Give yourself a moment.

We all have a lot of stuff going on in our lives. Some good things, maybe some great things, some bad things, maybe some awful things. We all have a ton of problems, different things that we need to think about, to make decisions on every day. Some of them are known only to you; some might involve other people. Some things are big, some are little, but they’re definitely different for all of us. All of our problems are unique though, because we are unique. We all lead lives filled with issues, some can be changed or fixed easily, some can have you scratching your head about what the fuck to do about them. Just life I guess, sucks to be an adult at times.

Life can throw you a curveball when other people’s problems impact your life. You’d do anything for your family or friends though, wouldn’t you? Time to look after them before focussing on yourself, but whilst it’s not always the easiest thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. Help others, but if you can’t, the last thing you want to do is hurt them, so you try your hardest. Advice, a shoulder to cry on, letting them know that you’re at the end of the phone for them, let them know that they’re not alone. The little things sometimes turn into the biggest things. Isn’t it a beautiful concept that others come first and you come second? Perhaps it’s a form of love that makes you think, that makes you believe that the happiness of another person is essential to your own happiness. Loving a friend so selflessly means that you share in their happiness whether you are part of it or not.That can never be bad, make someone happy and be happy too, win win. Sure it’s easy to take from people, but sometimes all you can do is give until it hurts. You give what you can whether it’s a little or a lot. Maybe it’s who we are from the start? Like everyone that’s gone before all of us, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. It’s easy to be a good friend to others but sometimes it’s more difficult to be more of a friend to yourself.

Caring and thinking of others is awesome but if your present moment is filled with good things, and you’re switched on, you see them. Maybe you need to give yourself your own advice and take yourself away from life for a while, and get totally immersed in the right now rather than everything else that’s going on around you. You need to stop and take a breath sometimes, give yourself a moment and let your body be. Count one, two, three.

An email drops into my inbox that I don’t expect. I don’t know the person, I have no idea when I see their email address and picture as to why I’m even on their radar. I read the message, I understand it and it’s an opportunity to change my life. Not in a Nigerian prince offering billions of dollars for my bank account details kind of way, but something that will need to turn the focus on myself, rather than the friends and family that I’ve been making sure are okay for the past number of years. It feels like that all I have and that all I need is right here in this moment. My index finger hovers over the reply icon. What if life is about not knowing as much as you think you know, about having to change everything, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next? Scary, but maybe every great move forward in your life begins with a leap of faith, with putting one foot in front of the other, taking a step into the unknown. I can be here now but will it be better to be somewhere else later? Consonants and vowels are formed, words take shape. The index finger hovers again but finally clicks the send button.

It’s taking a chance, but shouldn’t you try and promise yourself that you’ll enjoy every minute of the day that is given to you? No point in fucking worrying yourself with what happened yesterday, or what’s going to happen tomorrow, none of us know. What if you get that one call, that one email, that one text, that might change the possibility of everything for you? Maybe we all need to learn that this moment is enough, as long as we have the belief to make it so. It’s all an adventure, so why not try and look after yourself from time to time?

We all endure tough times and the dawning of a new year can feel almost cathartic. Looking after people rather than yourself is an emotionally draining experience. The here and now is all we have, but if we get it right, isn’t it all we’ll need? Nothing is more important than this day. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t here yet, so the focus needs to be on today. That said, there’s less than 72 hours until a meeting that could change my life forever. Those people I’ve been fighting for are okay now, but they might need to be without me for a little while, because this is about me for a second.

Excited?

It’s okay to be chasing stars and to find a place and lose it.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

When the sun starts coming out.

When a relationship ends, it’s difficult for both people, regardless of who makes the decison that things can’t continue any more. You might have been thinking the same thing but you just didn’t have the guts to pull the trigger first. Emotions can be mixed, but maybe the negative ones come first. Hurt, regret, sadness, tears, all of us have experienced those feelings. The nights come and they’re brutal, the suffering begins. Sleep is difficult, there’s a heightened silence, it’s easy to feel that you just want to disappear for a while.

