? Now and again though, maybe karma becomes a thing. You fucked up at some point in your past so the next little while for you isn’t going to be enjoyable.

Perhaps sometimes things have to go wrong in order for everything else to start to go right. When you appreciate that though, who knows what your future holds? You can’t just take a peek, you have to open your eyes all of the way if you want to find out what it is you’re made of and what lies ahead. Deniability can sometimes be your best friend and it’s a perspective that few of us ever get, it can be surprisingly energising.

Perceiving your hardest times might just be your inner self telling you that they’re a path to something better. Sure, we all want to take gigantic steps but aren’t baby steps okay in the beginning? It’s okay to break the rules when sometimes you hit a run of bad luck, who knows what comes next?

Give me some sort of sign.

Have I done bad things? I have but, in third grade, I didn’t cheat on my history exam. In fourth grade, I didn’t steal my uncle Max’s toupee and glue it on my face when I was Moses in my Hebrew School play. In fifth grade, I didn’t I knock my sister Edie down the stairs and blame it on the dog. I don’t even have a sister called Edie. When my mum sent me to the summer camp for fat kids and then they served lunch, I didn’t go nuts and I pig out before they kicked me out, I’m not fat. The worst thing I’ve never done is when I mixed a pot of fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaa, and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all of the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I’ve never felt so bad in my entire life. None of that ever happened but nice work if you got the reference.

Have I cheated on someone? Yes, more than just flirting or kissing, an absolutely dick move. Have I been involved with someone who I knew was in a relationship? Sadly, yes, I fucked up. Have I lied to someone? Yep. Have I lied to cover up for someone else? More times than I care to count. Did I tell a girl that I loved her when I didn’t really mean it? Regretfully so, not cool. There have been a shit ton of good things that I’ve done too but a wise woman once told me that self praise was no reward. Clever lady.

Life can make you question everything at times, am I doing something wrong, am I getting anything right? Self doubt, a shitter of a thing. Maybe it’s karma raising it’s head again, who ever really knows? You can probably run on the fumes of trying to tell yourself that you’re okay for as long as you want, but eventually things will hit you hard.

The thing is that sometimes the process of changing and growing up includes going through feeling like you’ve fallen far from where you used to be. To be candid, when you hit rock bottom, you can only climb up, right? It can be difficult to talk though especially if you want to sing.

When you have to stay in a hospital bed for 23 hours a day, you get to thinking about a multitude of things. Have I fucked up? Big time. Have I done some good? Damn straight. When you have to ponder what’s gone before, perhaps you let yourself get ready for what comes next. It’s when you go through hard times you realise that you can have moments when you’re proud of yourself, that you’re comfortable with at least some of the choices that you’ve made. It’s easy to be pessimistic when you’re struggling, but don’t you need to have hope that things will twist in your favour?

Things have been switched up and moved forward. Today could change everything but there is an acceptance that life comes with both wins and losses. Let’s hope for a W.

All that I want is to wake up fine.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Whispers in the night-time.

Many of us are used to having control in every aspect of our lives, unless we’re married because we all know who’s in charge then. In all seriousness though, you decide how your life goes every day, don’t you? You choose the clothes that you wear, what you eat, what you do on the weekend, red, white or no wine with dinner, no one picks rose, the television shows you watch, what time you head for bed. Life can seem pretty simple usually but now and again, it’s the most difficult thing for any of us to deal with.

It turns out that sometimes we all have things in our personal lives that we can’t control. It’s tough and definitely has a negative effect and impact on all of us. Maybe how much depends on each of us as individuals and the coping mechanisms that we’ve developed. That’s assuming that we’ve even managed to find anything at all to make the darkness a little bit lighter. It’s easy to go off the rails, you can be resilient but when something or some things happen that you didn’t expect, it might click suddenly that you’re only human after all. Control has left for a little while but you need to try and wrestle it back, right? What do you do though? Bottling things up can never be a good thing, but it can be the easiest thing. Everyone gets advised or told to speak out, to ask for help but no one wants to show that they’re vulnerable, no one wants to feel like their soul is turning itself inside out. Misguided or not, perhaps it’s just pride, it’s a hell of a thing.

