Don’t kid yourself.

Nobody should ever be ashamed to admit that they’ve been in the wrong. If you’ve made or you’re making mistakes, then aren’t you trying new things, trying to push yourself, trying to make your world a tiny bit better? Every choice we make, we make ourselves although perhaps in that one moment we think that they’re necessary in order to learn what we need to; that whatever steps we take, are important enough to get us to the places we need to go? It’s okay to err, we’re all human, but maybe an error doesn’t become a mistake until we correct it. Don’t mistakes show us what needs to be improved though, otherwise how would we know what we had to work on? What if you had no realisation that you were making a mistake in the first place?

Clearly, some mistakes are smaller than others. Forgetting to pick up bread or milk, not putting the bins out on the right day, minor things, they’re not going to trouble you too much. If they only affect you, that’s easier to take because no one else gets hurt. Fucking things up with a friend or lover? Different story.

In any relationship, the devil is right there in the details. There can be problems in every relationship, some you know of and some you don’t. When something comes to an end, you know immediately who’s to blame.

It’s you right there, right there in the mirror.

It’s just another day, a lot of us are out for brunch, I know some, I don’t know others. It’s always nice to meet new people, to expand my social circle, you know that you’ll never like everyone you come across, but don’t you need to leave yourself open to the possibility that you might? The boys get handshakes and hugs, the girls get a peck on the cheek and hugs. One girl who is introduced to me, seems particularly cool, even my girlfriend likes her. Conversation between everyone else flows easily though, it’s a nice few hours spent with old and new friends. Numbers and Twitter handles are swapped, people are added on Facebook. Exchanges follow between all of us, plans are made for catching up. It’s okay to like new people, even if it’s someone of the opposite sex, whether or not you’re in a relationship. You can be into someone or simply be friendly, although maybe for some people it can be hard to tell the difference. Normally someone that likes someone else will try to find out more about that person and show some sort of interest in you, to compliment you, or just generally be kind. Does that really mean that they like you though in a romantic way? Not necessarily.

Like anything in life, different combinations of people click more than others. I strike up a friendship with the girl who I recently met, but that’s all it is. My girlfriend knows that we message, that we chat occasionally, that we meet up for coffee now and again, but it’s not a full on thing. She does the same with her, as well as some of the boys. No need to be jealous if you’re in a relationship with someone that you love and trust. Friendships with people of the opposite sex are healthy, aren’t they? Catching up is always the same with my girl friends. The space is important, you’re my girl friends, not my girlfriend. A hug, a cheek kiss, and a smile.

Birthdays happen, Christmas comes around, so you give gifts to the people in your life, how can it be wrong to be thoughtful? I’m out one day and it’s neither of those days, but I know that the girl wants a particular album so I pick it up for her, it can never be wrong to make a simple gesture to the people in your life. Sometimes you see something that you know a friend would like, so you pick it up for them. It doesn’t always need to be about special occasions, it’s nice to do something nice, who doesn’t like a random gift?

It’s okay for a text or instant message to end with the 24th letter of the alphabet, it just means that you’re getting a virtual cheek kiss, right? It seems that not everyone thinks so.

A message pops up and she’s had a promotion. A case of wine is sent just to congratulate her, awesome work on her part. It’s signed for by her boyfriend or partner, not someone that I knew even existed. No problem to me though, I’m not romantically interested, I’m just pleased for my friend. If only it was that easy. He spots the return address, looks into her iPhone and sees our messages. Every single one is completely innocent, no innuendo, nothing sexual, but he flips at the kiss at the end of our messages. They didn’t go one way, I got them too, but I didn’t read anything into them. My girlfriend got the same in her messages, just a little thing, it’s only a letter. Not to everyone it seems. Obviously not everyone recognises that niceness and politeness isn’t always flirting.

It kicks off between them and they split up because of me. Have I done something wrong? It’s difficult not to blame myself when a friend is hurting. My mind constantly goes back to what I could have done differently to make our friendship work. No gifts? No nice messages? Maybe the best thing to do is keep my mind busy with other thoughts, to move on, to forget about what she never told me? It shouldn’t have even mattered, we were just friends. We’ve all been in awkward situations that don’t always work out the way that we want them to. Perhaps sometimes you need to reconcile yourself to the fact that what happened, happened.