Once you find yourself beginning to get over things or thinking that you’re getting over things, perhaps that’s when there’s a chink of light in the dark. Excitement, hope, relief, surely there will be someone that comes next for you, assuming that’s what you want.

It’s difficult to know when you’re ready though. All you can do is to go about your day, live your life, be as good a person as you can be and then maybe something happens. It can be a minefield, right? Take politeness, has it become so rare that people mistake it for flirting? So, you’re a nice person, you smile a lot and try to be cool and friendly to the people that you meet. Tough though, because it can be seen as flirting when it’s not meant in that way. Just because you’re being nice and making conversation with someone doesn’t mean that you want to take them to bed. Good conversation between two people of the opposite sex doesn’t have to be anything more than that.

Flirting is one of those things, just like everything else in the world, that some people are just better at. Is it something that’s probably just as much about learning to like yourself again, as much as it is about liking someone else? Trying to see yourself through someone’s eyes and realising that whilst your confidence has taken a knock, you might just be okay? Do you wait and see what happens, or try and chat up everyone that you meet that you think you might like? It’s a lottery, the chances of winning are extremely slim but millions still play, in it to win it, right? Hitting on every girl in sight is like buying a shit ton of tickets, one of them might pay off at some point.

How do you even flirt? Look someone straight in their eyes, smile, use their name a lot, pay them compliments? If it’s been a while, it’s tough to know which approach to take. It’s okay to be nervous, hopefully your courage kicks in, but it’s hard not to think of your last relationship if it hurt you though.

If I did, I’d be a broken man, full of broken dreams, with a broken heart.

My lease is up on my apartment, so I have to move. The issue is that the new place won’t be ready for a few months, and crashing with friends for a couple of days is okay, but you don’t want to ever inconvenience anyone. I know that I’m only taking up the new place to rent it out before moving back overseas for work, so a hotel it is. I check in, it’s cool, but it’s lonely. You need to force yourself to get out there and meet people, it’s too easy to sit in your room. A few weeks in, I try to renew my booking but it’s full for the next week due to a big conference in the city. Availability is limited and all that’s left is a hostel. I’ve not stayed in one before but fuck it, every day is an adventure. To my surprise, it’s actually pretty cool, I have my own room, there’s a full kitchen, internet access, what more do you need? The best part? Different people are coming and going every day, who knows who I might meet? Nothing romantic enters my head but meeting new people from across the globe, people on their travels, what’s not to like? Knowing the area well, it’s nice to be able to recommend things to do and see to others. Politeness.

New friendships are made, conversations in the kitchen with random strangers of varying nationalities happens regularly, drinks are shared, music is played, some have dodgier tastes than others, but that’s okay. How can broadening your horizons be a bad thing?

There’s a Canadian girl I meet, travelling on her own around the country, but she’s here to take care of some family things. We strike up a conversation one night and she shows me a map of all the places that she wants to visit once she’s done what she needs to do. Advice is given and I don’t think any more of it, as nice as she is. Politeness. She ends up staying for longer than expected and the conversations become more regular, meals are cooked for all of our new mutual friends, wine is shared and friendships evolve.

It’s a Saturday night about ten days in, and a small group of us are cooking and drinking, music is on, each of us gets to pick the next song to play. A friend tells me to hurry up before there’s no more night left. My mind is blank, but he tells me that she clearly likes me and to that I need to do something about it before she leaves. Fuck. I know that we’re all looking for that tiny spark that we’ve been dancing around with to set off an explosion in our lives, but I didn’t even know that we were dancing, I thought that she was just being polite too.

It’s my turn to choose a song and you sing along if it’s a song you know, don’t you? She looks at me and asks me the question that my friend saw coming but I didn’t. I have to say no because I promised someone that I wouldn’t move on until things were finalised between us. I’m missing out but a promise is a promise. It’s not the first time, it might not be the last, but I can see how I’ve disappointed her, although it was never my intention. The song plays, and I sing along, almost under my breath.

It’s going to be alright, you’re going to be golden, you’re going to be falling in love before you know it. Am I telling her or am I telling myself?

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

I fucked it up again.