Male pride, whether male or female, we’ve all experienced it. As a man, when you realise that a part of you is broken, the last thing that you want to do is tell someone that you’re not who they thought you are, at least not right now anyway. It’s more than okay to be hesitant at first, but asking for help will be your most important first step. Mental illness is something that’s often not visible to everyone else in your world. It’s going to be one fucker of a journey with countless ups and downs and finding comfort or resetting yourself can be a constant process.

Imagine that you’re holding onto two bottles, you drop them on the floor, what happens? They both break, don’t they? Thing is, it’s how they break that’s important. While one bottle crumples into a pile of glass, the other shatters into a jagged edge weapon. We all break sometimes, but we don’t all break the same. You have to take a shot though before it’s too late. Thing is, a shot at the buzzer only counts if you drain it. Take the shot. if anyone in your life thinks any less of you for daring to reach out, then are they worth having around?

Just maybe though, everything’s going to be okay.

Different things can make your head and your heart hurt. It’s often said but everyone is going through some sort of personal battle that no one else knows about. If you think one day or in that one moment that someone close to you might be hurting, can it ever be a bad thing to try and reach out? Sometimes questions are scarier than answers, but you’d rather know than not, wouldn’t you?

A question is asked about the most important person on the planet. This one amazing human being doesn’t get told the truth about the question and it hurts like fuck when I find out. The relationship is gone and it seems like there isn’t anything that can be done about it. One person’s perception is their reality, despite what the truth might be. Life feels like a daydream.

How do you try and get through your days, weeks and months when someone thinks that you’ve caused them pain?

Self pity is never a good thing. Closing everyone out in your world out can never be healthy but that’s what happens. The curtains stay drawn, social invitations are politely declined, sometimes even ignored. Everyone knows that something is wrong but no one wants to stick their head above the parapet and find out what the deal is. It’s fine, again, we’re all human.

Trying to take control, but I don’t know how to. A day comes though and it’s fine to realise that whilst you maybe don’t want to expose your frailties to your friends, it’s easier to do so to a stranger. Help is fine, isn’t it? Tears? A shit ton of them but it’s okay to be told that it might be okay, no judgements are made. Opening up to someone will be the best thing you can do, who wants to be in the backseat of their own life?

I don’t want to be sad any more. I just want to wake up and realise that everything’s going to be okay.

All proceeds from this song will be donated to various mental health organisations across the world that work to help destigmatise mental health issues, please go and buy it if you feel like you want or are able to help.

For those of us who are experiencing crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

If you’re in the UK, please call the Samaritans on 116123, at any time, day or night, free of charge.

http://sadforever.lauvsongs.com

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Don’t let yourself sink.

‘Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.’ James Conant, a former president of Harvard said those words, clever guy. Maybe the consonants and vowels that left his mouth are about stepping out into the unknown and finding out what we’re all made of, perhaps trying to find that positive attitude towards change and your willingness to take risks in order to move forward with everything that you have going on in your life. Some days are easier than others though, aren’t they?

Just how it is, different things have a way now and again of hurting your heart or throwing you a curveball. When whatever you have going on throws you a left hook, you always want to hit back harder if you can. Easier said than done sometimes, but the thing is, if you look hard enough inside, you can always find something redeeming in even the worst of situations. It would be nice if we were immune to hurt, emotionally and physically but none of us are superheroes.

That said, the easiest thing in the world to do when you’re struggling with things is to sit and feel sorry for yourself. Hopefully a day comes though when you’re done sulking, you realise that you need to suck it up and fight back. Stick on the big boy pants and start with the one person that you can directly affect, maybe you’ll surprise yourself. Haven’t you got to keep moving on, try and get past all of the bad shit and look for something that will keep you moving forward? There’s nothing easier than doing all of the things that we always do, but when you get that feeling of doing that something different, shouldn’t you try and begin a new chapter? Sure, it matters what your life story has been up until that moment when you get that you’re not happy, or when you realise that you need something more. Undoubtedly, special things have happened to you so far, you’ve perhaps met the best person in your life that you’ll ever meet, you know that you have someone that you’ll love forever unconditionally. How about embracing the fact that you can write the rest of your story though, even if it’s just a tiny part?

