Waiting for months, waiting for years.

How long does it take to get over someone, to finally accept and realise that you have to move on? A day, a week, a month, a year, longer? Tough question to answer, we’re all different and it probably depends on who ended things and how long you were together. Maybe when that moment arrives though, you click that giving up doesn’t always mean that you’re weak, sometimes it means that you’re strong enough to let go and forget them, or at least to try. It can be a relief to escape but it can hurt like hell to be discarded. If a person wants to be a part of your life, they’ll make an effort to be, continually, day after day, but then a morning or night comes and one of you knows that feelings aren’t there any more. Sucks if you still have all of the feels though, you’re on the wrong side of the glass looking in, moving on is always easier for one of you when two people split. What now? You just take as long as you need, no point in rebounding straight into the arms of another.

Finding someone new can be hard enough, but then there’s the challenge of getting your timing right, assuming that you’re brave enough to ask the question, it shows vulnerability to put yourself out there again. If you manage it, sometimes you have to wait for the one person you like to make up their mind if feelings are reciprocated or not. If you miss your moment, has it gone forever? If you really want to do something though, you’ll find a way and if you don’t, you’ll always find an excuse to put those questions off. You can tell yourself that don’t have enough time but that’s bullshit. You have exactly the same number of hours in every single day that everyone in history had, think of all the things that a lot of them accomplished. Once you get to that stage when you think you might be ready to need or want someone, you have to ask yourself some questions. When, why not now, why not me?

Thing is, needing is one thing, and getting, getting’s another.

132,796,800 seconds, or 2,213,280 minutes, or 36,888 hours, or 1537 days, or 219 weeks and 4 days is probably long enough, right?

Sometimes a single word in English doesn’t describe the experience that you feel when someone new comes on your radar and you want to discover a little bit more about them. Tiam, a Farsi word, translates as the twinkle in your eye when you first meet someone. A Korean word, nunchi, is the subtle and often unnoticed art of listening and gauging another’s mood. Always nice to have a twinkle in your eye and to be able to identify whether or not someone likes you back.

A night out with friends happens, another chance to not be thinking of what and who’s gone before. Friends from school, old work colleagues, people that I’ve never met before mingle over drinks, food and music, it’s an eclectic mix. If you’re going to hang out with a bunch of new people, you introduce yourself, you make small talk at the very least. As a boy, you probably talk shit to other boys about sports, that definitely happens. You meet new girls, so you’re sure to compliment them on how they’re dressed or how amazing they look, that happens too. Just make sure that not all of your words are the same to the ladies, that would be a terrible idea.

Do you ever get the feeling when you know that someone’s looking at you? As I’m turning around and making my way to the bar, I can feel those eyes. It’s like a scene from a film, boy meets girl whilst ordering drinks and they get to chatting, but that’s what happens. Introductions are made, does any other boy feel weird when shaking hands with a girl? The same drinks are ordered, the girl has good taste. The conversation flows and it’s easy to talk, that twinkle might be coming back. Sure, she’s pretty but she’s intelligent, cheeky and intriguing. Looks can draw you in initially but aren’t other qualities so much more attractive? It’s not that other people are ignored, but if someone is captivating all of your attention, then how can it be wrong to continue to speak to them? Unless you’re a complete moron, you know when someone’s flirting with you, and you’d be a fool if you didn’t want to flirt back with someone that makes you smile, with someone that makes you feel good. You know when someone likes you and you know that someone knows that you like them, but someone has to be brave enough to lean in for a kiss or ask for your number at the very least. Not much bravery on show tonight. Hours later, the night ends, goodnights are exchanged. It would seem that hugs are now acceptable, tequila will do that.

The morning comes and I reach out to a bunch of people from the night before to try and find out more than just her first name or where she’s from or what her plans are. No one knows who she is, turns out that she wasn’t a part of our group. Fuck, not enough questions were asked and now there’s not much to go on if I ever want to see her again.

