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

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 can. 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