We’ll all check out one day but before you do, don’t you want to check in first? Do something that you’ve always wanted to do, even if it’s risky, even if it might accelerate the checking out process? None of us wants to let the world rob us of something that we’ve always dreamt about doing. Sometimes you realise where it is that you need to be in that one moment when you suddenly get it and you need something to get you through whatever you’re experiencing right now. Maybe it’s time to completely let go of what you know, what you’ve been comfortable with, even just for a little while.

You haven’t come this far to fall off the earth.

When January 1st comes around, we all hope and believe that the new year will be our year. Some of us will make resolutions, hopefully most of us stick to them, but there’s that curveball again, something happens that you didn’t see coming. The end of a friendship, a relationship. The start of a new friendship, a new relationship. Illness, having to move house, switching jobs, fuck, it could be almost anything, couldn’t it? Good and bad things, they happen to all of us.

2019 is not going to plan so far.

Flying thousands of miles across the world to try and resurrect something that never really stood a chance. Having people that are important pass on. Being subjected to unexpected hospital stays, leaving said hospital, and then having to go back because your male pride makes you ignore medical advice because you had a ticket for the game. Spot the idiot. It turns out that this idiot though accidentally did something good amongst all of the bad, this unexpected stay might actually do some good and take care of something that was unexpected. That said, anyone who’s ever been in hospital knows how lonely a place it can be, what is there to do? If you said to your younger self that you’d spend more than 20 hours of your day in bed, you’d be pretty excited. Who is she, do we take showers together, where do we order food from, does anywhere deliver beer? Do I even float the idea of her wearing a Celtic top?

Just silliness, but a long time spent on your own gets you to thinking. If you’re facing challenges, isn’t it natural for your thoughts to turn to all of the things that you always wanted to do? Like every other choice or decision in your life, you need to pick one first, the rest can follow later. Sometimes you have no clue where the ideas about all of the things that you want to do in your life came from.

The night grows dark, but I’m wide awake. I post a tweet looking for advice about something that I’ve always wanted to do and a good friend replies with a belter of a recommendation.

I have zero clue why, but riding a freight train across the US has always been a thing. Is it illegal? Yes. Is there a chance of being arrested? Absolutely. Could I die? You know it. NYC to LA is the preferred option, always good to end a trip with meeting a close friend. There was a study conducted once and a thousand people were asked if they could know in advance whether or not they would want to know the day of their death. 96% of people said no. Is it wrong to want to be one of the other 4%? Chances are, it might be on one of those days. The journey could last a day, it could last a month.

On the outside looking in though, doesn’t it seem that people who are the happiest do whatever it takes to get to whatever they feel one of their highest points is to overcome all of their obstacles? Perhaps it begins with doing something that you never thought you’d do.

What will it take? Courage, determination, hope, perseverance and strength. Damn skippy, but that’s the same for anyone of us who’s fighting with something. It’s tough but don’t giving up on something that’s challenging.

Wherever it is that you want to get to, make fucking sure that you appreciate the view.

Just keep your head above.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

The fuel to your flame.

Empathy, it’s a cool trait to have, isn’t it? Being understanding of what anyone you know has going on in their life is a good thing, assuming that they’re willing to let you in. When someone chooses to pour their heart out to you, it’s easy to become more concerned about them, but don’t we always want to do anything we can for the people that we care even a tiny iota about?

Kindness is another cool thing to have in your armour. Treat people like you want to be treated, right? Sure, it’s easier said than done sometimes, but maybe if we all approach each day with that mindset, we’ll do okay. It sounds like a glib thing to say, but you wake up every day choosing how you treat people. Strangers, your partner, your friends, your work colleagues. It doesn’t sound too difficult, but sometimes it’s not easy. Things impact your own life and so sometimes you’ll not always be in the right place to offer help when it’s needed. It’s okay to miss things sometimes, but you reach out when realise that you need to, don’t you?