A friendship is gone, it’s time to say goodbye, there’s no use in two people remembering the same thing. Have I fucked up, or have I just not yet found a way to make things work? You can only do what you can with the information available, but should it change the way you approach a friendship? Maybe it’s naivety, someone’s perception is their reality. Her heart is hurting, so ergo, my heart is hurting.

Thing is, maybe focusing too much on something is going to fuck you up. Sometimes the best way to get through hurt is to remain positive. There can be conflicted emotions, but sometimes you need to let things go. I need to let things go, no point in clutching at straws. Sometimes you can only know what people are willing to tell you. Be okay with what you see in the mirror.

Don’t punish yourself, you’re looking too closely.

@TheSamMcLeod

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 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’s 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

Here comes the breath.

Things used to be so much easier when we were young, weren’t they? You dreamt dreams, you had hopes and fears, without knowing why or being able to understand them properly. It’s never easy to try and comprehend all of the things it takes to grow up in a world that we didn’t really understand, that we might not ever truly know. Growing up happens quicker than we’d like, but the memories of being a child stay with us for a long time. It’s easy for us to hold on to things that were, but still wonder about what’s to come. There are moments when everything is fine, and other moments where you realise that there are certain memories that you’ll never get back. People, stuff and things are going to change as you get older, is the hardest part knowing that there’s nothing you can do except watch on? We’re all curious when we’re young, we continually ask questions. Does that change as we get older, don’t we still need to ask things, some questions are more important than others?

How good were the times before there were any complicated relationships, drama, or heartbreak? A time when we got closer with someone just by holding hands or talking all night on the phone about anything and everything. A time that was amazing, and yet impossible to return to. Young love, your heart bouncing around like a lottery ball. The innocence of something, when you’re not sure if it meant anything. Living off of the fumes of just liking someone and it didn’t matter if they knew, but you were happy, yet too scared to ask the question that you know you should have. Maybe it’s the anticipation of something happening that was exciting, perhaps it’s the ambiguity of not knowing what will come to pass. You can’t control everything that happens though, just part of life. You’ll mess a lot of things up, but If you’re going to fuck things up, is it better to do it whilst you’re young? Maybe the older you get, the harder it becomes to recover. Who wants to grow up? If there’s a tree, I might want to climb it. If a football comes near me whilst out running or walking, you better believe that it’s getting fucking booted as hard as possible. It’s okay to be a kid at times.

‘I don’t get upset over things I can’t control because if I can’t control them, there’s no use getting upset. And I don’t get upset over the things I can control, because if I can control them, there’s no use in getting upset.’ A famous quote from an ex New York Yan***s player hits the nail on the head. We can’t control everything, easier said than done. You still need to try though, and part of that process is asking questions that you might find difficult. Just growing up, right? An evening comes, bourbon is poured and it’s time to think.

The lights are off and the sun is finally setting.

Do you ever feel like that your drowning in the words that you’ve never said? It’s hard to grow up, to ask the question you should, to tell someone that you like them because you’re too afraid of what might happen if they say no. Time to grow up? When you get older and you start to doubt yourself and you have you that insecurity about someone saying no, they almost become unattainable, it’s almost that feeling you get when you realise that there is someone you like. Too pretty, out of reach?

If you have any sense of moral fibre, then you know that things with someone new can only happen when you know that it’s done with the person before. Sure, it fucking hurts, but reality kicks in and you realise that you need to be kind to yourself. You loved them, you maybe always will, despite everything, but whilst that love lingers, it’s okay to say goodbye. That night, I finally think I know that we know that it’s time to let go of what could have had been, and look ahead to what might be coming. For both of us. How early is too early to move on? A month, a year? Fucking feelings, there are a shit ton of tears, who wants to move on from the person that they thought they would be with forever? The truth is lurking under the surface and my own conscience is waiting to blow up in my face unless I pluck up the courage. Ask or not, toss a coin? Heads or tails, how do you know until the coin lands?

More bourbon, probably not a good idea. Yes or no, literally a night spent on the window ledge staring outside at the night. Talk myself down or not? Dare I ask, how do I find out?

The night sky is changing overhead.

All I want to know is, can you…..

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

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

In my head, in my heart, in my soul.

