Cowardly shy.

Do you ever feel more vulnerable than you do when you’re not in control of things? Vulnerability sucks, none of us wants anyone in our world to discover that we’re not as strong as we’re making out to be. Just maybe though, once you’re able to get over your fears and insecurities and even embrace them, you realise that you can and will handle whatever has come at you. As contradictory as it seems, perhaps it’s something that can make us stronger. We either learn it ourselves or we’re taught from an early age to put on our game face, to head out into the world and hide our fears. If and when we do this, aren’t we finally realising that strength comes from what fear teaches us about overcoming our weaknesses, about what being a tiny bit emotionally broken means. What you tell yourself will either increase those feelings of vulnerability or be the words that encourage you to be stronger. Hope is precious.

When you hide those weaknesses though, no one would ever know that you’re waging a war with your feelings or that you’re scared about thinking that today might be the day when you just can’t go on. Sure, it blows when things aren’t even in the general ballpark of being okay, but sometimes you need to cry on the shoulder of someone you know and trust, and sometimes you just need to figure shit out for yourself, whatever works for you. Just a part of a personal growth process probably. Who knows, maybe you can be an inspiration to the people in your life when you show a side of yourself that you never expected you might have to. Tomorrow things could and likely will get harder, perhaps harder still the day after, but not every ending has to be the end of your world.

It can be a multitude of things, maybe it’s the end of something that tugs at your heartstrings every day. You have to at least try to keep going though, don’t you? The only one who can make you give up is yourself.

The thing is, everybody gives up sooner or later.

It should never have ended and I’m still confused as to why it did. Days, weeks, months, years of pain pass, of being afraid to open up to someone else. Off of the charts vulnerability wise, but a day needs to come when the need to open up to the possibility of someone new becomes a reality. That’s all it is though, a possibility. It’s not fair on anyone new if your mind is still wandering back to someone else. You can meet someone that splits your emotions though. Is it a bad idea, a good idea? When life is tough, when you feel beaten down and someone shows interest, you try and take pleasure where you find it, right? It’s okay for your heart to need a boost.

All of us want different things from people that might become a significant other, or who at least might become something. Looks, personality, being driven crazy by someone in a good way, a person who makes you not want a good feeling to wear off, someone to make your eyes smile. What you don’t need is someone who leads you on, it turns out that people can get to you emotionally and cause you to lose your usual objectivity.

She has a nice way with words, she’s pretty, any male would take a second glance. Toss in eyes that you could fall in love with and it became easy to be entranced. If only moving on was so easy. That said, things develop. It’s something in it’s infancy, so it’s emotional rather than physical. We talk most days, you don’t speak with someone that you don’t want to. Isn’t it true though that when any two people enter into something new, someone always falls quicker than the other?

The penny drops on a trip away, looking out at one of the most spectacular skylines in the world brings clarity. It’s not fair, for once I’m the one doing the leading. Those sudden chaotic feelings of confusion, the potential of something new doesn’t sit well, a realisation kicks in that it’s hard to feel anything when you’re certain that you have nothing left to give because you’re still stuck in the past. No point in telling a lie or kidding on, shouldn’t you go after what you truly want, even if it’s to finally end whatever it is that you find yourself in that moment? A call goes unanswered. Sending a message to end anything is fucking awful and it’s a horrible nerve to touch, but there’s no point in giving her the PG-13 version. The reply comes, job done.

Cold hearted? Definitely. The truth though? 100%. I fucked up royally from the beginning but I also knew deep down that it was never going to be a thing.

Countless beers follow and a Hong Kong sunset becomes a Hong Kong sunrise in what seems like minutes. All I know is that I’ve wasted time looking for something that I don’t deserve yet, that I’m not ready for. I don’t want it, it’s been a dick move from the start and I’m sorry. Things will work out one way or the other, just go for what or who you know really matters.

Hours pass and I wake up on the wrong side of the bed and not because a new girl was taking up the right side.

There’s always some relief in giving up, so there’s zero point in being afraid to miss out on what might be good to try and go for something that might be beyond great. It was never anything substantial but everyone deserves to be treated honestly. I didn’t mislead you on purpose, I just didn’t know that I wasn’t ready.

I want somebody else to be with you, I want somebody else to follow through.

I was in the wrong to even entertain the thought of you. Another sunset comes, I continue to feel bad and sleep doesn’t come easily. I’m wide awake, knowing I never miss you.

