I fucked it up again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

We were boxing the stars.

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

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

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

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

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

Have you ever been alone in a crowded room?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@TheSamMcLeod

It just takes some time.

Day 12.

2019, another day of growing. Another day of growing up though?

When we’re young, the thought of getting older doesn’t enter our heads too much. We’re young, we’re innocent, we pretty much don’t have a care in the world. Our parents look after us, we get the love that we didn’t know we needed, but it’s there. The cost of clothes, food, things to do as a family are all covered by someone else. You don’t know yet how grateful you are because you’re not emotionally mature enough. One day things change though, and then maybe one of the two most important people in your life aren’t there anymore.

Relationships end, but you only know and understand that when you’re older. Dad was there and then he wasn’t. He visited a lot though, so at first things didn’t seem too different. We hung out, we did things that any child and parent would do, kick a ball around, go to the park, hit the funfair. Essentially though, you’re being raised every day by a single parent. Money is tight, things are hard and despite the other parent being around, you realise that things are different now. No trips for the three of you together, less attention obviously, and a dawning realisation that your life will probably never be the same again.

A lot of older people say that your schooldays are the best days of your life, but at the time, you think they’re bonkers, right? There’s a saying that “there’s nothing more pure and cruel as a child.”

Word spreads at school and the bigger boys, the bullies are lapping it up. Fun is made of the fact that he’s not around so much. Your clothes aren’t as new as they once were and you know that she can’t afford what she once could. No fault of anyone, just circumstance. It doesn’t stop those bullies taunting you every day, to the point where you wish that the day could end and you could be at home. Going home with a black eye or blood on you, quickly makes you learn that it’s better to lie, rather than to hurt someone else with the truth. I tripped, I fell, it happened at sports. You might not be religious but you pray for the weekend to come.

You dread Monday coming around, don’t you worry what their bitter hearts are going to say?

Is it true that people who love life don’t hurt anyone? Perhaps the more that some people hate themselves, the more they want others to suffer hurt, emotionally or physically. It’s so difficult sometimes to be yourself in a world where a lot of people around you during your formative years, are trying to make you be someone else. Bullying is fucking horrible, but it turns out that there’s no reason for it to stick with you forever. Bullying is for people who zero confidence, they’re scared of you. You have something that they don’t, and that’s why they pick on you. Try not to let their words affect you because they’re the ones needing confidence, not you. Sure, you try and do all of the little things it takes to dodge them as you grow up, but you should never stop trying to having fun too. You don’t want to become everything that you were afraid of when you were growing up.

It’s tough and sometimes you hold on to things the way that they used to be. You can wonder what’s to come for you and that’s okay. You can feel bullied as an adult but don’t all of the same rules as a child to try and get past it all, still apply as you get older? There are new days to come, there will be other days to come.

This year could be amazing, maybe you have something on your horizon that excites the hell out of you? Is there sometimes a part of you that thinks because something came together so beautifully and so quickly, that it doesn’t mean as much as something you struggled with? You might be imitated by many, but you’re duplicated by none.

Don’t write yourself off yet.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

Your beautiful destiny.

Day 8.

One day it hits you that you’re not really a child anymore. When that time comes though is different for everyone of us. When you move out of home, maybe after your first relationship when that person breaks your heart. Perhaps you know that the end of your childhood is here when you realise that you know as much as the adults in your life do. Maybe it happens when you start looking back on things and wishing that you could change them, it’s all subjective. Whenever it is, we grow up almost overnight because we have to. A stage in your life when your innocence disappears, a time when our awareness of having to be responsible kicks in. Sucks, right? Can one of your resolutions be to try and rediscover the things that you enjoyed before you had to put on your big boy shoes?