Whilst it’s absolutely the right thing to do, your kindness can be interpreted by different people in different ways. Some take your intentions in the way that you meant them, some others don’t, and whilst it’s those people who’ve read things wrong, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve misjudged things also. Did you go too far, did you give them too much attention when they needed help, did you make a mistake? We all make them, probably every day, certainly on a regular basis. Perhaps the difference is what we do after our mistakes, whether we learn from them or continue to make them again and again. It’s okay to make them but you want to try and not make them again.

Sometimes though, your radar is off, a mistake is coming and you have absolutely no idea about the consequences you’re going to face.

This one might be a battle, might not turn out okay.

When you split with someone that you thought you’d be with forever, don’t you try and focus on anything else you can that will help you try and do whatever the fuck it takes to make you get through it? Work it is.

The week is a little different than usual. Forty five interviews in five days is draining but finally it’s over. Two people are needed for my team and there are only six that make the shortlist. It’s like the NFL draft, will I get my number one pick? Turns out I do, but I have someone forced on me by the powers above that I don’t want. Nothing against her, she seems cool enough but sometimes you have a gut feeling about people, about things. Always trust it, right?

Days and weeks pass and it seems like my gut was spot on. She has a lovely personality, she’s friendly, warm, she’s Snow White classically pretty but there’s a but. No one else can put their finger on it either, but something isn’t quite right. Drinks are arranged one night, everyone gets involved, it’s cool to unwind without the stress of work chat.

Too many drinks are had by most, some of us remain sensible, but she doesn’t. She breaks down, starts crying, emotional kryptonite for most of us boys. I walk her home, making sure that she’s safe and we talk for most of the night. She opens up about personal things going on in her life, suddenly I get why she’s been off her game. She reaches in for a kiss and I don’t stop her. A mistake. I stay over, and whilst nothing happens, it’s another mistake.

More days and weeks pass and things develop, a proper relationship starts. More mistakes are made, I was just a pawn in a game that I finally realised one day that I’d never really understood. She’s pretty, she’s younger than me, she’s a girl that turns heads when she walks into a room. Irresistible. Who wouldn’t take a chance?

When we go out for dinner or drinks though, she gets numbers from boys just to satisfy her own ego. She talks down to my female friends, to the point where they don’t want to be around me when I’m with her. What am I doing? She’s batting a thousand and I’m the 1962 New York Mets, an absolute shitshow. I think she’s better than me in every way so I accept it every time, but that’s toxic and I know it but I need to accept it. Don’t I?

We argue a lot. There are a shit ton of emotions, anger, a lack of trust, blame, feeling unheard and undervalued, hostility, jealousy, what’s the point in even hanging around? No good relationship is built on magical thinking. You can know that someone is no good for you, yet the games and mixed signals seem okay to you sometimes but it’s acceptable to be vulnerable. It’s an abusive relationship, mentally rather than physically. I don’t know what you’re doing to me, better that we end our days and split our ways. Time to tell her, she’s the first girl I’ve ever broken up with on my terms. A meet is arranged. When I turn the corner and I see her standing there, my heart skips a beat, but tension corkscrews in my stomach. The words are said, it’s not healthy for me, and truth be told, how can it be healthy for her? Now gravity is a little less heavy though.

There was that element of chance but now I’ve learned lessons that I’ll never forget. Fucking mistakes. Just maybe you need to try and forgive yourself for the mistakes that you’ve made. You’re not crazy to be curious, we’re all going to disappoint someone at some point, but you don’t want to be disappointed. It’s not fair but you have to think of your own wellbeing sometimes.

Right now, I’d sooner lick an electric fence than let another girl in, but hopefully that’ll change in time. Trust is sacred and hopefully I won’t let this get in the way of the lady that comes next.

Relationship status? South of okay, north of giving a shit about her any more.

I know we’ll never be friends again but I hope that you know that I’d never do any of those things to you that you did to me. Hopefully it never happens to you, but maybe we’re all attracted to people that have the ability to hurt us. Sometimes it’s hard not to think what or who we think we love can affect us the most, but the truth catches up with us eventually.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

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

In the heat of the moment.

You can find almost anyone that you can do everything with, but don’t you want to find someone that you can do nothing with? It’s easy to look at someone and know that you like them aesthetically, but doesn’t happiness come from something more than sexual chemistry?

We all know that you don’t need a certain other to make you happy, but it’s pretty cool when that new person comes along. Perhaps relationships are like arriving in a new city, when you explore, you find out more about yourself, you wander the streets with absolutely no idea about where you’ll end up. Sure, you love arriving, but one day it’ll have to come to an end and you’ll need to leave. Won’t you?

When you meet someone new and assuming that you really like them and don’t want to ever leave, you make promises to them, even if you don’t articulate your thoughts. Compliment them, treat them well, definitely no cheating, hopefully love follows. If they’re thinking the same things, then you’re set for life, right? You might look back later and realise that the greatest moments of your life will be those times when you went all in. Keep your promises, no need to put your hand on a metaphorical bible, but you know what you need to do. Promises are like crying babies in a cinema, they should be carried out immediately. It’s more than likely complete fantasy, but try and keep every promise that you make and only make those promises that you can keep would be a nice idea, wouldn’t it? At some point, don’t all of us want to be knocking on a very particular door? Some of us don’t take the time to appreciate the promises we’re making when we make them because none of us are infallible, it’s okay to fuck up now and again. It turns out that it’s not always easy to know a false promise from a true one. Stubbornness is in all of us at varying levels, but don’t we need to have the heart to say sorry when we’ve messed up? Maybe you’re never too old to be easily fooled, you can love someone but not yet learn about them.

You should have said sorry and it would have been okay. Four consonants and a vowel, just one word. Now?

Can’t sleep, can’t eat, my mind is a mess.

I was lonely but it was more than okay, because I like myself and my own company, and I didn’t need anyone, or at least I thought I didn’t. But then you came along, sparking something inside me like a forest fire. Things progress, promises are made, they’re said out loud to each other. Trips away, sneaked kisses in public, holding hands. Knowing glances, little winks, hugs, high fives, it’s beyond awesome to have a new best friend.

You messed up and you lied though, you broke your promises.

It only needed one word and it would have been okay again. It makes my heart hurt now when I remember all of those beautiful words that you said. I’m sitting here alone and it’s tough to breathe, because tears are falling from my eyes and they won’t stop. Despite them, I know that I need to keep try and build myself back up every day, tough as it might be, no one wants to be sitting for hours on the floor of the shower anymore. You need to know that you broke me that day, despite kissing me that morning as if you’d never done it before, and never would again. I’ve composed hundreds of messages to you, then I’ve hit the delete button. I’ve then tried to write more words that I’ll never be able to send. What does it matter now?

Time to leave for a while and try and ponder everything, to try and understand why you did what you did.

The stars are out and I wander these streets in a new city alone, thinking of all the memories that I want to still cling to. Every day, every kiss, night spent together is imprinted on my brain. Someone should have told me to try and capture every second, but it was too easy to get caught up in what was supposed to be an adventure starring two people. Fucking promises, it turns out that words can be twisted into any shape that someone wants them to be.

We could have been so amazing. Going to sleep beside you, waking up next to you, morning coffee, afternoon naps together at the weekend, late dinners, wandering through our city, through different cities holding hands, we could have been happy for the rest of forever together. Forever ever. Forever ever ever.

It’s late at night and it seems like no one else is awake. Staring at an impossibly beautiful view that you should be sharing, it dawns on me. I’m not your fault, you are your own fault, and despite everything, that makes me sad. For both of us.

I made a promise, you made a promise.

You said you’d be there through thick and thin.

@TheSamMcLeod

Maybe you’re listening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I write because I never know just what to say.

@TheSamMcLeod