I should’ve said something at the start.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Love is not designed for the cynical.

Everyone makes mistakes, just part of everyday life. Hopefully the majority of them are small and reasonably insignificant though, nobody wants to fuck up spectacularly. Sure, go ahead and try anchovies. You like oysters? Try the Rocky Mountain version, they have to taste similar to the ones you could get from Prince Edward Island, right? Choosing to sit through a showing of Titanic just to try and impress a girl? There are some hours and minutes right there in your life that you’re never getting back, especially if the old yawn and arm-stretch around the shoulder trick doesn’t work. Some mistakes are bigger and obviously impact your life in a much more meaningful way. Accepting a job that you realise was a mistake as soon as you start it, nightmare. Why did I choose to live in this apartment? You should always view somewhere at night too, shouldn’t you? Picking that one person to share your life with, maybe the toughest choice of all, and possibly the easiest one to make an absolute mess of.

Pretty grim when you think about it, but some of us get a lot of things right, anchovies excepted. Life rears it’s head once more, every single one of us struggles with different things now and again, aren’t we just a person trying to find acceptance and love about something or someone, trying to make sense of different things, probably to try and make ourselves feel better? Trying to move to a new place, changing that job, saying goodbye to someone, even when you know that it’ll sting. Sometimes the hardest things and the right things are the same.

It’s okay for your confidence to be dented when something ends though, especially if you weren’t 100% sure about it or them in the first place. Soul searching, trying to tell yourself that it’ll be okay, don’t tell me this is all for nothing.

Do you, or have you ever had someone in your life that if you could only see them one day a year, rather than see somebody else every day of the week, you’d choose the former? Aren’t the few hours you spend with that special someone worth the thousands of hours that you spend without them?

We were young, we lived hundreds of miles from each other. She was visiting family, a mutual friend introduced us, and it became the very definition of a summer romance. Eight magical weeks spent together, giggling, holding hands, hanging out, hugging, kissing, it might have been the best summer that any 17 year old has ever had.

What were the chances of seeing her again? Zero at the time or so it seemed, but all you can do sometimes is to try and better that number and then everything is out of your hands, fate kicks in. Apparently, a school of thought exists that missing someone gets easier every day because even you’re one day further from the last time you saw them, you’re one day closer to the next time you set eyes on them. Bullshit or not?

Christmas comes and she’s here again but things are different. There are hugs, but no holding of hands, no kissing. She has a boyfriend back home now so it’s the right way for her to behave and it’s immediately understood, no words are needed. Nothing better than hanging out with someone who’s quickly becoming a best friend, I’ll take what I can get. It turns out that distance means the square root of fuck all when someone means so much, even if it might not go anywhere. Different holidays come and go,and it’s accepted that if one of us is seeing someone when we catch up, nothing inappropriate happens. Kissing is as far as it’s ever gone but when someone wants to press their lips onto you one day and then do it again the next, how can that ever be bad? Could it be more than something? A question that was never asked, simply for the reason that I might have been scared of what the answer would be.

The holiday visits slowly come to an end and contact becomes infrequent. Days, weeks, months and years pass. She started seeing someone and I’d met an incredible girl who’d give me the best gift ever. We split, she moves onto someone so much better than me and they’re happy. Life again, live in the moment, not the past. What now, miss you or forget about you? Thoughts drift occasionally but only when single life is the reality. I meet someone else and it’s an on and off thing for longer than should ever be necessary for two people. She’s a beautiful person in her own way but it doesn’t take Einstein to work out where the mind goes when it’s an off period. It’s ultimately destructive, you can’t keep covering for someone when they’re in the wrong. Sometimes the people you count on and trust the most turn on you because of their own failings. Some secrets should stay hidden though, even if you’re the one that takes the shit for them. Every day is a school day though, but if all you learn is what’s done is done, then that’s enough. Does it help or hurt? Fuck knows, I’m numb. There is absolutely no harm in trying to constantly connect dots and to forgive someone to make things right. Can it be sorted, is that even what I want?

A message comes from the girl I remember as a teenager, and whilst my smile is huge initially, it’s not by the time I finish her words. She’s now single and is reaching out. Whether as a friend or something more is clear, but who wants to be a rebound?