How do you define character? Doing something that you don’t want to do but deep down knowing that you should? Standing up for, or protecting someone close to you regardless of what they’ve done? Just be trying to be a good person, full of compassion and love for anything and everything around you? Choosing to be as good as you can be from the moment that you step out of bed? Sure, we all control our own choices, but sometimes someone might throw you a curveball, they need you to keep a secret for them. People are entitled to their secrets, but is it selfish of them to decide to share those with you, especially if they know that it’s going to have an impact on your life? What if it’s a secret that affects two of the most important people you know? One of them has confided in you, whilst the other person has no idea about any of it. It’s not always easy to decide what the right thing to do is, but is keeping secrets the equivalent to lying? It’s probably right that the best way to keep a secret is to pretend that it doesn’t exist. Easier said than done. Anyone who’s ever been entrusted with a big secret and who struggles to keep it, knows exactly what that feels like.

All of us are blessed with free will though, you can choose to decide between saying nothing or saying something. The moment you share a secret however, you’ve lost all semblance of control with it. Keeping the secret that now belongs to you and maintaining your silence is probably the best way to go, right? Maybe it’s about not being owned by someone else’s secret that’s the easiest way to cope with someone messing with your conscience, your moral compass.

If I’ve learned anything about women, and I probably haven’t, it’s that pride and stubborness have a way of warping men’s thinking, whereas perhaps the ladies in all of our lives, can manage to be a bit more composed when it comes to making a decision. Girls seem to have that ability to always find the right words. I don’t know whether to speak up or hold my tongue, there’s going to be consequences either way.

I can read between the lines, I want to run from everything.

Moving to live and work in a new city and country is exciting, everything is an adventure, the newness of it all is intoxicating. Meeting new people, experiencing a different lifestyle. Discovering new hobbies, finding a local watering hole for those after work drinks, travelling and seeing places that you never thought you’d see in your entire life, pretty damn cool. It turns out though, that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still get homesick. Whilst you’re forging a new life for yourself, it’s easy to be a tiny bit sad from time to time. Thoughts turn to the people that I’ve left behind and a plan is hatched after six months to go back and visit. Quick tip, if you move to the other side of the world, either get your friends to figure out what time difference means, or switch your phone off at night! Calls are made, flights are booked, and I don’t know it yet, but plans are made also, catching up with friends will easily be the highlights of the trip. If I was any happier right now, I’d be triplets.

Two of the most important people in my life are in a relationship and dinner reservations are made for the first night back. They didn’t know each other until one night years ago when I played matchmaker and set them up, and they’ve been together ever since. She ends up having to work so it’s a boy’s night, there will be time to see her again. It’s a night you’d expect, two friends letting off steam after not seeing each other for so long. It’s more of a liquid dinner and then it’s onto a night of bar-hopping. We bump into some of her female friends and they join us. Way too much tequila is had but after a 37 hour journey, I know that sleep will come easily tonight. I have to say my goodbyes but can’t find my friend to say goodnight. As I leave, I see a couple kissing and my heart sinks. It’s him but it’s not with his her. Shit has gone sideways. He sees me, she leaves and there’s an immediate demand to know what the hell is going on. He confesses to seeing someone else for months now and begs me to keep his secret, he doesn’t want his relationship to end, but he doesn’t want to let go of this new girl either. Talk about a hospital pass, what to do now? Damned if I tell her and damned if I don’t.

It turns out that she has to go away for work for a week, so I have time to mull things over. I’ve been friends with her for a lot longer so I have to say something. Don’t I? I put the responsibility back on him and decide that some secrets are meant to stay secret forever, I don’t want any part of it. Little did any of us know that one of her friends told her that she saw him kissing the girl that night, and that I saw it also. A storm is coming and I’m inadvertently a part of it.

She comes home and we meet for coffee and I’m oblivious to what she’s aware of. She tells me that she knows, accuses me of being disrespectful and a shit friend, hard to argue. She leaves in tears, so I sit there on my own learning the cost of keeping something to myself. No matter how much you try to contain a fire, it always burns the way it sees fit. I’ve been the arsonist, can I be the fireman? I reach out because you care all the way or you don’t care at all. Still no response and my heart hurts, especially as I have to leave soon.

The timing’s poor, I know it’s never right.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

Perfect pretenders.

Don’t we all want things in our life to be perfect? It becomes easy to lie to yourself when you find out that everything isn’t quite what you’d hoped. Maybe when you get to that point in your relationship where you just feel like you don’t know each other anymore, or it turns out that you perhaps didn’t know each other to begin with, you realise that the end is near. You thought you knew what this was. You can think that your relationship is good, but when it turns out that it’s not, but you know that you wanted it to be, it can sting. It’s good to remember the good things though instead of the bad, no point in making yourself hurt more than you already are. Nothing wrong with that, something ends and you both move on. Some do it more quickly than others, whilst some of us are a bit more guarded, a bit less trusting. It’s a shame, but you choose to let people into the deepest parts of your heart, life or mind when you’re ready. If they’re worth it, won’t they stick about and wait for that minute when you finally let your guard down?

At some point in our lives, most, if not all of us will have discovered that feeling of secretly liking someone that’s suddenly come on your radar. You wish that they knew what you thought about them, but it’s okay to be scared of what the answer might be if you dared ask a question. So, you keep it to yourself, you try to lock it inside, and then perhaps one day that moment will come when they notice you or you finally get your shit together and ask them. No big deal if they say no, there are a ton of people out there for all of us, right? That one person for each of us thing can’t be real, can it? Liking someone doesn’t mean you have to be lovers, sometimes maybe you just end up friends. Maybe nothing at all happens between you both and you carry on with your life. It’s tough to make yourself not like someone but you work it out.

If you don’t expect to like someone and then you do, it can come as a bit of a shock, especially if you don’t think you’re ready.

She came out of nowhere. Just like in the movies.

It was innocent, yet also a reminder about how many different ways there are to meet people these days. It can happen pretty much anywhere now, can’t it? A bar, a restaurant, a nightclub, a supermarket, a hotel lobby, a dating site, the possibilities are almost endless. Nowadays, it seems like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have decided to crash the party. Take Twitter, a good way to turn ten minutes into an hour. It’s always cool if someone new follows you, but if someone started following you in the street though, you’d be right to feel more than a little bit alarmed. Okay, maybe not the best example ever, but it’s different online, you’re protected somewhat, you choose who you follow, who follows you, who you interact with. It can be random who decides to be a part of your timeline, but isn’t that half of the fun? You can learn new things, meet new people, expand your social circle. I’m definitely not the only one who has met Twitter friends in real life and every single one of them has been amazing. They are amazing.

I guess it’s different for a lot of us. Some people automatically follow everyone back, and that’s cool, it’s our own individual experience, so you should be able to choose. It’s not a snub if you don’t immediately follow back, it’s definitely something that might change in time, no biggie. Someone might decide to follow you, so you check out what they’ve been saying and you either follow back if you like their words, or you decide not to if you don’t.

Obviously you need to be careful, but you trust yourself with your judgement. Never underestimate how much a tweet or a reply might change your circumstances though.

A girl that I don’t know adds me, so I check her out. She looks cool, is into some similar things, and I find some of what she says amusing, so I follow back. Almost immediately, it’s forgotten about, we’ve all got shit to do in our daily lives, right? One night, I’m distracted and scrolling through and I see a tweet from her. She looks like she might be in trouble, so I reply to see if she’s okay. How much trouble can you really be in though, if you have time to tweet about it? Always clever after the fact. A reply comes in and she’s okay, so all good. Nothing wrong with caring about people, even if they’re strangers.

A few days later, a note drops into my messages, thanking me for looking out for her. No problem, a cursory reply is sent. She chooses to keep the conversation going and we end up messaging each other most days from then on. I like the way she used her words, and then one day, I liked the way we used our words together. You can usually tell if someone likes you and you definitely know if you like them back, you can feel that there’s something there. Email addresses are exchanged, numbers are swapped and daily conversations become a part of the norm. Facetiming every day, who knew that would become a verb?

I’m still not 100% sure that I’m ready to let go of the past, but she seems like the kind of someone that you don’t want to play by the so called rules for. Wait three days and then be in touch again? Why can’t tomorrow be our three days, why can’t tonight?

We just didn’t know what it would become. We’ve all been guilty of letting things move too fast with someone new. Head over heels for something that’s not real? Isn’t it right that if two people jump into a relationship too fast, they’re headed for failure? Thoughts of that person will pop into your mind randomly and repeatedly throughout the day, so it can be difficult to try and let your relationship develop at its own pace. How many times have you wanted something to really be something and then you find out that it’s not? Reality kicks in. It was far too much, far too soon and it fizzled out. There might have been a lot in common, but maybe there was nothing alike.

It’s probably always an idea to give your brain enough time to catch up with your pheromones.

That bridge might look like it’s burnt to a crisp right now, but maybe it’s for the best. Then again, it might not be, I guess time will tell.

Maybe it could never be us. At the moment, it’s just you and I.

@YouMeMusicLife
@TheSamMcLeod

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

We all get lost sometimes.

How far would you go for someone you love?

You don’t have to be in love with someone to love them though, it’s an important distinction. You can have a ton of different kinds of friendships, romantic relationships, best friends, casual friendships, work buddies. Clearly, you love a few people more than others, but maybe some of the most beautiful friendships in your life are the ones that have no semblance of any romance. Being completely platonic is cool with friends of the opposite sex. You might be in a relationship, but isn’t it healthy to have a wide circle of friends of both sexes? Relationships get built, some fall apart as time goes on, but it’s okay to let some people go.

Just a decision. We think, so we do. Our doing shapes the people and things that we choose to experience, and then those experiences help to define our character, right? In each moment, we define who we’ll become and who’ll be a part of our lives.

For all of those people that you choose to keep close, you want nothing but the best for them. Undoubtedly, you want the same for yourself, but you’re always looking out for the special people in your life. For them to get everything that they want, difficult as that is, to not have to suffer any heartbreak, ultimately you just want them to be happy.

Things don’t always work out though, and one day you might find out that someone you love is struggling.

When heartache hits, most of us resort to different things to try and numb the pain, it’s natural to feel in that moment that we have no other choice. Alone time definitely features heavily, but hopefully you don’t decide to do something that you shouldn’t. It’s easy to lose yourself in a bottle, or to go for something harder to try and help you cope, but we don’t have to do any of those things, there are more cathartic choices, but it’s difficult. It’s okay to lock yourself away from the world for a while and just try and make yourself better. Sometimes all you want to do is stay afloat, even deciding to be alone for a while can be scary. Days and nights are hard though, sometimes part of you can think that it would be a blessing to just even survive. Dark times.

We all get lost sometimes, you know?

Life can be an assault course, not many know what it has planned for us, or what might the next bump in the road might be. Hold on to everyone that you love and try and face whatever life throws at you? It’s easy to get lost along the way, and make wrong choices but aren’t all of our mistakes there to be learned from, to make us stronger?

Take a deep breath and let it go, you shouldn’t be drowning on your own.

A message from a friend arrives and it’s not good news. Something bad has happened, she won’t be in touch for a while and crying so much that she’s almost drowning in tears. More than one mutual friend has got the same message and needless to say, we get worried about the person we care about. Calls go unanswered and unreturned, emails and text messages are the same, a ring on her doorbell sounds like the loneliest sound in the world right now.

I have your back, no matter what the situation. If you love someone, you do whatever it takes, the consequences can go and fuck themselves. Any pain will be suffered just to share anything you need. No matter how much you feel down, if you need a helping hand, that’s what you get. If you need someone to give you shit and tell you a few home truths about how good a person you are, then that’s what you get. If you just need someone to listen or shoulder to cry on, that’s what you get. You get anything you want and it’s not a limited time offer. We fight together, you don’t have to face everything alone, guess who’s going to be right there? You can want to let go, but know that I won’t.

Please reach out. We’re friends, so we’re in this together forever, there will be a lifetime of me being a lifeline for you. I won’t let go.

And I hope you know.

@TheSamMcLeod

We were boxing the stars.

Sometimes it’s the tiniest things that brings your feelings to the surface. A spark of emotion can trigger a laugh, a smile, a tear. Different things do that to each of us, a random meeting with someone that you didn’t expect to see, perhaps a message out of the blue.

All you want with someone is to feel good, right? When you’re with them, it doesn’t matter that the world is messed up, because they could be your world now. That one person that makes your bad days good, and your good days even better.

It’s sad to have love and not be able to share it with anyone, but isn’t that the point, you don’t want to share it with just anyone? You need to take a chance sometimes, do you keep your hand by your side forever or put it on someone’s heart? Take a leap of faith and hope that they treat you right? Sure, go for your life, no one needs or wants to be played though, so you’re careful. There’s no sense in being with someone when all they want to do is manipulate you. Someone who wants to beguile and seduce you is infinitely better, right? If you’re looking for, or trying to find someone new, there will be hiccups, there will be bumps in the road. The good parts can become great, but now and again it’s hard not to think of those times when things went wrong before with someone different. You still try though if you really want to, no point in moping around forever, but it takes balls to put yourself out there.

How do you read the signs to figure out that someone likes you? Maybe everyone around you tells you that the person is into you, always nice to have a helping hand if you’re not self-aware. When they’re always the one to start the conversation, when they listen to you all the time, when they continually offer you compliments, doesn’t the penny begin to drop? Perhaps they’re a friend so you’re naturally in touch regularly. You can look back on things later and realise that the conversations always centred on the same topics. No one that you like are good enough for you, in their opinion. The subject gets changed when you mention someone that you might potentially be into, they’re always talking in future tense about what comes next for the both of you. When you’re in their company, you catch their eye and they’re staring at you, whilst smiling a lot. They find excuses for you to be alone together and they remember details about you that others don’t.

It’s possible to look at people differently as your friendship or relationship grows. Feelings can change and then there might come a day when you can’t hold back. You might finally click that a friend is looking for an answer to a question that you’re not sure if you’re prepared to ask. Tough to do, what if the whole situation between you both changes, will you kick yourself forever or be happy to have taken the plunge? You can like someone without always having to tell them and yes, the rejection might be painful, but isn’t it worth putting yourself out there? Shouldn’t they find it flattering even if they don’t like you back in that way? Thinking about it too much can be a difficult place and sometimes you don’t know if you can ask any of your other friends for advice. You can be absolutely surrounded by people but feel lonelier than ever.

Have you ever been alone in a crowded room?

She didn’t let him know about her secret for a long time, thinking that she was content to stay in the friend zone forever. One night she told him drunkenly during a lengthy catch up, that he was just wasting time with any of the other girl friends in his life, and then promptly hung up. Clearly, some things are too obvious to some to stay a secret for too long. He has to move forward but isn’t entirely sure that he’s really thinking, the dynamic has changed now. A conversation happens again soon after, and it’s clear that she doesn’t remember anything that she said to him. What to do, does he say something or not? She’s a cool girl, they’ve been friends for years and maybe there could be something, it could be the start of something amazing.

No point asking the question unless there might be that possibility to take it to the next level. Courage is plucked up, the words are spoken and he gets that one reply that can break you. No. Talk about using a shotgun to kill a mosquito.

Time passes and she’s in touch again. Make your mind up if you like someone, this doesn’t need to be a masked ball where we all go as someone else. Be yourself.

It’s now clear that she likes him a lot but when someone says no, it’s difficult to go back, isn’t the friendship a more important thing to save? She could have been a girl that he could have fallen in love with, but she’s pressuring him to do something now that he wanted to do before, and something doesn’t sit right. Can he fix the problem between them? Can she accept things and realise what they had and hopefully still have, is more important than potentially fucking it all up?

He knows that it’s not going to work out now, and it’s for the better if they give it up. Only one of them is willing to admit it, but even though she messed it up, she should know that he’ll always be there for her in the end. It’s difficult but don’t we all need to do what feels right, even if someone wants us to do something else?

What you could possibly expect under this condition? If you’ve ever been alone, you’ll know.

There was a chance, but maybe we were boxing the stars.

@TheSamMcLeod