A lot of us have a daily routine, dropping the kids off at school, picking them up, telling your other half that you love them, preparing dinner. Everything in your life can be normal, there’s nothing wrong with that. You’ll have some things that’ll come along too which will take you out of your comfort zone and that’s a cool thing. We’ll all have some days, nights and moments that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives when those chances present themselves, but you can make your own moments too, right? Travel, random acts of impulse, some family and friend things, we can all choose the things that we want to do. It’s great to say yes to things, but it’s entirely your prerogative to say no to others. It’s your life, you choose how you want to live it. When you’re old, don’t you want to look back on your life and recall all the memories that you cherished? That you still cherish.

The thought of getting old gets to all of us at some point. We all know that we’re going to die, it’s hardly breaking news. Perhaps Jhonen Vasquez articulates it better than most, “Nothing quite brings out the zest for life in a person like the thought of their impending death.” If you’ve made sure you’re exactly the person that you hoped you would be, then maybe you’d care a little bit less if you died tomorrow. If you’re going to die young, is it better to make that as late as possible? How do you want your world to end? Better with a bang, rather than a whimper surely.

A day will come when time and life shake hands and say goodbye to each other.

When you get told that when that day is likely to come, one of the last things that you need to be facing is an ordeal worse than the one you’ve just learned about, far less eight ordeals. Bang over whimper though, remember? Take a moment to think and then decide on the journey you want to take with the days you have left. It’s going to be a tough flight home, hard to tell people what’s happening, but it needs to be done. Sometimes it’s the silliest things that make you think. A remake of Point Break is watched on the plane and it’s surprisingly decent. If you’ve seen the film, you might have clicked that the Ozaki 8 is entirely fictitious, although the ideas behind it are real. Something clicks, a decision is made, eight choices/ordeals are chosen.

Ordeal 1 – Emerging Force (Dangerous Rapids)
Ordeal 2 – Birth of Sky (Mountain BASE Jump)
Ordeal 3 – Awakening Earth (Sky-to-Earth BASE Jump)
Ordeal 4 – Life of Water (Surf a 60+ Foot Wave)
Ordeal 5 – Life of Wind (Wingsuit Flight)
Ordeal 6 – Life of Ice (Snowboard an Unridden Line)
Ordeal 7 – Master of Six Lives (Climb a Cliff Face With No Safety Gear)
Ordeal 8 – Act of Ultimate Trust (Put Your Life in The Earth’s Hands)

Numero uno, kayak the Inga Rapids on the River Congo, the deadliest and largest rapids on the planet. Less than half the people who attempt it make it out alive, the odds are not good to make it onto the second one. Assuming all goes okay, mountains will quite literally be on the horizon. Base jump from the highest point off of one of the tallest mountains on the planet, seems a bit easier. Who doesn’t want to scale Mount Kilimanjaro? The bonus is that it’ll be quicker heading down than going up. Number three could be the end. Skydive from an airplane into the Cave of Swallows, the world’s deepest natural cave shaft in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. The Empire State building could easily fit inside it, no pressure. Maybe a whimper would be a better idea. Four and five sound more than achievable. Nazaré on Portugal’s Silver Coast for some surfing and then onto Switzerland, one of the world’s best wingsuit destinations. Snowboard an unridden trail? Heading for a spot few people have ridden, where to go? Fjörðum in Iceland, Skeena Mountains in British Columbia, Gangkhar Peunsum in Bhutan, the world’s highest unclimbed peak. Good to have choices, I guess. All being well, six down, two to go. Do a Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2 and head for Utah’s jagged Dead Horse Point? The Eiger, El Capitan in Yosemite or Mount Asgard in Nunavut. Ultimate trust, something we’d all like to have about everyone and everything in our lives, so if number eight makes it onto the horizon, then why not go big? The highest recorded cliff jump in history is a touch under 60 metres, just under 200 feet. Standing atop a cliff, stretching your arms out, staring down, and jumping off from hundreds of feet into the water below has to be epic, I guess there’s a reason it’s called tombstoning. Greece, Hawaii, Vermont, all good options. Might as well go out in style though, Angel Falls in Venezuela ticks the boxes. Home to the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world, more than 16 times the height of the current world record height. Fuck it, why not?

Failure or success, everything remains exactly the way that it was, I’m me and you’re still you. Whatever we were to each other, nothing has changed. No one needs to be out of mind because they’re out of sight. A moment will happen one day and all will be as it was before.

It’s okay to accept that the earth folded in on itself.

@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