It’s more than okay to hurt but don’t we all need to find our own little corner of the sky to try and repair ourselves first? Being a friend is the first job, sometimes we all need reminded that hard times will pass eventually. It’s hard not to make this anything more, but I can’t mess someone about, despite how much I want to say some things. Pouncing on someone who’s emotionally vulnerable would be a dick move.

Maybe the feeling of knowing that fighting for the one that you think you love is worth it, but how do you articulate your thoughts? A feeling lingers that there could be a million people against us, but when we have that one person that stands beside you no matter what, does you even care?

You’re hurting and I hate that. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you might think, but the most important thing is I’ll always be with you. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. Every time I get a text, I hope it’s from a certain someone, you’re my favourite notification.

It’s late, I’m in my bed, you’re in your bed. One of us is in the wrong place but I can’t tell you. I wrote some words and then I stared at my feet, became a coward when I needed to speak. Who knows what could happen if you ever ask again?

I see everything you can be, I see the beauty that you can’t see.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

The debut album, ‘Without Fear’ drops on September 27th, available online and in all good music stores. Shit, it’s likely that you’ll be able to pick it up in some bad ones too, so go and get it!

Why isn’t this enough?

There are things in life that you know intrinsically are a bad idea. Take running with the bulls in Pamplona. Sure, it’ll be helpful if you’re not the slowest thing on two legs, who wants to be chased by something that could kill you? Base jumping, bungee jumping into a crocodile infested river, yes, that’s a thing, kayaking over waterfalls, shark cage diving, skiing off a cliff, skydiving, train surfing, trekking around an active volcano, wing walking, there are way too many things to mention.

Not all bad decisions will risk your life thankfully. Putting pineapple on pizza will never be acceptable, choose the toppings you want, but be prepared to face never-ending ridicule. Calling or texting that one person that you know isn’t a good idea after one too many lime cordials will be embarrassing in the morning, but the feeling will pass. Brown shoes with black trousers? Take one more look in the mirror before you leave the house.

Going back to someone that you were with once before, how can that be a good idea?

Everyone’s been with someone when things just didn’t work. It would be great if we all lived in a world where no matter what happened in our relationships, every little problem could sort itself out, although that’s easier said than done. Isn’t a relationship supposed to be about two people who are able to have their own friends, hobbies, lives and thoughts but still come home at night and be with the person they love? You should definitely be able to have your own time outside of your relationship as well as in it, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Everyone is different about what they expect from someone, maybe you just made a bad choice, hopefully no crocodiles were involved. Any relationship needs to find a happy common ground, communication and compromise is key, right? A relationship without any of these things is like a car without petrol, stay in it all you want, but it’s not going to go anywhere. Sure, it doesn’t always work so it’s time to say goodbye. So, you move on, you get by and after a while, you’re okay again. Nothing else for it, sometimes you lose, you win, maybe you cry, you definitely grow, lessons are learned. Aren’t they?

We tried everything under the sun.

What if you try to give it another go and it doesn’t work out? You’ve been burned once before, why do it to yourself again? You only ever get a second chance at something you took a first chance at though, maybe it’s a good idea. It applies to both of you, when you split, chances are that someone has fucked up. It’s okay to give someone a second chance, but are third or fourth chances a bridge too far? This time it is. We know that it’s not going to work out, we tried it before, time to just let it go forever. What the fuck was I thinking even contemplating it? All we ever do is all we ever knew.

Thing is, people aren’t always what you want them to be. Sometimes they disappoint you or let you down, but we’re all capable of doing those things. It’s not like you can just meet someone and expect them to be everything you’re looking for and then be angry when they’re not. Aren’t you misguided if you believe that someone will be exactly what you imagined them to be? Hopefully sometimes it goes the other way, you give each other a chance, and you both turn out to be better than either of you ever thought possible. Jealousy off the scale right there.

What’s broken is broken, isn’t it better to remember it as it was than attempt to try and mend it, rather than recall all of the bad times? It hurts, it stings, but I know that going back would be wrong for both of us. Life has become easier because I’ve accepted an apology that I never got. It probably won’t be tomorrow, or the day after that, but soon, things will be better. After all, a face that’s going to be full of smiles used to be a face hidden with tears.

A brand new start or a brand new ending? Let’s see.

It’s time to wake up from this, it’s time to make up for it.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

All the things that you do.

