It’s not a failure we could help.

Now and again, we come across a situation that we find irresistible, someone or something that it’s difficult to say no to. A new job opportunity maybe, perhaps the chance of a new relationship. No real way though of telling at the start if either are going to be good for you. It’s easier to change jobs than partners, but you’ll never know if one or both will work out if you don’t try. It’s always exciting to be attracted to someone new, to something new. Depending on how your life is going, it’s cool to not want to take a chance on someone or something, it’s not always going to be ponies, rainbows and unicorns, so a leap of faith is needed. Shit or get off the pot.

Isn’t it also true that sometimes it’s hard not to like or love the people or things that will end up hurting us the most? Some of us can be attracted to people that have the ability to cause us pain. There’s fighting, hurt, a lack of trust. Frequent break-ups but lots of great make-up sex. Feelings of blame, jealousy, being undervalued, all are far too much drama for anyone to have to deal with regularly. Can you dislike or like someone at the same time? Sometimes it’s the conflict that keeps things going. You both know that you’re no good for each other, but you dance the dance, until one of you plucks up the courage to say that it’s not working any more. Just life, making choices every day, you need to be strong enough to trust yourself, right? Things are tearing you both apart, better to break than be irreparably scarred. It’s more than okay to be physically attracted to someone, but perhaps it’s not wise to have a proper relationship with them. Quit whilst you’re ahead? Wish one another well and don’t look back.

What’s the point in chasing a train when you know that it’s already left the station. You cannot outrun a ghost.

Death Cab For Cutie are in town and are playing at the Sydney Opera House. It’s sold out, but I manage to find a pair of tickets online. I arrange to meet the seller outside and one of my best friends is coming along too. Perfect. She has to decline at the last minute unfortunately, so I make the spare available online. A random girl replies first, so now it’s her ticket, and although I’ve not spoken to her, far less met her, shared interests are a good start. It’s a couple of hours, it could and should be fun, even with a stranger. We arrange to meet at the Opera Bar for a pre-show drink, it’s one of the nicest spots in the world with a knockout view, that gets even better when you snag seats facing the Harbour Bridge.

I pick up the tickets and I get to the bar first. I’m not presumptious enough to order for her before she gets here, so I get a beer and grab those wonderful seats. A few minutes later, I can smell perfume behind me, and in some way I know that my new concert buddy has arrived. We shake hands which is frankly ridiculous, I ask what she wants to drink and I head for the bar. As I wait, I glance back over and there are an insane amount of people saying hello to her. We all know that one person who seems to know everyone so I don’t think too much about it, I grab her drink and head back.

The conversation flows easily, she has the cutest inflection to her voice. We head upstairs and grab our seats. It’s more of an intimate venue than I expected, and again, she seems to know everyone. We share the same first name so every time that someone says it out loud, I look around, but of course, they’re not speaking to me, she’s the object of attention. She’s not a natural blonde, but she’s a natural beauty, so I can see why. Again though, I forget about it, the lights dim and the show begins. She knows the words to every song, pics and videos are taken, it’s an amazing couple of hours. During the interval, the conversation flows as easily as before, I know it’s going to blow when the night ends, I don’t need a map or compass to see the direction I want to be heading in.

I live in a different suburb, but she invites herself for a nightcap, so we catch the ferry. We get to a bar that is less than a hundred paces from where I live, I give her money for drinks and excuse myself. I come back and more and more people are saying hello, how popular can one girl be, weird.

The night ends, she comes back to mine and although there’s something there, neither of us are those kind of people. A quick glass of fizz follows, I give her the tour, she takes the spare room, shorts and a tee and kisses me on the cheek, thanking me for a good night. Sleep follows.

I hear the coffee machine when I wake, I smile and take the chance to grab a shave and a shower. The doorbell rings, I go downstairs to find friends that are borrowing my flatmate’s car for the weekend. They look quizzically at the girl disappearing back upstairs and then at me. I grab the keys for them, she comes back down minutes later, kisses me on the cheek and leaves with my number with a smile, we’ll see each other again. I apologise, look back at my friends and one half of the couple sees that I look confused. He asks, ‘Do you know who that is?’ I confess I don’t, I don’t even know her surname. He laughs uncontrollably and tells me that she’s nationally famous and appears regularly on TV. Spot the stupid expat.