A first name, knowing her dual nationalities and the fact that she’s headed for a restaurant in Brooklyn to train as a chef is all I have to go on. How long would it take to check out 6646 restaurants to try and track her down? It’s an absolutely farcical idea but what if it’s time to find out? Take the chance, ask myself the question? It’s oxymoronic but what if we’re all just waiting to have the chance to not wait any more?

I’ve been sitting around, wasting my time, wondering what you’ve been doing.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Don’t let yourself sink.

‘Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.’ James Conant, a former president of Harvard said those words, clever guy. Maybe the consonants and vowels that left his mouth are about stepping out into the unknown and finding out what we’re all made of, perhaps trying to find that positive attitude towards change and your willingness to take risks in order to move forward with everything that you have going on in your life. Some days are easier than others though, aren’t they?

Just how it is, different things have a way now and again of hurting your heart or throwing you a curveball. When whatever you have going on throws you a left hook, you always want to hit back harder if you can. Easier said than done sometimes, but the thing is, if you look hard enough inside, you can always find something redeeming in even the worst of situations. It would be nice if we were immune to hurt, emotionally and physically but none of us are superheroes.

That said, the easiest thing in the world to do when you’re struggling with things is to sit and feel sorry for yourself. Hopefully a day comes though when you’re done sulking, you realise that you need to suck it up and fight back. Stick on the big boy pants and start with the one person that you can directly affect, maybe you’ll surprise yourself. Haven’t you got to keep moving on, try and get past all of the bad shit and look for something that will keep you moving forward? There’s nothing easier than doing all of the things that we always do, but when you get that feeling of doing that something different, shouldn’t you try and begin a new chapter? Sure, it matters what your life story has been up until that moment when you get that you’re not happy, or when you realise that you need something more. Undoubtedly, special things have happened to you so far, you’ve perhaps met the best person in your life that you’ll ever meet, you know that you have someone that you’ll love forever unconditionally. How about embracing the fact that you can write the rest of your story though, even if it’s just a tiny part?

We’ll all check out one day but before you do, don’t you want to check in first? Do something that you’ve always wanted to do, even if it’s risky, even if it might accelerate the checking out process? None of us wants to let the world rob us of something that we’ve always dreamt about doing. Sometimes you realise where it is that you need to be in that one moment when you suddenly get it and you need something to get you through whatever you’re experiencing right now. Maybe it’s time to completely let go of what you know, what you’ve been comfortable with, even just for a little while.

You haven’t come this far to fall off the earth.

When January 1st comes around, we all hope and believe that the new year will be our year. Some of us will make resolutions, hopefully most of us stick to them, but there’s that curveball again, something happens that you didn’t see coming. The end of a friendship, a relationship. The start of a new friendship, a new relationship. Illness, having to move house, switching jobs, fuck, it could be almost anything, couldn’t it? Good and bad things, they happen to all of us.

2019 is not going to plan so far.

Flying thousands of miles across the world to try and resurrect something that never really stood a chance. Having people that are important pass on. Being subjected to unexpected hospital stays, leaving said hospital, and then having to go back because your male pride makes you ignore medical advice because you had a ticket for the game. Spot the idiot. It turns out that this idiot though accidentally did something good amongst all of the bad, this unexpected stay might actually do some good and take care of something that was unexpected. That said, anyone who’s ever been in hospital knows how lonely a place it can be, what is there to do? If you said to your younger self that you’d spend more than 20 hours of your day in bed, you’d be pretty excited. Who is she, do we take showers together, where do we order food from, does anywhere deliver beer? Do I even float the idea of her wearing a Celtic top?

Just silliness, but a long time spent on your own gets you to thinking. If you’re facing challenges, isn’t it natural for your thoughts to turn to all of the things that you always wanted to do? Like every other choice or decision in your life, you need to pick one first, the rest can follow later. Sometimes you have no clue where the ideas about all of the things that you want to do in your life came from.