Do you ever think that maybe some relationships are destined to never last? You can’t afford any rebellion against what you’re thinking, about what your heart tells you, no one needs to be trapped inside a dilemma, so you have to make choices. Good people come and go from our lives every day, and it’s okay for the impact of that happening to be felt weeks, months, shit, even years later. Maybe we bared our bodies, our future hopes, our past, to someone that we thought was a friend or something more. One day something happens though, and that certain someone ends up a stranger or an occasional acquaintance at best. With each goodbye we go through, we mourn the comfort of catching up with someone who’s now gone. No more calls, no more messages.

Maybe some of the hardest goodbyes are the ones that you didn’t see coming, something that’s incredibly unexpected and something that means you didn’t get to say the parting words that you wanted to. At times it’s a choice, whilst with others it’s chance. If you’re lucky, you still try and part on good terms. Does that make things easier? It’s no wonder that many of life’s most stressful events involve goodbyes.

Sometimes that’s something that sits okay with you, but it’s okay to struggle and accept losing someone whether they’re a friend or a lover. You move on, perhaps with a rollercoaster of emotions. Your heart might be hurting, and you’re sure as fuck confused as to what’s happened, as your mind flits between anger, disappointment and any other emotions that you could mention. Acceptance, reminiscense, a hope to forget and to move on. You think it’s acceptable to break our hearts a tiny bit, because maybe we weren’t right for one another anyway? There’s plenty alone time for second guessing though, right? Demons and ghosts matter when you have to let someone go from your life who you thought would be there forever, just someone who was a good friend. Other friends will tell you to let go of all of the blame, guilt and regret, but what if you’ve done nothing wrong? Whoever’s gone is an idiot, aren’t they?

The Italian people have a proverb, ‘One that deceives me once, it’s their fault; but if twice, it’s my fault.’ Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Let someone fool you three times, who’s the fucking idiot now? Maybe sometimes it’s necessary to burn a particular bridge, the penny drops and you realise that you’re done. Recognising that you fell for the same thing twice and knowing that you should’ve been able to have seen it coming the second time around. It should never have got to the third time.

It’s easy to overthink things, but it’s cool to still hope. Can you rescue it? One more hope to understand?

It was magical, rediscovering someone from years ago. How can it be bad to catch up with an old friend? Mutual friends are spoken of, plans of catching up happen, it’s a cool thing. Sometimes though, circumstances get in the way. Once, twice, three times not a lady, what a pity. One moment you’re something together, and then it’s over. Before you know it, that person is just somebody that you used to know. Blocked on Facebook, unfollowed on Instagram, it doesn’t matter. Wouldn’t you rather live your life for real, rather on social media? No need to make it difficult by the things you say, the games you play.

What now? Drown my sorrows in bourbon over the thought of losing someone who I thought was a friend? Nope, clearly, because of her actions, she’s not worth it. My bad, I thought I knew better, time for some self reflection. Next time, pick someone to be a friend who isn’t quite as judgemental? Who understands everything that you do every day to try and make you and everyone around you better.

Maybe she was left heartbroken by someone, maybe she’s just not as nice as she appeared. Her tears and regret will never make make me smile. We were only ever friends but I hate you, I love you, I hate that I love you. No grudges, not ever, but this will never be a thing.

You know you’ll never change my mind.

@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

Like you’ve seen a ghost.

‘Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.’

Various days come when there are moments of reflection, you have a wry smile to yourself and try and realise why different things happened or didn’t happen in your life. You know deep down that you can’t always allow yourself to think about what you don’t have, or what you didn’t get, what you have or what you’ve lost. Memories have that way of popping into your consciousness at any given time though, hopefully more good than bad.

Although easier said than done, how is it a good idea to overthink everything, about what’s gone before, about what might have been? Just because someone got away, doesn’t mean that you’ll always be pining for them. No point on missing out on the here and now though, about everything that’s ahead. Don’t miss out on something that could be great just because it could also be difficult, take the leap. Sometimes you tiptoe into the water, but then aren’t you missing out on the adrenaline of plunging in headfirst, who wants to be engulfed with a tidal wave of what ifs?

What if you lose yourself for a minute or two?