They leave, still laughing, and although a high five is handed out, they don’t know that anything happened. I make a dick move, stick her name into an internet search engine and the penny drops.

Days, weeks and months pass, emails, phone calls, texts are exchanged. We meet up regularly and she now knows that I know who she is. It doesn’t change anything, I don’t think, things are kept private. One day, an invite drops through the postbox for a gala event and I’m the plus one. The kilt is on, we meet up, but something is different. No hands are held, there are zero hugs, don’t even start me on kisses. The red carpet belongs to her alone, I might as well make myself comfortable on the sidelines. Plenty of pictures are being taken of her but you can probably guess how many I made it into. It’s made very clear what her priority is and it’s not a guy in a kilt.

Who wants to settle for something that isn’t right? I’m a little heart heavy, but sometimes you have to close a window even when you know that you’re not going to like being on the other side of the glass.

Was I in your way, when the cameras turned to face you? No room in frame for two.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

Say something.

Aren’t the regrets in your life the things you haven’t done, rather than the things you have? Those lost opportunities, those lost possibilities, the feelings that you might never get back. Those moments, when you lose them, can they be found again? They’re gone forever. Aren’t they? Hopefully not. Will we ever know though?

The chances are that if you ask people what they’ve always wanted to do, the most likely response is that they haven’t done it. Me included. Sad in a way, almost heartbreaking for all of us.

We pray for opportunities or chances, we seek out opportunities and we yearn for the slightest chance of something that we want. The good news is that we’ll meet opportunities in every day that we spend on this planet. The bad news is that we miss a lot of them, only to come to a later realisation that we fucked it or them up. Isn’t an opportunity like a bus or a train on the move? Once it’s doors have closed, it’s gone. Another one will come along but will it carry better opportunities? A sliding doors moment, right? Too often, we might miss out on a chance of something because we were too busy or we were too distracted. Maybe we were just shit scared of asking a question and being rejected. Who can say, perhaps we just missed those chances tapping us on our respective shoulders. Excuses will always be there for you, opportunities might not be.

Can you ever undo it, ever unlive it, or relive it all? Why not take the plunge? Say something. Maybe you could have had what you wanted. You’d be silly to not ask the question, wouldn’t you? Don’t miss all of those opportunities along the way to do what you wanted to do because you didn’t have the confidence to tell yourself. Say something?

Some people say that it’s not what happens in your life that matters, it’s what you think happened. Just bullshit or is it true? It can be quite possible that the most important thing to happen in your life will be something that didn’t actually take place. Make sense or not? Maybe you missed the opportunity to make it happen. You wanted it to but you didn’t follow through.

Maybe all, maybe just some of us go through life disappointed in ourselves. Do we all keep a memory of that one moment when we missed out on someone or something?

It was too easy to start rushing towards all of the excitement at a million miles an hour. I should have taken the chance but I didn’t.

It was a road that we didn’t take, towards a door that we never opened. Correction, a road that I didn’t take, towards a door that I never opened. We chatted. We flirted. We joked and we touched each other in a way that people who like each other do. Bumping shoulders, gentles nudges in the ribs, playful rubs of each other’s backs. We shared stories of our travels, tales of your life in Zurich and mine in Sydney and Scotland. New York featured a lot. My favourite city in the world. What are the chances of bumping into you when the place has over 8.5m people living there?

It hits me that I’ve lost you, although I never really had you. Will you now rank among the things I’ll always regret? I’m not sure. Okay, definitely an opportunity lost but should it matter that much? Maybe it does. I found myself feeling for one of the first times in my life that I’d maybe missed out on something. On someone.

Not going to lie, there’s a constant differential dynamic between the excitement and thought of someone new and the security with one person. Not that I have her but taking the chance is scary, perhaps the reason that I didn’t ask the question that I should have.

I always win in my imagination but this time I lost. You might have said no to dinner, to drinks, to something more. I might never know now. I’ll probably never know now.

Don’t be afraid of missing those opportunities in your life, give them a go. Behind every bad decision or misjudgment is an opportunity that somebody wishes they had missed.

Tonight it’s easy to feel like the one who is on the sidelines, the one who has missed out.

If I missed my moment, I missed my moment. Fuck.

Say something.

@TheSamMcLeod

Now I see you in a better place.

Caring. Loving. Manners. Politeness. The right thing.

You hold the door open for everyone. You apologise when people bump into you. Not something that you should do, but hey ho, you do it, the right thing. It’s definitely not the wrong thing. Politeness and manners though, never bad things.

Most of us, perhaps all of us would do anything for the people that we care about. The people that we love. Whatever they need, you’re there, aren’t you? A friendly ear, a hug, a smile a word of advice? It turns out that you’re considerate of other people’s feelings. Who knew? What if they’re really struggling though? If they have issues or problems going on, are you able to be there?

It’s not always easy to have that sense of intuition though as regards their life, about what they have happening to them. You could be forgiven for not knowing that anything is going on, for not knowing that everything isn’t okay. For not knowing that they might be having a difficult period. Sometimes, perhaps all of the time, that person in your life has to reach out to you. It’s easier said than done, granted, but don’t they need to let you know that everything isn’t okay and that they need your help?

If they don’t reach out though, what can you do? Not a great deal really. The one thing that you know intrinsically though is that you will do and have done anything and everything that you can. Hopefully for a large percentage of us, that’s in our nature. It’s inbuilt hopefully.

All of that should be part of your daily make up, shouldn’t it? Be good, be kind, be nice. No games. Always.

What happens though when you really need to step up? To do anything? To be the person that the one person in your life thinks that you can be. You step up, don’t you? What happens though when it’s tougher than you think? What happens when you lose someone close to you?

Sometimes the person who tries to keep everyone else happy is always the most lonely person, so never leave them alone, because they will never say that they need you.

He was a childhood friend but then suddenly he was gone, taking with him, like everyone does, a lifetime of private and unknown dreams, experiences, fears and hopes. Again, like everyone does when they pass, he left the good parts of himself behind to everyone that he loved and cared about.

He left pretty explicit instructions about what he wanted his friends to do with his ashes after he passed. Cheeky to the end. Scatter some of them from the top of the harbour bridge in Sydney. We don’t think we hit anyone. Let some go underneath the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Dump some into Niagara Falls. Spill whatever is left into the East River from the Brooklyn Bridge. We might have hit people in NY, it was windy! Apologies.

He had a soulful kindness, a never-ending generosity. My heart twisted in my chest when the call came. When every fibre of your being wants to shut down, do you have a choice? Not really. You know what you have to do. Just do the right thing, despite how hard it might be for you personally. You have to suck it up, it’s not about you any more. Whatever you are asked, no question, no possibility of saying no. You’ve been in tears for days, your eyes are red, you might look like you have a thousand yard stare. Staring at yourself in the mirror is a scary thing because you don’t want to see the face that’s looking back at you. You just get on with it though. Sometimes the sadness grips you so suddenly and with so much intensity that it takes every breath you have to just keep moving. The worst part is that you can do everything to protect your heart and it’ll still get broken.

Sometimes it’s better to just let things be, to let people go. Don’t fight for answers, don’t look for closure, don’t chase explanations.

It seems that he was just nursing a new secret in a life that was already full of old secrets.

It’s been easy since to have pangs of guilt from promises that weren’t kept about keeping in touch, we’ve all been there.

The lesson learned?

Love your fucking life with all that you can give. Take photographs of everything, especially the people that you love. Tell those people that you love them on a regular basis. Talk to random strangers. Do things that you’re terrified to do, because fuck it, all of us will die one day and not many people will remember a lot of the things that we did. Take your life and make it the best story in the world. Always choose happiness. Life is too short to fuck around with negativity, pain and remorse.

Friendship is when people know every little detail about you, but yet they still like you. Isn’t it?

@TheSamMcLeod