The night grows dark, but I’m wide awake. I post a tweet looking for advice about something that I’ve always wanted to do and a good friend replies with a belter of a recommendation.

I have zero clue why, but riding a freight train across the US has always been a thing. Is it illegal? Yes. Is there a chance of being arrested? Absolutely. Could I die? You know it. NYC to LA is the preferred option, always good to end a trip with meeting a close friend. There was a study conducted once and a thousand people were asked if they could know in advance whether or not they would want to know the day of their death. 96% of people said no. Is it wrong to want to be one of the other 4%? Chances are, it might be on one of those days. The journey could last a day, it could last a month.

On the outside looking in though, doesn’t it seem that people who are the happiest do whatever it takes to get to whatever they feel one of their highest points is to overcome all of their obstacles? Perhaps it begins with doing something that you never thought you’d do.

What will it take? Courage, determination, hope, perseverance and strength. Damn skippy, but that’s the same for anyone of us who’s fighting with something. It’s tough but don’t giving up on something that’s challenging.

Wherever it is that you want to get to, make fucking sure that you appreciate the view.

Just keep your head above.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Let’s savour what we’re falling over.

Isn’t life made up of a never-ending amount of choices, decisions and questions? It’s easy to deal with the little ones, soup or sushi for lunch, fish or steak for dinner. It doesn’t really matter, eat whatever you’re in the mood for. Which footwear, jeans or top to wear today? It’s pretty insignificant, you go with whatever you want to, don’t you? Tiny questions to ask yourself, miniscule decisions to be made, not things that will impact your life in a massive way. Huge or small though, they’re all still important to us in some way. Maybe you’re taking a girl for dinner, so anything with garlic is probably not the best idea, you might be wishing for that kiss to come at the end of the night. It’s probably a good idea to dress well too, you want to impress so that the chances of that kiss coming is greater.

It’s the big decisions, the ones that will change things for you forever that are tougher to make. Some we’ll be proud of, some we’ll regret and some will haunt us for the rest of our days. We all need different amounts of time to process and decide on the more important stuff, it’s different for everyone, right? A lot of times, they’re there in front of our faces and they can be extraordinarily difficult, but we need to choose at some point what or who it is we want. Perhaps sometimes though, it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. Asking a question isn’t difficult. Thing is, you might want to ask it but what happens if it eventually comes too late, but what if you can’t think about that now? What comes next could be amazing, take the chance? It’s like a beautiful woman, you want to look at her, to breathe her in before you kiss her, but do you have the stones to follow through? Some people say that the same is boring, but when you know, you know. We all watch the stars at some point, but don’t you want to watch them with someone you love? The truth is though that bad choices are bad choices. Ditto for the good ones. We can’t fuck around forever though. So we choose, we listen to our conscience, we ask ourselves a question, then we decide before asking someone else the exact same thing that we just asked ourself. Sure, you can spend your life listening to nothing but isn’t it for the hope of what you might hear? An answer to the question you pose means everything, just as long as it’s the right answer. It might be fifty fifty, better or worse odds, but isn’t it better for you to know if it’s a no or a yes? Moving on alone or with someone that you want to be with. The day comes and it’s time to ask the question, either shit or get off of the pot.

After leaving my apartment, I feel this cold inside me.

Break-ups suck balls. Sometimes, maybe most of the time, each person involved blames the other for the end of things, that’s just natural emotion. It’s worth remembering though that you shouldn’t always believe what you hear or read, the only two people that know the truth are the two people that are no longer together. Regardless, feelings and thoughts are involved on both sides. What comes next, how do I get over this, do I give you a second chance despite knowing what you did to me? No one else knows the truth except you and I but is my ego that big that I can’t forgive?

Time is apparently a great healer and whoever coined the phrase is right, but it’s okay for feelings to remain, isn’t it?

Walking alone along the beach and listening to the swell of the waves, my mood changes from remembering the initial excitement of the romance, to being weighed down by the inevitable loneliness that no one should experience as the end of all the emotions hit my horizon. I guess at the start, when you’re that high up with love, it turns out that it’s a long way down. Time though, what’s normal is whatever works for you, no need for second guessing.

Time to make another choice. Everything is going to change and it’s not me that has a choice or decision to make. The difficulty of understanding the question is understood but I know what the future can hold. New friends, a better quality of life, warm summers, every day on the beach or in the ocean if you want to.

Women apparently speak on average about 20k words a day, men about 17k. The three most important? I love you. The four? I still love you. Maybe the next three words right now? Come with me? The question is asked, an answer is waited on and I head for the place that won’t be home for much longer.

After leaving your apartment, I hear the coast.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

Change. The Chinese word for it, is comprised of two symbols, one for danger and the other for opportunity.

Pretty much sums it up, right?

New beginnings, new changes can be scary, it’s hard to know what to expect sometimes. Just maybe though, you gain confidence and courage by taking a moment to stop and look at those changes in a good, rather than a bad way. Sure, things could go wrong but what if they go right? You make a choice, deny what could be on your horizon, embrace it or resist it.

Some decisions are smaller than others, less difficult to fuck up. Choose a new store to buy your food from? What could really go wrong, you can always go back to your old place. Change your hairdresser? Admittedly, it’s more of an issue for the ladies out there rather than us boys, have you ever hear of a lady deciding to cut her own hair? Boys are idiots sometimes.

What if it’s something bigger? You want to change the person in the mirror you see every morning or the status of your interpersonal relationships. Do we all see our friends as much as we should? You know your relationship has gone stale, you know it needs to end but do you have the balls to say the words that you need to say? You get a new job offer, are you comfortable enough to take that leap of faith and try somewhere new, to work with new people? Deciding that you’re ready to take the next step in your relationship and pop the question? Moving house, calling somewhere new home? It’s a commonly held belief that changing your job, getting married or moving house are the three most stressful things that you’ll ever do in your life. Doing one is tough, but what if you decide to do two or three all at the same time? Time to make a choice.

Time for you to go out into the world.

The city and country where you’re born doesn’t always feel like home, does it? Being lonely is so hard at times, but being lonely in the place that you’ve known for most of your adult life? No bueno. Maybe it’s time for a change, who wants to be tired of being held back without being able to fight back harder? Male pride is totally a thing but sometimes it’s okay to reveal your vulnerability and your need to connect with something new. A change is maybe exactly what’s needed. Sometimes for good things to happen, we have to make changes and move on from old habits or experiences. Old doors closing and new ones opening. Doesn’t a new door mean a new beginning?

It’s super early on a Monday morning and my iPhone rings. The number is private but I know who it is. An hour long conversation is had about something that could change everything, not just for me but for the people closest to me. It’s a positive call from both sides, follow up calls are to be scheduled to hammer out the finer details about leaving my life as I know it. This means leaving the people here that I love behind, my family, my friends, everyone that I care about. Sure, I know people in different countries and I’ll be able to settle quickly but my mind is still running at a hundred miles an hour. Just change. In any facet of your life, if something comes along that will alter everything for you, there’s a decision to make. Yes or no, what to do?

New beginnings are a chance for a fresh start and for trying new things that you never thought impossible, that you never thought you could accomplish. Time to give yourself a pep talk, to get ready, to prepare yourself for something that means that your life will never be the same again. Closing old chapters of your life, forgetting about the past, but getting ready to write new chapters, to experience new things.

Are there sad feelings of leaving things behind? Damn fucking skippy. Is there the excitement of new adventures? Damn straight.

Can somewhere else in the world really be your home rather than the place of your birth, the city and country where you’ve spent most of your days? Maybe you’ve been there before, but you had to leave. It hurts when you read about it on the news because memories come flooding back. It’s featured on countless television shows and your heart gets heavy for a minute, or an hour, or a day. There’s no rules when you know that you want somewhere else to be your home, rather than where you stay right now. Yes, it’s a roof over your head but does it feel like you belong? For some of us, absolutely yes, 100%. That’s a great thing, but for others, it’s time to go. It’s an often used cliche, but your time on this planet is short so why not do what makes you happy, or at least what you think will make you happy? If you’re happy with everything in your life, then I’m super jealous. If you’re not, isn’t it time to make a change? Danger and opportunity.

Sometimes when you go somewhere new, to a new job, you can have big shoes to fill. Luckily, I’ve got big fucking feet.

Sometimes the only person that you need to focus on is yourself.

It’s okay to start a new adventure alone.

I know who I want to take me home.

@TheSamMcLeod

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

Let the lightning guide you.

‘All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.’

Not just the words of the next tattoo, but consonants and vowels that some of us might choose to try and live a tiny part of our lives by. It’s more than okay to dream about the things that we want to achieve, the things that we want to do, we all have them on some sort of level. Sure, chances are that not all of our dreams will come true, but don’t we need to try and make them happen? Depending on what they are, you know that they’ll take patience, a shit ton of hard work and and every single time, you’ll need to be answering the questions that are going to be asked of you. Whilst that can be tough, you might as well enjoy the journey, right? It’s entirely possible to overthink the questions that might come at you tomorrow, but what if you dream about tomorrow’s answers today? Daydreaming is always allowed. It’s cool to lose yourself in a world of daydreams that excite you, to imagine your life situation changing in a way that will make you feel better every single day. Everyone can choose which research to believe in terms of what we read or hear, but it’s widely believed that our average daydreams are about fifteen seconds long and that we have a couple of thousand of them every day. Can it really be right that we spend a big chunk of our time being awake thinking of things that for now are just fantasy? It’s always good to embrace the idea of there being something more in the world for all of us, for everyone else that you care about.

Some of us live in a dream world every day, some of us don’t; and then maybe there are those of us who fuse both together. When something that you’ve dreamed about forever, finally looks like it might be coming true, it’s difficult not to be scared. Are you breathing half the time?

I’m in a city that I thought I’d never be in and I’m alone. It’s a choice and I’m more than comfortable with it, but the realisation sets in that it might be nice if someone else could see the things that I’m seeing. You can share photos on a variety of social media sites, but it’s the experience with someone being with you that makes the experience. It’s cool to be here, and whilst the scenery is spectacular, it’s tough not to have thoughts drifting to somewhere else, to someone else. Daydreaming. Still, no point feeling sorry for yourself, if you’re going to take a trip, then you might as well do all of the things that you want to. You try and enjoy decent cuisine at home, so you make sure that you try and find places that you might like to eat at when you’re away. The city, shit, the country is renowned for beer, so you partake. It would be rude not to, when in Rome. Just a saying, not my current location.

Beer al fresco, with a view that is absolutely bonkers. I do the tourist thing, I take a picture and send it to a good friend. My mobile rings. It turns out that the locals aren’t massively impressed by the sound of Right Above It by Lil Wayne blaring into their quietness, and whilst I’m apologetic, it’s no worse than the generic Apple or Nokia rings. Suck it up people, have you never watched Ballers? Plus, we’re outside. Anyway, I’m daydreaming and the call sparks me back to life.

Thing is though, the call is about one of the dreams that I’ve had. Unfortunately, it’s not Anna Kendrick calling trying to take me out on a dinner date, but it’s nearly as good. That’s actually a lie, it’s nowhere near as good. What it is though, is a chance to go and live in a city where I want to be, doing a job that I love. Maybe it won’t be a dream any more. Are there hurdles to cross? Yep, but my thoughts can turn once again to the people and the things that I’ve been dreaming about.

A daydream in your head is just that and it will only ever be that until you actually achieve it, until you do it. So do it. Time to step outside, time to step out? Go for it, leave it all behind you.

@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