It’s a Friday morning, the letterbox makes that familiar noise with mail hitting the mat. There’s a card, much more interesting than the usual utility bills and bank statements. It’s unexpected, it’s not my birthday, it’s not Christmas, so I’m intrigued. The words inside are surprising, ‘I just want you to know that I enjoy your company, that I love being around you. I want to spend more time with you, we could have fun together. If you want the same, meet me on Saturday at 5 where the bus used to collect us to take us to school.’
It’s unsigned, my mind starts working overtime, who could it be? Is it a love letter of sorts? Love letters never used to be thought as something out of the ordinary, but things changed with texts and emails. Why not do either of those things instead, shit, go crazy and dial my number.

Like a Magic 8-Ball, I didn’t come up with any real answers, but then the penny drops and I know who it is, let’s call her L. She’s a lovely girl, very pretty but it’s never going to happen. We’d been spending a lot of time together as part of a larger group, but she’s just split with one of my best friends and there’s a boy code. Once a friend is with a girl, she’s off limits forever. I head for football practice instead on Saturday, I’m too shy to let someone down in person.

There’s also the small matter of someone else, let’s call her M. She’s part of the same group, our parents are friends, so we spend a lot of time together, I’ve been to her house more than once. From the minute I met her, I wanted to know more. Cute, engaging, fun, sarcastic and super clever. Maybe sometimes you can know someone better in ten minutes than someone you’ve known your whole life. Obviously, I can’t say anything. Beautiful ships never sailed by my dock so I couldn’t speak to her, I just didn’t have the courage. A boy having the balls to try and tell an amazing girl that you like them? Like trying to put a jumper on a jellyfish. Despite her obvious physical attractiveness, she was like the ubiquitous girl next door, someone that you could play football with, and happily not mind when you ended up losing. Asking the question might cause the end of the friendship though, she’s too cool to be around and I’m too smart to let that go, so words are left unsaid.

The friendship continues but I have to move away for work. She’s the one that’s being left behind, but I knew full well what that cost of that was, although thankfully M will never know. We could have been two perfect circles entwined, but it is what it is. Thinking of how it could have been if I’d done something, if I’d said something. There’s the feeling of loss, the feeling of never knowing what could have been, the feeling that you let someone that you always wanted slip right through your fingers.

We’re in touch less and less, just everyday life.

Another day comes and that familiar sound of the letterbox is heard again. It’s an invite to a party, catching up with old friends will be fantastic.

Years have passed, M walks in an hour or so after me but she hasn’t changed a bit. Part of me hopes the only reason she even came to this party, is so that she can see me. Pretty arrogant male behaviour.

Everyone is catching up with everyone so we don’t meet again until around midnight. She kisses me on the cheek, we hug and it’s like how it always was, the girl next door is back in my life. Drinks are bought, glasses are clinked, maybe it’s time to say something, Dutch courage always helps, right? Just as I start to say those words that should have been said before, another friend whisks her away to dance. Hours pass and the night winds down. She comes over, leans in for a hug and kisses me, whilst holding my cheek. She puts her mouth to my ear and whispers, ‘I wrote you a card once, asking you to meet me because I wanted us to be more than friends, I was in love with you. I was so hurt and disappointed when you didn’t show up. I’ll love you always, take care.’ My heart drops, I can’t stop blinking. Friends say ‘What is it, you look like you’ve seen a ghost?’

Sometimes we meet people and neither of us guesses that the other is someone who feels it too. That can’t be a good thing.

Soon after, it’s almost like she makes sure that I see her leave with someone else, sometimes you can read the tea leaves as well as anyone. Will another chance come along? No, sometimes you only get one shot. The knowledge that there is one other soul out there who has your number, right down to the last decimal place hurts though. How often does that happen?

You just have to see her and you know that she’ll break you in two.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

Wasting words on lower cases and capitals.

Every one of us has had a secret or secrets at some point, right? If someone trusts you enough to let you in on something they want kept private, then you can take it one of two ways. Be humbled that they trust you enough, or be angry that they’ve asked you to keep something to yourself that no one else can ever find out. Maybe the best way of keeping one is to pretend that there isn’t anything you need to keep to yourself? Let’s face it, with secrets, there are the ones you want to try and keep, and the ones that you don’t dare tell anyone. Sharing secrets with even one other person, will change the whole dynamic of the relationship. Every day we make decisions. Get married, don’t get married, take this job or don’t take this job, go left or go right, and at the time, they don’t seem like they matter, but they do. Same with secrets, what to do? Keep the blood in your head, and keep your feet on the ground.