As you grow up, you get told a shit ton of things by people, especially your parents. One is almost universally being convinced that you can do anything with your life. It’s a nice thought, but the thing is, somewhere between being a child and becoming an adult, things change, your plans change. Your parents mould your world but then one day, you get to do it all for yourself and maybe even help contribute to someone else’s. We need some advice now and again about growing up and facing all of the things that life is going to throw at us, but you can choose to take whichever piece of wisdom you get given. Don’t we all want to find that X on our own personal treasure map though?

Growing up doesn’t need to be a bad thing, it lets us find our own place in the world, to find out who we really are, and to live the life that we imagined we’d have when we were younger.

Yet as the days continue to pass, don’t you find that the dreams you had then, and the reality you have now, are miles apart? Hopefully, it’s as good as we imagined, but often it’s slightly less cool than we’d pictured. Maybe the only thing we really want back is our childhood, but you know that those days will never return, you can’t get them back.

When we were younger, it was a time when delight was the only season. Not yet proper adults, just young people living the life that makes us wistful now. Breaking curfews, getting grounded. Gatecrashing a party, kissing as many of the girls there as you wanted, or who were willing to let you, and you didn’t think anything of it. Stumbling home early in the morning, shaking your head and smirking at everyone heading to work. Everything was given to us, anything was possible, at least if you didn’t let your parents know about half of the stuff you’d been getting up to. Who would spill their secrets?

Maybe all you want to do sometimes as an adult is to get away from all of reality.

Growing old is happening to everyone but, is it possible to never grow up?

Everyone makes mistakes when we’re young, but if we counted those mistakes up against the ones we make as an adult, do any of us actually think that there were fewer when we were younger?

Growing up is difficult, because there will always be a moment when everything is a struggle. Won’t there always be a moment though when everything is perfect? Sure, you might have memories of doing some things that you won’t forget but know that you’ll never experience them again. Your life and the people in it are going to change, and the hardest part is realising that there’s nothing you can do about it.

A girl who I’m not with, but who I’ll always have love for, once went to a psychic and was asked to take photographs of the significant people in her life. She was told that I was Peter Pan and that I’d never grow up. So far, she’s been absolutely spot on. A different place will be called home this year but it won’t be Neverland.

No one likes getting older, but for some of us, maybe 2019 is the year to grow up. Maybe it’s time to go shopping for some big boy shoes.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

Rewinding the picture.

Day 7.

Alarm, an anxious awareness of danger, a warning sound or device.

It’s the last day of the year. It’s time to say goodbye to all of the bad things in your life that happened in 2018, but perhaps it’s farewell for some of the good things too. Letting go is difficult though, isn’t it? Whether it’s a friend, a job or a relationship, it can be so hard to let go of attachments, especially if you don’t really want to, but some things are necessary. You’re moving forward, so you’re letting go of the past that was beginning to drag you down. Good on all of us that have the bravery to make that decision.

If you want to forget something or someone, there’s little point second guessing yourself about the original decision you made to let that someone or something into your life. You live and learn, isn’t that the common saying? It can be even tougher if it’s a boy or girl that you were close to but what’s the point in hating him or her? Maybe you found out he or she was doing something that they shouldn’t have been, you just know sometimes that something isn’t quite right, but when you begin to question it, their barriers go up, and so your shutters tend to come down. Not everyone’s a mystery though, lots of people are open books and sometimes you just forget how to read. Sure, your world is a tiny bit emptier with their departure, but maybe they’ve been let go to free up space for someone that you might really need in 2019. It’s okay to get to the stage where you realise that someone belonged only to your past, time to begin to accept it, as much as it might hurt to do so.

It can be cathartic, the day comes when you understand everything that you need to do, the choice that you need to make, will be the day that you stop trying to figure your shit out. Letting go isn’t a thing that you do once though, it’s something you have to do every day, over and over again. It can be obvious to yourself that, although you’re down, you’re by no means out. New year, new start?

There’s a girl who was with someone else, and then they got together. She left her ex to start something new but there was always a part of him thinking that if she could do that to him, she could do it again. There goes the alarm.

It’s hard to let go of someone he cares about and it’s even more difficult to let go of the belief in her. The disappointment of finding out someone isn’t who he thought they were will sting for a while, but it’s time to see what lies ahead from tomorrow onwards.

Should he send a message to wish her all the best for the year ahead?

When that clock chimes at midnight, if you’re tempted to text a certain someone from your past on New Year’s Eve, don’t. Nope, just don’t do it, hopefully sense kicks in, there goes the alarm again.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

What dreams are made of.

Day 6.

Everyone has experienced one of those type of days. You wake up in the morning and you’re not motivated to do anything. Sometimes, maybe you can do nothing and laze the day away, but chances are that you still have things to be getting on with. It’s just life, but so full of duties, personal issues and responsibilities that sometimes it can be impossible to know where to start. None of us likes to admit it, but aren’t we all are struggling to get motivated from time to time? Often we simply can’t get started with doing what we need to do. It can be a daily struggle, just a circle that we can’t seem to escape. Things will change though, won’t they?

There’s an old Chinese proverb that probably nails it if you’re struggling. “Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, little wisdom.”

Doubt can be a useful thing, it keeps you guessing. Can you know the strength of yourself until you’ve been tested? What do you do to try and make things better, doubt your doubts before you doubt yourself? It’s okay, being scared about whatever you want to achieve in 2019 is natural. What’s the point in ever doubting your own instinct? Doubt everything, find your own motivation to do what you need or want to do next year. If you’ve ever met someone that’s famous or successful and you’ve managed to spend some time with them, you know intrinsically that even they have doubts, that they have fears, that they have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them from pushing on. Not a bad lesson to learn as a new year gets closer.

It’s tough to always be strong though, and perhaps the worst part about that to the people in your life, is that no one seems to ever ask if you’re okay. One of the problems with the world is that some people are always so certain of themselves, whilst maybe the wiser ones can be full of doubt. That’s fine, you figure out your own motivation, what’s going to make you happy. Letting someone else be a roadblock to what makes you fulfilled on your journey to your goals is stupid. Doubt will kill your dreams before failure ever will.
Show no fear, have no regrets, display no weakness. This might sound tough as this year closes but don’t waste a second of your life, it’s too short and you’re too fucking special.

We’ve all had a lot dreams growing up. Time to make some of them come true? Will there be difficulties? For sure, but these challenges will make you feel better once you get what you want to achieve.

Hard work and determination can take you where you want to go if you have an idea or a plan. Is there doubt about what lies ahead? Absolutely. Is there trepidation? You’d better believe it. What’s the point wondering about what if though? Several plans have been made, it’s your turn now. It could be a big year ahead for you if you want it to be one.

Just watch. Set, ready, go for the take off.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

You wet my eyes.

That initial feeling you have when you meet someone new, you expect or hope for fireworks. The feelings that you get when they do something that gives you goosebumps, the things that makes you smile. The gentle tug of your sleeve followed by said smile and a wink when they want you to look at something that they’ve seen, a wink that could melt a snowman’s socks. That person who could rearrange your soul with just one look, someone who fits with you like a plug in a socket. The type of sound they make when they laugh. Their laugh clearly belongs to them and you know immediately that you love it.The way that they play with their hair. It’s new, but it’s exciting and scary all at the same time.

Isn’t life for all of us a roll of the dice? You take a chance on someone because it might be the best thing to ever happen to you. Sure, you could get hurt, but you gamble, don’t you? Science will tell you that it takes a third of a second to fall for someone. If it goes wrong though, shouldn’t you be grateful that the wounds you have, you survived long enough to be able to lick?

A random Thursday is spent late night shopping with one of his best friends. A girl waves at them from across the street and whilst he doesn’t recognise her, his friend does. They cross over, they’re introduced, and she seems perfectly lovely. The two of them chat away as old friends do, and their accidental meeting ends with an invite to a party a couple of days later. His friend is into the girl, and begs him to come along. A plan is agreed, even if it’s shit, it’ll only be a couple of hours, no harm in meeting new people and helping out a friend. You want to impress everyone so he dresses accordingly.

It’s a nice night, a lot of people are in the back garden listening to music and enjoying themselves. It’s cool, a lot better than he thought it would be. He knows nearly nobody there but it’s okay. More than one girl takes his eye, but he also knows that’s not the best thing to be thinking about when he’s trying to be a good wingman for his friend. The night gets longer, the drinks flow and the conversations continue. One girl kept glancing at him but she wasn’t doing anything about it. They get to chatting as the evening passes, and he doesn’t have to give anything to her but his attention, something he was willing to do. When she stroked his neck, he finally dared to believe that it was going to happen. They kissed more than once, it was almost perfect.

The night ends and he goes home alone, but numbers are exchanged.

Circumstances alter when he finds out that she was already with someone when she kissed him, so they lose touch. It’s not something he wanted to do but it’s his decision and he’s okay with it. Eventually.

Weeks later, his phone rings at 2am and it’s her asking to see him. She’s nearby, can they talk? It’s nice to be nice, and no man should ever want a lady to be out on her own that late at night, so he acquiesces and apologies are made from her immediately for what went before. One of his rules is that as long as you say sorry for something you’ve done, no grudges are kept, everything is okay again. Forgiving can be forgetting. Trying to understand her was a bit like pointing a microphone towards the stage at a gig, and hoping to hear someone whisper, but he was willing to give it a go.

She’s single now and things progress between them as the weeks and months continue. His rental property agreement is coming to an end and whilst he’s thinking of moving in with a friend, they decide to get a place together. It’s great, they move in all of their individual stuff and both decorate together. Fabulous nights follow. He has a photograph of her on his bedside table and she has one of him on her one. Random thoughts became an actual reality. Discarded tubes of toothpaste, plates left in the sink and underwear left on the bathroom floor were things that he never expected, but it was okay because it was her. She tells him every day that she loves him but he doesn’t need to hear it if he has her word that she does. Once is always enough, just another rule.

A day comes and he can’t find his keys. They’re not on his side of the bed, so he checks her side, just in case they’ve fallen down there. A letter is found and it’s open and it’s from the guy that she was with when they first kissed. He shouldn’t read, but can’t help it. It’s pretty explicit and it’s clear that he’s visited their house more than once when he was away for work. His heart forgets to be a heart for a second. It’s been broken before but not like this.

If you go looking for something, then you might well find it. It hurts all the more when you find something that you didn’t want to, and you sure as shit, didn’t expect. It’s something, a whole lot of somethings. The problem with growing older with someone is that you realise that you’re into something bigger than yourself, so you have a responsibility to another.

She comes home but he doesn’t say anything, just gives a hug and says hey. Are the cruellest lies told in silence? Pretty quickly after, he watches as she texts someone that isn’t him. Clearly, sometimes pain is the driver and it doesn’t have brakes. There was so much she could have said but she chose not to.

He thinks she still loves him, but can’t try and escape the fact that he’s not enough for her. He’s not blaming her for falling back in love with an ex. There’s no anger either, just a lot of pain. He thought he could imagine how much this would hurt, but he was wrong.

It’s important for them to talk. She doesn’t know entirely why yet, but she’s about to find out. She knows there’s something that he’s not telling her. He knows it’s time to do something that he doesn’t want to do but he has to. There’s a look in her eye, maybe it’s regret. Who fucking cares any more. He holds her and looks directly in her eyes so she knows that he sees her. The conversation happens, they’re oil and water now and she knows it.

He leaves and now he’s not looking at her any more. He doesn’t turn around because he can’t, no point in looking back. He calls a girl who has been messaging him for weeks and who is clearly interested. He convinced himself that it wasn’t cool though, so he stopped after that initial call. Why? Not because he was thinking of finding someone new, but he didn’t want to be like her. No longer trusting someone is saddening if you still love them.

I only called her one time.

@TheSamMcLeod