Memories of a stolen place.

There’s a generally accepted train of thought that as you get older, your life becomes a little bit more boring than it was when you were younger. Perhaps it does end up slightly less exciting, a touch more tedious and not as filled with as much adventure as it once was was. Fair or not?

How long do you give something that you have going on but you know doesn’t make you happy to continue? Someone or something that’s stopping you from doing all of the things that you want to in your life? Mae West was bang on the money when she said that ‘You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough’. No one wants to get to a point in their life when you realise that there are a lot of things that you wish you could have done, zero point sitting around complaining about stuff when you’re the only person that can do something about it. It’s okay to feel fear, but once you know that you have to make yourself the priority, don’t you know that you might have a ton of fun once you look inward? If you are or have been unhappy in a recent relationship, shouldn’t you look after yourself first, just pursue your own wellbeing? Who wants to check with someone else before you do the things that’ll make you happier? Saying fuck it, I need to do me can be difficult but you’ll probably thank yourself for it later.

The Last Dance with Michael Jordan has been one of the better things to watch whilst we’re trying to occupy time right now. Isn’t it right that there’s usually at least one thing you remember from any book that you’ve read, any song that you’ve listened to, or any film or television show that you’ve watched? ‘To be successful, you have to be selfish or else you never achieve. And once you get to your highest level, then you have to be unselfish. Stay reachable. Stay in touch. Don’t isolate. Clever guy.

None of us are experts at life, it’s easy to become frustrated at whatever you have going on. No manual exists to help us decide what to do as we grow older. Mistakes will happen, we’re all selfish in our own way, but shouldn’t we all want to have as many joy filled days as possible? Isn’t it true though that you you can be selfless and selfish at the same time? What if a day comes when you realise that you can’t carry someone forever and you know that your own happiness is slipping away? It’s selfless to let them go but selfish for you just to to do you in a way.

If you find yourself doing something that makes you think of a lot of things that you liked when you were younger, then aren’t you cheating yourself? Maybe it’s time to start making a list of everything that you need or want to do, to help you find your very own moments of magic and wonder.

I’ve made a list of things to do and say.

Things interfere with your world, sometimes in the greatest way imaginable, but now and again in a way that you wish had never happened. Love, need, want. Two out of three isn’t bad, depending on who your musical favourites are. Zero out of three isn’t a good batting average, and whilst intentions were made clear at the start that none of those things were on the radar or available, if someone chooses to stick around anyway, sometimes it’s easier to just let them. Pretty selfish, but an absolute waste of hours, days, weeks, months and years. It’s never nice for a relationship to become Sylvester Stallone, especially if you knew that’s exactly where it was headed for from the very first second. Sure, it takes risks to make a mistake, but aren’t there mistakes in all of our lives every day? Turns out that nothing is ever simple and nothing is ever perfect, but sometimes it’s of your own doing. Time to cut ties, one thing down.

A random act of kindness in helping out an elderly lady needing advice during her week long stay in a strange city ends up coming with an incredible offer. She’s made her own bucket list for 2021 and it involves travel. The problem is that she needs someone to house sit for her in Grey Lynn, one of the most beautiful areas of Auckland. Who would say no and why wouldn’t you help someone who needs it? Selflessness wins out, looks like guidebooks to New Zealand will need purchasing. One more thing that’s on there, hope the Kiwi ladies are ready for a kilt.

Telling a girl that nothing will ever happen between us because we want different things, no point jumping into something new on a whim. She’s beautiful, ridiculously out of my league, but looks aren’t everything, selfishness and selflessness combine, best for both of us, we’d only hold each other back. It’s okay to be honest with yourself. Three down, but plenty to go.

Snorkelling in Blue Pearl Bay once more, skydiving, getting lost in Venice, this time alone, visiting every one of my friends that live overseas, be prepared for a surprise.

When you feel like life is passing you by and there’s pressure everywhere around you to be at a certain level and place in your life, shouldn’t you be the only person to be the judge of when that is? Isn’t it boring to stay in the same spot, to have to grow up. Better to grow? If somebody’s boring you, chances are that it’s probably you. Time to mix it up, to discover some things or somewhere that’ll make you happy.

The destination, the place to get to?

The boy I used to know.

@TheSamMcLeod

That’s just being friendly.

What’s worse, too much unwanted romantic attention or no romantic attention at all?

When a relationship ends, your head and your heart can lead you in a few directions. Take some time out and look after yourself, dive straight into something serious with someone else, or even sleep with as many people as you want to with no commitment offered. Any choice you make is okay for you, but you want to try and make sure that you don’t hurt or lead anyone else on. No rocket science is involved, it’s just making the right decisions at the right times.

It gets awkward though when someone of the opposite sex mistakes kindness or politeness for flirting. You don’t need to ask for, court or invite attention, hopefully if you act as you always do, them people will treat you in a way that we’d all like to be treated. Chivalry isn’t necessarily a choice that every man makes, sometimes you just know what the right thing to do is. Always hold the door open for others. You give up your seat for a lady on a bus or a train, no questions asked. Make someone feel comfortable in your company, always behaving in a friendly manner and never crossing the lines of decency is how things should be. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being courteous.

Always good to have rules, especially with your closest friends, right?

If your job means that you have to wear a shirt and tie, your tie must be darker than your shirt, otherwise you will be called out on it if you end up looking like a waiter, no offence meant to hospitality professionals. No three-piece suits are allowed, you don’t play snooker for a living. No birthday cards are ever sent, shit, you’ll be lucky if we even remember that you’ve just turned a year older. You will be bought alcohol if someone reminds us, it just won’t be on the day. If we’re all together and it’s looking like we’re about to run out of beer, rock paper scissors will be played to decide who heads out for more. It’s also automatically understood that if any change is leftover, it stays in the pocket of whoever went. Sadly, sisters of friends are out of bounds. No moustaches will be grown unless it’s for Movember, a fantastic cause. If you get your hair cut, it won’t be commented upon, unless it’s ridiculous and you know that picture of it is being shared freely. No one expects an unanswered call to be returned, we’ll see you again at some point, you can just tell us then. No voicemails ever. Skinny jeans and turtlenecks are a no. If you invite people out for dinner, you always pick.up the bill, regardless of how many people are there. If you’re lucky enough to get a girl to go out with you, she never ever pays. Ever ever.

Do all of your rules apply though with someone you don’t know?

I’m a boy and she’s a girl. A tweet gets posted about a thing and she slides into my direct messages to ask if I’m doing okay. I respond politely, thanking her for her concern and wish her well. She chooses to keep the conversation going by asking more questions, and stupidly I answer them. My replies are always respectful but her messages start to go in a direction that I should veer away from.

I’m not sure if I should read between those lines.

Mistaking someone who’s being nice to you as being flirtatious is dangerous, especially if you’re emotionally vulnerable. If I’m accommodating and thoughtful with you, that’s just being friendly. Sure, sometimes a friendship can develop into something more but not if you start sending unsolicited things that you know you shouldn’t. The decision to hit the block button is an easy one but the courtesy remains as far as everyone else goes.

An email arrives a while later from someone I never knew existed. Clearly, we’ve never interacted, spoken to each other, far less met, but he wants to know how I know his girlfriend. Uh oh. It’s okay to be unhappy in a relationship but don’t you try and remedy that first either way, before looking for validation or an ego boost elsewhere? Do I reply, do I tell him?

What am I supposed to do?

@TheSamMcLeod