We kept it safe and slow.

Working in executive search, a lot of the job involves client networking. Telephone calls, regular email contact, catching up for coffee now and again, corporate dinners. Sometimes work can be just like your personal life, you develop relationships with people, some you’re in touch with more than with others. Just a natural thing, whilst appreciating the need for being careful to embrace everyone on a professional basis, you know that you’re going to enjoy the company of a few, rather than the many, when those relationships progress onto something on a personal level. It doesn’t mean you need to be boyfriend and girlfriend, friendship is more than okay.

There’s a girl, we get introduced by a mutual contact and we catch up regularly. Every time I call her, I have to go through her personal assistant. It’s cool, I’ve not met her yet, but she’s super nice, super professional and her boss tells me that she’s amazing. The aforementioned calls, emails, dinners all happen regularly, purely professionally, all perfectly arranged by her PA. A friendship develops, we start to talk more about things happening in our personal lives over random coffees, it’s always nice to get a different perspective on things that you have going on. When she finds out I’m single, she teasingly says that setting me up with her PA would be a good idea, but the thought of mixing work and pleasure doesn’t appeal, so with a smile, I politely decline.

Is it a good idea to say no, will I still be okay with it later or will I regret it? Regret is a funny thing, something that you either have to let go of or decide to live with, it’s a decision only you can make. As few regrets as possible in our lives would be great for all of us. Sometimes part of regret is about the one that got away, the one you can’t quite forget.

A call comes in one late evening and I recognise the number. It looks like more work might be coming my way, but it’s not who I thought it was though, it’s the PA who wants to meet to meet and to talk about herself rather than her company. No problem, just another tiny secret that I won’t share with anyone else. Coffee is arranged, we agree to meet outside at a specified time, remember we don’t know what each other looks like.

We meet, a hug and a cheek kiss is exchanged, before coffees are ordered. What should be no more than a twenty minute meeting turns into two hours. Once her work advice is given, we speak about music, travel, a multitude of things. Hands down, she knows about and likes as much of the same things as I do, more so than any girl that I’ve ever met. Maybe her boss is a clever lady after all. She throws into the mix that her boss likes me in more than a professional capacity. We giggle at the thought, smile a lot and my mind wanders, this wasn’t what was expected. A goodbye and a hug follows, she heads in one direction and I head in another.

A couple of days later, a thank you card follows, a lovely touch. An acknowledgement message is sent to say how kind that was. Text messages are exchanged, and a friendship evolves, although we don’t meet up.

I don’t realise that she lives near me, although she knows where I stay after spotting me heading into my building after work one night. It’s late on a Friday, a text arrives and she says she has a bottle of wine, would I like to share? Who doesn’t like wine? The intercom goes, she climbs to the top floor and makes her way along the corridor. I see her coming as I look through the spyhole and open the door. We look at each other, dead in the eyes and we kiss before the door has even closed. The wine is left untouched. She doesn’t stay, I sleep alone, not my choice. I get told that this is nothing more than a one-off and that I need to hide this meeting from everyone, especially her boss. Just another secret to keep.

The pattern repeats itself though. A text comes, kisses happen, no wine gets touched and she never stays over. Developing relationships is easier at work than it is now. Maybe I’m not for her? We all want to swing for the fences, but don’t we need to be able to read the pitch first?

Her work circumstances change and she relocates, good news for her, bad news for someone else. Damn me for giving such good fucking advice!

Months pass, I start seeing someone, but I know it’s not right and on a night out, I know that I need to tell her, it’s only fair. We’re in a club, my iPhone pings and guess who it is? She’s back in the city and is at a bar next door. Whilst I really want to go and see her, it wouldn’t be cool. I say the words I need to say though and I head home alone.

Have you gone and done something you really shouldn’t have? Home wasn’t the right option, once I did what I needed to do. I wanted to be in that bar. If an artist signs a painting, it’s not because he’s only going to paint once. If we kiss, it’s not because I only want to kiss you once, twice or three times.

I send a message later, but the response comes the day after, containing just seven words. Maybe in another time or another place. I’ve missed my chance. Again. For all of us, think about the words you think but never say.

You hurried up and lost me, hurry up and find me again.

Perhaps it was never meant to be, neither of us told the other about what we expected from whatever this was.

Neither clear nor descript.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife