The lessons.

Sir James Matthew Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, had it spot on, ‘Once you’re grown up, you can’t come back.’ How long does it take for that to happen though and what occurs in our life in order to make it so? Some of us are wise beyond our years, whilst others never want to be older, and like most things, it’s different for each of us. Just the naïveté of youth, right?

Perhaps it’s when you have things in your life that you look back on and wish you could change. It could be nothing quite so important, sometimes it’s simpler stuff, having the courage to ask that one person that you’ve liked for a while to have dinner or drinks with you. Setting up standing orders for your outgoings, opening a savings account, moving out to live on your own for the first time, shit, it could be almost anything. One day realisation kicks in though and you know that despite all of the important decisions you’ve made before, a choice is going to come along that’s going to define everything that comes next for you.

It sucks, but maybe part of growing up is just taking what you learned from all of the bad things that went before, moving on and trying not to take them to heart. The good things you definitely want to keep on doing and experiencing, don’t we all believe that intrinsically we’re a good person? For a lot of our days, we’re young and irresponsible, but maybe that’s what growing up is, you eventually learn from your mistakes.

It’s more than okay to have mixed feelings about growing up, apparently it happens to everyone. Still, you should never stop having fun, to make yourself smile, it’s okay to fuck up now and again. Did you make mistakes when you were young? Absolutely, but haven’t you made just as many when you’re all grown up?

Growing up is never easy, you keep a hold onto things that were important but that you don’t really need any more. Your mind can wonder what’s to come, obviously there are going to be moments when everything is fine, and other moments where you know that there are some memories that you’ll never get back. Certain people in your life are never going to change, and the hardest part is knowing that there’s nothing you can do except watch them, unless you remove yourself from that situation. It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realise that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on, even if you don’t really want to.

The hurt is palpable when you have to leave someone behind but you can’t always get what you want or keep what you had. There’s that choice again but you know you have to make it but how can you both go on when they were everything?

How will you exist, how will I exist?

A day comes and we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what could be. Different days, new days, those days that are yet to come. It’s okay to forgive each other for growing up and recognising that we both need a change. Again, everyone’s different but how many of the people that you’ve been involved with romantically are you actually still friends with? It’d be like adding your captor on FaceBook once you were released after being kidnapped, fucking stupid idea.

It’s a change that involves thousands of miles, quite literally. We weren’t miles apart before but days later we were, not everything has a happy ending. Benjamin Franklin has been quoted as saying that ‘Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.’ What if only two people know the secret? If you do believe that you’re a good person, is learning when it’s better to lie to the people in your life, rather than to hurt everyone else with the truth not a good thing?

Growing up, peer pressure, and what people in your life want you to be and what you think you should do can be life enriching, but also a massive pain at times. It’s important to surround yourself around amazing people that actually love you for you. We all have flaws but if you fuck up, isn’t forgiveness one of the best attributes you can have? How many times has someone bumped into you in the street and you’ve apologised? I’ve lost count of the amount of doors that I’ve held for people who haven’t had the good grace to acknowledge even the tiniest act of kindness. As an aside, top tip gents, if you have to pull the door, the lady goes first, if you have to push it, you go first. You’re very welcome.

Time away, discovering new things, a new start sounds like a great plan. A new apartment, new experiences beyond the wildest of dreams, new friends, a new job, life couldn’t be better. There’s always a but though. Thing is, despite reaching what can be one of the highest points of in life, what happens when it’s hard not to feel alone, to know that you’ve lost everything? The only tattoo I have reads is, ‘Only one who has lost all has the freedom and the ability to gain everything.’ Time to take my own advice and leave all of the good stuff behind. A choice is made about trying to grow further, to face those demons, and the loved ones in life who have been failed by me as well as those who’ve failed me. Three plane flights are booked.

One of those plans was a good idea.

Maybe we all need to start accepting ourselves for who we are, and whoever is not going to accept us, weren’t really meant to be in our lives in any way whatsoever. The most important thing that I learned is forgiveness is something that when you’re able to finally wrap your head around, you free yourself to move on. All grown up now and I shouldn’t have come back, it’s time to leave again.

It’s a constant back and forth for a while with both enduring different experiences. Sure, it might be the same story, but it’s being read through opposite lenses. Whose ugly side is the ugliest? It doesn’t matter, both of us know.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Dance in the light of a lesson learned.

Bad things happen to us, good things happen to us, just the way it is. The same is true about people who come into your life, some you keep around and some you’re quick to let go of. Trust your judgement, hopefully you have things going your way more often than not, and you keep around the good folk who deserve to be in your life as a friend.

Now and again, someone comes along though who turns into something more. Somebody new is on your radar, you’ve noticed it and you start giving them some attention. Trust rears it’s head again, you dip your toe in the water if you’re sure that there might be something between you both, and if you’re lucky, that trust is mutual and perhaps something beautiful is just beginning.

Does it matter how long that something lasts? One night between two consenting adults can be mindblowing. It might just be random circumstance that brings you together but if you’re both single and want the same thing for that one night, then why not? Sure, there’s going to be more nights and days together with someone if you really like each other. You took the chance, they did too, now you’re sharing something together. What happens though if you misjudged yourself, what happens now?

Maybe when someone makes you a promise, they cross their fingers, hoping that they won’t let you down and think that makes everything okay. Just because something isn’t a lie does not mean that it isn’t deceptive. Perhaps the greatest distance between two people in any relationship is a misunderstanding about what the future holds. Not much else for it, the time has come to say goodbye.

Out into the unknown.

Aren’t most relationships onesided? Sometimes you’re the fish and sometimes you’re the fisherman, but when something ends it can still sting. It doesn’t matter who did and said what, the hurt will be real for a while but you get by, you move on. That said, is it okay to care for an ex, obviously not romantically, but as a person? They gave you happiness at some point in your past, so why should you hate them? We’re all different, so it’s fine if they don’t wish you the same. Maybe you don’t care what they think about you because you don’t think about them at all any more, you’ve moved on and a day comes when you’re happy again.

As soon as an ex sees you smiling though, isn’t that the moment they decide that they want you back? It can be a fucker of an emotional hot potato if they decide to get in touch again, what do you do?

One day a message arrives saying ‘I miss you’ from the girl who could have been an almost forever, a maybe forever, but she was definitely something. Was is the operative word. It’s okay to take a few days to think about what to respond with, if at all, but it’s nice to be polite. I know what those eight characters mean though, it’s just that the next person she replaced me with didn’t work out. When looking back at your history with someone and you know that they don’t do anything for you any more, you’re probably doing something right for yourself. If someone did something bad enough to make you have them not be in your life, you back your trust the second time not to be stupid enough to let them in again. Fool me once and all that. Getting with an ex would be like taking your driving test when you already have your licence. Pointless, stupid, a waste of time and effort.

Messages continue to follow and it’s clear that she wants something more than I’m ever going to give. It’s probably a dick move to reply at all but the replies are completely vanilla, hopefully the hint gets taken. Just because someone hurt you once, it doesn’t mean that hurting them back unnecessarily will do you good or make you feel better. The best idea is to probably try and forget the person who forgot about you, even if they tell you ‘I love you because I need you.’ What a shit and selfish phrase. I need you because I love you sounds infinitely better, doesn’t it?

You’re my ex. Ask me as many questions as you want but I no longer owe you any answers. Don’t worry if I’m with anyone else now or not, all you need to know is that it won’t ever be you. Everyone deserves to move on and find someone that makes them happy, good luck with everything to you, to all of us. We’re not enemies, not friends, now we’re just strangers with some memories.

It’s time for moving on, there’s some things you can’t forget.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Whispers in the night-time.

Many of us are used to having control in every aspect of our lives, unless we’re married because we all know who’s in charge then. In all seriousness though, you decide how your life goes every day, don’t you? You choose the clothes that you wear, what you eat, what you do on the weekend, red, white or no wine with dinner, no one picks rose, the television shows you watch, what time you head for bed. Life can seem pretty simple usually but now and again, it’s the most difficult thing for any of us to deal with.

It turns out that sometimes we all have things in our personal lives that we can’t control. It’s tough and definitely has a negative effect and impact on all of us. Maybe how much depends on each of us as individuals and the coping mechanisms that we’ve developed. That’s assuming that we’ve even managed to find anything at all to make the darkness a little bit lighter. It’s easy to go off the rails, you can be resilient but when something or some things happen that you didn’t expect, it might click suddenly that you’re only human after all. Control has left for a little while but you need to try and wrestle it back, right? What do you do though? Bottling things up can never be a good thing, but it can be the easiest thing. Everyone gets advised or told to speak out, to ask for help but no one wants to show that they’re vulnerable, no one wants to feel like their soul is turning itself inside out. Misguided or not, perhaps it’s just pride, it’s a hell of a thing.

Male pride, whether male or female, we’ve all experienced it. As a man, when you realise that a part of you is broken, the last thing that you want to do is tell someone that you’re not who they thought you are, at least not right now anyway. It’s more than okay to be hesitant at first, but asking for help will be your most important first step. Mental illness is something that’s often not visible to everyone else in your world. It’s going to be one fucker of a journey with countless ups and downs and finding comfort or resetting yourself can be a constant process.

Imagine that you’re holding onto two bottles, you drop them on the floor, what happens? They both break, don’t they? Thing is, it’s how they break that’s important. While one bottle crumples into a pile of glass, the other shatters into a jagged edge weapon. We all break sometimes, but we don’t all break the same. You have to take a shot though before it’s too late. Thing is, a shot at the buzzer only counts if you drain it. Take the shot. if anyone in your life thinks any less of you for daring to reach out, then are they worth having around?

Just maybe though, everything’s going to be okay.

Different things can make your head and your heart hurt. It’s often said but everyone is going through some sort of personal battle that no one else knows about. If you think one day or in that one moment that someone close to you might be hurting, can it ever be a bad thing to try and reach out? Sometimes questions are scarier than answers, but you’d rather know than not, wouldn’t you?

A question is asked about the most important person on the planet. This one amazing human being doesn’t get told the truth about the question and it hurts like fuck when I find out. The relationship is gone and it seems like there isn’t anything that can be done about it. One person’s perception is their reality, despite what the truth might be. Life feels like a daydream.

How do you try and get through your days, weeks and months when someone thinks that you’ve caused them pain?

Self pity is never a good thing. Closing everyone out in your world out can never be healthy but that’s what happens. The curtains stay drawn, social invitations are politely declined, sometimes even ignored. Everyone knows that something is wrong but no one wants to stick their head above the parapet and find out what the deal is. It’s fine, again, we’re all human.

Trying to take control, but I don’t know how to. A day comes though and it’s fine to realise that whilst you maybe don’t want to expose your frailties to your friends, it’s easier to do so to a stranger. Help is fine, isn’t it? Tears? A shit ton of them but it’s okay to be told that it might be okay, no judgements are made. Opening up to someone will be the best thing you can do, who wants to be in the backseat of their own life?

I don’t want to be sad any more. I just want to wake up and realise that everything’s going to be okay.

All proceeds from this song will be donated to various mental health organisations across the world that work to help destigmatise mental health issues, please go and buy it if you feel like you want or are able to help.

For those of us who are experiencing crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

If you’re in the UK, please call the Samaritans on 116123, at any time, day or night, free of charge.

http://sadforever.lauvsongs.com

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Late night, red wine and you.

Now and again we get let down or disappointed by the people that we trust the most. It sucks balls, no one likes getting their heart hurt, but if we’re all honest with ourselves, each of us can all do the same to other people, none of us are perfect. Maybe everyone of us betrays or hurts someone in our lives at some point.

When you’ve been fucked over in a past relationship, It can be difficult to let people in, old or new, but you need to eventually, right? Alone time is great but there will be moments when you want to surround yourself with friends, they’ll reset your sense of wellbeing, won’t they? Maybe just spending time with one friend, it’s always cool to hang out with people you care about. Perhaps it’s someone that enters your life who ends up becoming more than just a friend, the start of anything new can be exciting. If you can’t get someone out of your head, it probably means that they’re supposed to be there. You might meet that someone in a variety of different ways, a bar, a club, a restaurant, through friends, online, the opportunities are almost endless. The problem is though, that sometimes, you can trust your trust but occasionally you spectacularly misjudge things. It’s the old saying, if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

One night a whole lot of trouble arrives and sometimes it’s difficult not to be curious, especially after a glass of vino. Or three.

Late night, glazed eyes, we all lose our minds.

She’s incredibly pretty, someone is punching way above their weight, why would she even be in touch? It’s ridiculous that she’d even glance more than once but it’s okay to be intrigued by someone new, especially if you’re still a tiny bit vulnerable about everything that’s gone before. Is it a joke, a trick? Maybe we’re never tricked; we just trick ourselves into believing in something or someone. What’s the worst that could happen?

Things progress. We like a lot of the same things but don’t agree on others. Sports teams, music choices, television shows, some good, some bad. Who wants to be with someone who likes all of the similar stuff that they do, sounds boring, doesn’t it? She’s different, a little bit of feistiness can never be a bad thing, playful arguments are fun.

Things progress some more, and she drops the twelfth letter of the alphabet one night. That word always makes you stop and think, doesn’t it? It’s easy to believe that we’re all complicated because we’re all tangled up in our own lives and relationships, but we all have choices. We’re all wired to want answers from who we choose to spend time with. Fix what you can if you want to, stay or go, be honest or lie, say the word back or not. Eleven letters that should not be tossed around easily. You don’t need to say them back immediately just to show that you’re invested in whatever you’ve got going on, but it seems that if you’re not quite ready to open up emotionally, not all of us are happy about it.

The dynamic has changed and it takes a while but one day the penny drops. None of this was ever given a status or a tag, but if there’s someone in the background that you didn’t know about, and are only just finding out about, then it’s definitely not going to work. Questions are asked but no answers are given. It turns out that there’s deception in silence.

Leading someone on is never right, why would you mislead someone just because you’re bored with whoever it is that you’re with right now? If you don’t like him or her, don’t you just end things? Why try and pursue something with someone else if you’re already in a relationship or even living with someone? What’s the point in playing with someone else’s feelings just because you’re not quite sure what your own are? Maybe the difference between a girl who wants to be with you and who doesn’t, is one that will always tell you the truth. A little fib now and again is okay, it’s fine to pretend to like each other’s parents. For someone to think that your signature dish is excellent, when in fact, it tastes like shit. It’s okay to say that you like my t-shirt even when you don’t. Does your ass look big? That’s a whole other minefield, but obviously the answer is no.

Don’t lead anyone on. If you think even a tiny bit that you don’t want someone, then that’s cool, go and do your own thing and they’ll do what they need to do. Don’t feel sorry, maybe it’s just modern love. Oscar Wilde probably said it best, ‘Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.’ Pretty cynical, don’t we all hope for something more?

Did it hurt to let go? Fucking right, but it hurt more to try and hold on. Any time we have options, we’re in a position of privilege but it sure doesn’t feel like that right now.

Is this modern love? If it is, who wants any part of it?

You fucked up, it wasn’t me, we both know it. It only takes one word, five letters, to make things okay again between us but it’ll never be what it was. It’s up to you if you want anything from this.

Tell me you’re sorry so we can maybe move on.

@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

The fuel to your flame.

Empathy, it’s a cool trait to have, isn’t it? Being understanding of what anyone you know has going on in their life is a good thing, assuming that they’re willing to let you in. When someone chooses to pour their heart out to you, it’s easy to become more concerned about them, but don’t we always want to do anything we can for the people that we care even a tiny iota about?

Kindness is another cool thing to have in your armour. Treat people like you want to be treated, right? Sure, it’s easier said than done sometimes, but maybe if we all approach each day with that mindset, we’ll do okay. It sounds like a glib thing to say, but you wake up every day choosing how you treat people. Strangers, your partner, your friends, your work colleagues. It doesn’t sound too difficult, but sometimes it’s not easy. Things impact your own life and so sometimes you’ll not always be in the right place to offer help when it’s needed. It’s okay to miss things sometimes, but you reach out when realise that you need to, don’t you?

Whilst it’s absolutely the right thing to do, your kindness can be interpreted by different people in different ways. Some take your intentions in the way that you meant them, some others don’t, and whilst it’s those people who’ve read things wrong, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve misjudged things also. Did you go too far, did you give them too much attention when they needed help, did you make a mistake? We all make them, probably every day, certainly on a regular basis. Perhaps the difference is what we do after our mistakes, whether we learn from them or continue to make them again and again. It’s okay to make them but you want to try and not make them again.

Sometimes though, your radar is off, a mistake is coming and you have absolutely no idea about the consequences you’re going to face.

This one might be a battle, might not turn out okay.

When you split with someone that you thought you’d be with forever, don’t you try and focus on anything else you can that will help you try and do whatever the fuck it takes to make you get through it? Work it is.

The week is a little different than usual. Forty five interviews in five days is draining but finally it’s over. Two people are needed for my team and there are only six that make the shortlist. It’s like the NFL draft, will I get my number one pick? Turns out I do, but I have someone forced on me by the powers above that I don’t want. Nothing against her, she seems cool enough but sometimes you have a gut feeling about people, about things. Always trust it, right?

Days and weeks pass and it seems like my gut was spot on. She has a lovely personality, she’s friendly, warm, she’s Snow White classically pretty but there’s a but. No one else can put their finger on it either, but something isn’t quite right. Drinks are arranged one night, everyone gets involved, it’s cool to unwind without the stress of work chat.

Too many drinks are had by most, some of us remain sensible, but she doesn’t. She breaks down, starts crying, emotional kryptonite for most of us boys. I walk her home, making sure that she’s safe and we talk for most of the night. She opens up about personal things going on in her life, suddenly I get why she’s been off her game. She reaches in for a kiss and I don’t stop her. A mistake. I stay over, and whilst nothing happens, it’s another mistake.

More days and weeks pass and things develop, a proper relationship starts. More mistakes are made, I was just a pawn in a game that I finally realised one day that I’d never really understood. She’s pretty, she’s younger than me, she’s a girl that turns heads when she walks into a room. Irresistible. Who wouldn’t take a chance?

When we go out for dinner or drinks though, she gets numbers from boys just to satisfy her own ego. She talks down to my female friends, to the point where they don’t want to be around me when I’m with her. What am I doing? She’s batting a thousand and I’m the 1962 New York Mets, an absolute shitshow. I think she’s better than me in every way so I accept it every time, but that’s toxic and I know it but I need to accept it. Don’t I?

We argue a lot. There are a shit ton of emotions, anger, a lack of trust, blame, feeling unheard and undervalued, hostility, jealousy, what’s the point in even hanging around? No good relationship is built on magical thinking. You can know that someone is no good for you, yet the games and mixed signals seem okay to you sometimes but it’s acceptable to be vulnerable. It’s an abusive relationship, mentally rather than physically. I don’t know what you’re doing to me, better that we end our days and split our ways. Time to tell her, she’s the first girl I’ve ever broken up with on my terms. A meet is arranged. When I turn the corner and I see her standing there, my heart skips a beat, but tension corkscrews in my stomach. The words are said, it’s not healthy for me, and truth be told, how can it be healthy for her? Now gravity is a little less heavy though.

There was that element of chance but now I’ve learned lessons that I’ll never forget. Fucking mistakes. Just maybe you need to try and forgive yourself for the mistakes that you’ve made. You’re not crazy to be curious, we’re all going to disappoint someone at some point, but you don’t want to be disappointed. It’s not fair but you have to think of your own wellbeing sometimes.

Right now, I’d sooner lick an electric fence than let another girl in, but hopefully that’ll change in time. Trust is sacred and hopefully I won’t let this get in the way of the lady that comes next.

Relationship status? South of okay, north of giving a shit about her any more.

I know we’ll never be friends again but I hope that you know that I’d never do any of those things to you that you did to me. Hopefully it never happens to you, but maybe we’re all attracted to people that have the ability to hurt us. Sometimes it’s hard not to think what or who we think we love can affect us the most, but the truth catches up with us eventually.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

These hands are meant to hold.

Different things motivate all of us. Achievement, advancement, personal or professional growth, maybe recognition or responsibility? It can be something simpler than any of those things. Eating healthier, getting fit, listening to your favourite music, playing or watching your favourite sports. Once you find something that makes you want to do it religiously, it becomes second nature, you’re motivating yourself every day, although you perhaps don’t grasp that fact in every single moment.

We’re all different people, so all of our motivations are different. When you witness the success of others, it’s easy to not even contemplate the setbacks and struggles that they’ve had to overcome to get to where they are now. Sure, the road to get to a place that you need to be is often paved with failure and a shit ton of pain. There’s going to be hard lessons that you’ll need to learn along the way, you’ll need to have difficult conversations with yourself now and again. Humility and understanding is key, don’t we all need to harness those moments of adversity to help us move forward?

It doesn’t matter who any of us are, we’ve all experienced hard times in our lives. We all have different tools that we need to not only think about what’s happened to us before, but also to try and help us shape what’s going to become part of our future. Aren’t we all resilient on some level? A bad place can become a good place if you’re motivated to get there. Take music. Listen to any song with an open mind and you might realise that some of the words apply to something that you have going on.

It’s not always that easy though, is it? Some days are more difficult than others, it’s tough to see how any of what you have to deal with right now is going to get any better, to make you better.

Another day and you’ve had your fill of sinking.

It’s late on a weekend afternoon and I’ve been in the new place for a few days. The broadband engineer is finally here, first world problems are about to be solved. He ladders down over a high wall into the garden next door where the pole is to connect the street to the telephone and internet lines. I leave him to it, what the fuck do I know about installing wifi? Anything to do with the brain, I’ve mostly got you covered. Anything practical? Forget it, I’m the equivalent of a three legged cat trying to bury a shit on an ice rink.

He shouts over for my assistance, probably not standard protocol, isn’t that what they’re paid for, but part of you always wants to help. Grease on the top of the wall from his boots is there but I don’t see it, I slip, and I tumble over 20 feet to the ground landing straight on my back. I black out briefly, but when my eyes reopen, it’s easily the worst pain I’ve ever experienced that envelops me. He helps me back into my apartment and an ambulance is called. He leaves, apologising profusely.

The ambulance arrives, air and gas is given and a paramedic attempts to take a blood sample. Bless, they’re obviously new at this, and blood goes everywhere, it’s like a crime scene in my apartment, but finally we get sorted and I’m on my way to the local hospital.

I can’t feel my legs and the pain is excruciating. Every bump on the road hurts but I know that I’m headed to where I need to be. Being the weekend, it’s busy, hours pass with me being told to lie on my back and not move. Morphine is overrated, the pain doesn’t lessen. The staff are fantastic though, always checking in until I can go for x-rays and then a CT scan. That’s one thing that was never on the bucket list.

A doctor finally comes round with the results and it’s not good, there are severe spinal vertebrae fractures. Surgery is ruled out because it might make things worse. I’m scared to ask the question that I need an answer to. A day when you’ve lost yourself completely could be a night when your life ends. Painkillers for the rest of my days and intense physiotherapy will mean that I’ll be able to walk again. Hopefully.

No lies, there are a lot of tears and a lot of self pity. I get moved to a ward with three other guys and their prognosis and stories are equally as bad as mine, if not worse.

The night passes and I can’t sleep. Sure, the pain is part of it but I need to figure out how to beat this. I need to be motivated. I listen to music, hit the shuffle button and let the songs take me where they need to.

It’s approaching 5am, no sleep has been had and a junior doctor pops her head around the curtain to check on me. Questions are asked, blood pressure is taken and the first thing she does is to ask me to take her hands and push them away from her. I tell her that I doubt I have the strength but then she says six words. ‘These hands are meant to hold.’ Those 24 letters resonate, I’ve heard those words somewhere before and I push as hard as I can. She smiles, does some more tests and leaves telling me to stay strong.

I realise where I heard them and what the song is. It’s my iPhone so I click on it. There’s my motivation right there. Six words from someone I’ve never met before will get me through this. Will it be tough? Sure as shit, but what’s the alternative, you have to keep moving and be positive when life kicks you in the stones. Time to man up, we can’t keep regretting things that didn’t go the way that we wanted, they’re not going to change the past. Go ahead as you waste your days with thinking? Zero point.

Friends ask if I’m alright. Stupid fucking question, but it’s okay to tell a tiny white lie and say yes, isn’t it? Sometimes you need to do things on your own, just keep on going no matter how hard things are. The answers won’t come straight away but if I’m motivated, they will in time.

The old guy in the next bed says to me, cliche as it sounds, ‘Your life is how you make it now, it’s up to you.’ He’s right. No matter how hard it seems just to keep on going, don’t you have to believe in yourself? We won’t all have the same problems but we need to find out what motivates us. Life can deal you a shit hand but don’t you want to beat the dealer?

It might seem like the world is against you, it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself, but you have to keep going. I’ve got this, I will walk again, I will run again. Whatever you have going on, you’ve got it too.

Even when your hope is gone, move along.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife