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

Can I have this dance?

It’s nice to have people around you that are full of fun and that you enjoy spending time with, but there are certain times that you want to be alone. Fuck, maybe you need to be alone. That time when you want to be with yourself, just to think about things that have affected you in one way or another. Don’t we all need space in our life sometimes to decide how we’re feeling, to reflect, to think about what comes next?

Life doesn’t stop, there will be hundreds, thousands of important decisions ahead for all of us to make, so maybe some you time will be cathartic. It’s okay to love having your own privacy and space to spend some quality time with yourself, even if it’s a difficult thing to do. You don’t want to be alone, but you want to be left alone. Just for a little while, because sometimes you don’t want to answer to anyone or anything, you want to do what you want. Sometimes being alone is better, less chance of getting hurt, right? Sure, there’s a shit ton of stuff out there in the world that you’ll find enjoyable, but maybe you have somewhere that you like to go to be by yourself. Being alone doesn’t mean being unhappy, it just means that you’re comfortable in your own space. You can be alone without being lonely. Let’s face it, you’re not lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.

It’s nice now and again to have that quiet time. Maybe you’re doubting yourself, maybe something bad has happened, maybe today has arrived, and it causes you pain because you remember that you’re not where you’re supposed to be, or who you’re supposed to be with. It’s okay to hurt but you need to learn to suck it up though, don’t you always have to be your own cheerleader, to give yourself a little pep talk occasionally? Time to go to your place that makes you forget, that makes you think, that makes you feel better. Maybe somewhere where you need to forget to remember.

Anyway.

We all have places that we go to that make us feel good when we’re feeling bad. The city never sleeps, but in a place full of noise, it’s strangely quiet. It’ll be a long night, but there will definitely be thoughts of someone else regularly. Today is a tough day. Today is also a beautiful day for someone else, which is kind of nice, because although everyone can have a day when they’re hurting, you can also know that someone you love, is having a great day. Just life, it’s okay to feel bad for yourself and happy for others at the same time.

Attaboy, Bar Goto, Banzarbar, Copper & Oak, Nitecap, Arlene’s Grocery, all staples of the Lower East Side in the greatest city in the world. Want to come and hang out? I guess meet me at Pianos. Looking for Miss Right in a city full of mistakes isn’t on the agenda tonight though.

Allen Street, Chrystie Street, East Broadway, Orchard Street, the legs will be stretched, and thoughts will turn to people who aren’t around. Perhaps you only realise that when you’re on your own, is exactly when you need a particular person the most. We’re miles apart but worlds away. Nothing feels emptier than a room when you want a certain someone in it.

Nobody else matters.

@TheSamMcLeod