Give yourself a moment.

We all have a lot of stuff going on in our lives. Some good things, maybe some great things, some bad things, maybe some awful things. We all have a ton of problems, different things that we need to think about, to make decisions on every day. Some of them are known only to you; some might involve other people. Some things are big, some are little, but they’re definitely different for all of us. All of our problems are unique though, because we are unique. We all lead lives filled with issues, some can be changed or fixed easily, some can have you scratching your head about what the fuck to do about them. Just life I guess, sucks to be an adult at times.

Life can throw you a curveball when other people’s problems impact your life. You’d do anything for your family or friends though, wouldn’t you? Time to look after them before focussing on yourself, but whilst it’s not always the easiest thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. Help others, but if you can’t, the last thing you want to do is hurt them, so you try your hardest. Advice, a shoulder to cry on, letting them know that you’re at the end of the phone for them, let them know that they’re not alone. The little things sometimes turn into the biggest things. Isn’t it a beautiful concept that others come first and you come second? Perhaps it’s a form of love that makes you think, that makes you believe that the happiness of another person is essential to your own happiness. Loving a friend so selflessly means that you share in their happiness whether you are part of it or not.That can never be bad, make someone happy and be happy too, win win. Sure it’s easy to take from people, but sometimes all you can do is give until it hurts. You give what you can whether it’s a little or a lot. Maybe it’s who we are from the start? Like everyone that’s gone before all of us, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. It’s easy to be a good friend to others but sometimes it’s more difficult to be more of a friend to yourself.

Caring and thinking of others is awesome but if your present moment is filled with good things, and you’re switched on, you see them. Maybe you need to give yourself your own advice and take yourself away from life for a while, and get totally immersed in the right now rather than everything else that’s going on around you. You need to stop and take a breath sometimes, give yourself a moment and let your body be. Count one, two, three.

An email drops into my inbox that I don’t expect. I don’t know the person, I have no idea when I see their email address and picture as to why I’m even on their radar. I read the message, I understand it and it’s an opportunity to change my life. Not in a Nigerian prince offering billions of dollars for my bank account details kind of way, but something that will need to turn the focus on myself, rather than the friends and family that I’ve been making sure are okay for the past number of years. It feels like that all I have and that all I need is right here in this moment. My index finger hovers over the reply icon. What if life is about not knowing as much as you think you know, about having to change everything, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next? Scary, but maybe every great move forward in your life begins with a leap of faith, with putting one foot in front of the other, taking a step into the unknown. I can be here now but will it be better to be somewhere else later? Consonants and vowels are formed, words take shape. The index finger hovers again but finally clicks the send button.

It’s taking a chance, but shouldn’t you try and promise yourself that you’ll enjoy every minute of the day that is given to you? No point in fucking worrying yourself with what happened yesterday, or what’s going to happen tomorrow, none of us know. What if you get that one call, that one email, that one text, that might change the possibility of everything for you? Maybe we all need to learn that this moment is enough, as long as we have the belief to make it so. It’s all an adventure, so why not try and look after yourself from time to time?

We all endure tough times and the dawning of a new year can feel almost cathartic. Looking after people rather than yourself is an emotionally draining experience. The here and now is all we have, but if we get it right, isn’t it all we’ll need? Nothing is more important than this day. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t here yet, so the focus needs to be on today. That said, there’s less than 72 hours until a meeting that could change my life forever. Those people I’ve been fighting for are okay now, but they might need to be without me for a little while, because this is about me for a second.

Excited?

It’s okay to be chasing stars and to find a place and lose it.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

Perfect pretenders.

Don’t we all want things in our life to be perfect? It becomes easy to lie to yourself when you find out that everything isn’t quite what you’d hoped. Maybe when you get to that point in your relationship where you just feel like you don’t know each other anymore, or it turns out that you perhaps didn’t know each other to begin with, you realise that the end is near. You thought you knew what this was. You can think that your relationship is good, but when it turns out that it’s not, but you know that you wanted it to be, it can sting. It’s good to remember the good things though instead of the bad, no point in making yourself hurt more than you already are. Nothing wrong with that, something ends and you both move on. Some do it more quickly than others, whilst some of us are a bit more guarded, a bit less trusting. It’s a shame, but you choose to let people into the deepest parts of your heart, life or mind when you’re ready. If they’re worth it, won’t they stick about and wait for that minute when you finally let your guard down?

At some point in our lives, most, if not all of us will have discovered that feeling of secretly liking someone that’s suddenly come on your radar. You wish that they knew what you thought about them, but it’s okay to be scared of what the answer might be if you dared ask a question. So, you keep it to yourself, you try to lock it inside, and then perhaps one day that moment will come when they notice you or you finally get your shit together and ask them. No big deal if they say no, there are a ton of people out there for all of us, right? That one person for each of us thing can’t be real, can it? Liking someone doesn’t mean you have to be lovers, sometimes maybe you just end up friends. Maybe nothing at all happens between you both and you carry on with your life. It’s tough to make yourself not like someone but you work it out.

If you don’t expect to like someone and then you do, it can come as a bit of a shock, especially if you don’t think you’re ready.

She came out of nowhere. Just like in the movies.

It was innocent, yet also a reminder about how many different ways there are to meet people these days. It can happen pretty much anywhere now, can’t it? A bar, a restaurant, a nightclub, a supermarket, a hotel lobby, a dating site, the possibilities are almost endless. Nowadays, it seems like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have decided to crash the party. Take Twitter, a good way to turn ten minutes into an hour. It’s always cool if someone new follows you, but if someone started following you in the street though, you’d be right to feel more than a little bit alarmed. Okay, maybe not the best example ever, but it’s different online, you’re protected somewhat, you choose who you follow, who follows you, who you interact with. It can be random who decides to be a part of your timeline, but isn’t that half of the fun? You can learn new things, meet new people, expand your social circle. I’m definitely not the only one who has met Twitter friends in real life and every single one of them has been amazing. They are amazing.

I guess it’s different for a lot of us. Some people automatically follow everyone back, and that’s cool, it’s our own individual experience, so you should be able to choose. It’s not a snub if you don’t immediately follow back, it’s definitely something that might change in time, no biggie. Someone might decide to follow you, so you check out what they’ve been saying and you either follow back if you like their words, or you decide not to if you don’t.

Obviously you need to be careful, but you trust yourself with your judgement. Never underestimate how much a tweet or a reply might change your circumstances though.

A girl that I don’t know adds me, so I check her out. She looks cool, is into some similar things, and I find some of what she says amusing, so I follow back. Almost immediately, it’s forgotten about, we’ve all got shit to do in our daily lives, right? One night, I’m distracted and scrolling through and I see a tweet from her. She looks like she might be in trouble, so I reply to see if she’s okay. How much trouble can you really be in though, if you have time to tweet about it? Always clever after the fact. A reply comes in and she’s okay, so all good. Nothing wrong with caring about people, even if they’re strangers.

A few days later, a note drops into my messages, thanking me for looking out for her. No problem, a cursory reply is sent. She chooses to keep the conversation going and we end up messaging each other most days from then on. I like the way she used her words, and then one day, I liked the way we used our words together. You can usually tell if someone likes you and you definitely know if you like them back, you can feel that there’s something there. Email addresses are exchanged, numbers are swapped and daily conversations become a part of the norm. Facetiming every day, who knew that would become a verb?

I’m still not 100% sure that I’m ready to let go of the past, but she seems like the kind of someone that you don’t want to play by the so called rules for. Wait three days and then be in touch again? Why can’t tomorrow be our three days, why can’t tonight?

We just didn’t know what it would become. We’ve all been guilty of letting things move too fast with someone new. Head over heels for something that’s not real? Isn’t it right that if two people jump into a relationship too fast, they’re headed for failure? Thoughts of that person will pop into your mind randomly and repeatedly throughout the day, so it can be difficult to try and let your relationship develop at its own pace. How many times have you wanted something to really be something and then you find out that it’s not? Reality kicks in. It was far too much, far too soon and it fizzled out. There might have been a lot in common, but maybe there was nothing alike.

It’s probably always an idea to give your brain enough time to catch up with your pheromones.

That bridge might look like it’s burnt to a crisp right now, but maybe it’s for the best. Then again, it might not be, I guess time will tell.

Maybe it could never be us. At the moment, it’s just you and I.

@YouMeMusicLife
@TheSamMcLeod

Can I have this dance?

It’s nice to have people around you that are full of fun and that you enjoy spending time with, but there are certain times that you want to be alone. Fuck, maybe you need to be alone. That time when you want to be with yourself, just to think about things that have affected you in one way or another. Don’t we all need space in our life sometimes to decide how we’re feeling, to reflect, to think about what comes next?

Life doesn’t stop, there will be hundreds, thousands of important decisions ahead for all of us to make, so maybe some you time will be cathartic. It’s okay to love having your own privacy and space to spend some quality time with yourself, even if it’s a difficult thing to do. You don’t want to be alone, but you want to be left alone. Just for a little while, because sometimes you don’t want to answer to anyone or anything, you want to do what you want. Sometimes being alone is better, less chance of getting hurt, right? Sure, there’s a shit ton of stuff out there in the world that you’ll find enjoyable, but maybe you have somewhere that you like to go to be by yourself. Being alone doesn’t mean being unhappy, it just means that you’re comfortable in your own space. You can be alone without being lonely. Let’s face it, you’re not lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.

It’s nice now and again to have that quiet time. Maybe you’re doubting yourself, maybe something bad has happened, maybe today has arrived, and it causes you pain because you remember that you’re not where you’re supposed to be, or who you’re supposed to be with. It’s okay to hurt but you need to learn to suck it up though, don’t you always have to be your own cheerleader, to give yourself a little pep talk occasionally? Time to go to your place that makes you forget, that makes you think, that makes you feel better. Maybe somewhere where you need to forget to remember.

Anyway.

We all have places that we go to that make us feel good when we’re feeling bad. The city never sleeps, but in a place full of noise, it’s strangely quiet. It’ll be a long night, but there will definitely be thoughts of someone else regularly. Today is a tough day. Today is also a beautiful day for someone else, which is kind of nice, because although everyone can have a day when they’re hurting, you can also know that someone you love, is having a great day. Just life, it’s okay to feel bad for yourself and happy for others at the same time.

Attaboy, Bar Goto, Banzarbar, Copper & Oak, Nitecap, Arlene’s Grocery, all staples of the Lower East Side in the greatest city in the world. Want to come and hang out? I guess meet me at Pianos. Looking for Miss Right in a city full of mistakes isn’t on the agenda tonight though.

Allen Street, Chrystie Street, East Broadway, Orchard Street, the legs will be stretched, and thoughts will turn to people who aren’t around. Perhaps you only realise that when you’re on your own, is exactly when you need a particular person the most. We’re miles apart but worlds away. Nothing feels emptier than a room when you want a certain someone in it.

Nobody else matters.

@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

Take it all in your stride.

Day 9.

A new year, perhaps one of those times when you think what the next twelve months will hold for you. How lovely would it be if all of us got everything that we wanted in the year ahead? Imagine too that we all achieved all of our goals in 2019? If you’re making an important decision, isn’t it a good idea to ask if the answer that you come up with, will move you closer to your goal or farther away? If the answer is closer, you know what to do. If it’s farther away, you know that you have to make a different choice. It’s super important to know who you are, to be able to make your own decisions.

We all make some every day and those can impact on whether you have a good or a bad day. Some decisions are obviously more important than others, deciding whether or not to change job, to leave someone or to start something new with someone else. What do I want to start doing, what do I want to stop doing, what do I want to keep doing? What to eat or drink, what to wear, are easy things to think about, you almost always decide instantly about the choice that you make. A lot of us are lucky and sometimes know intrinsically what the right thing to do is, whilst others fail to decide on anything without sleeping on it first. You can’t wait too long though because maybe over time, your indecision becomes a decision. When you’re having trouble making a decision, are you making it too soon? It’s okay to be on the edge if you’re finding it difficult to decide because there are times that having a choice can spell trouble, and you don’t know if it’s your head or your heart that has the right answer. Fuck. Some of us even go out of our way when it comes to avoiding having to make a decision. Bizarrely decisive. Why though? You can make mistakes and know why you made them, but it was your choice. Every decision can bring something bad, some good and can definitely teach you some lessons.

Don’t run, don’t hide behind it. Stand up and shout about it

The troubling part right now is that a certain day is drawing closer, and it’s nearly time to choose between having the possibility of having a yesterday again, or thinking of what tomorrow could bring. That yesterday could be amazing, but what if the other choice is better in the long run, how do you choose? Perhaps the idea is to go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that’ll enhance your life more. There’s a song lyric that says that “sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.” It might just be right.

It’s okay to doubt yourself but sometimes we all have to have the courage to decide what our higher priorities are. It’s okay to say no to some things when you really need to say yes to others. Some of the bigger decisions mean that you have to explain to the people closest to you about why you’re making them. You shouldn’t have to, it’s your life, but humility is something to hold dear and you need to have a difficult conversation with them. Does there come a point when the penny drops that you can’t live your life to please others? The choices you make belong to you.

If someone has wronged you and you want to give them a second chance, you can’t hold onto the hurt that they gave you and still be happy. Forgive and forget, choose yesterday and see how things go. Time for a new start and moving on? Choose tomorrow. You look hard at your life and ask yourself plenty of questions. Can I take this leap or do I try and hold onto what I might be losing by choosing tomorrow? Will either of these choices make me grow emotionally? If it’s time to make a decision about what comes next for you, keep your fingers crossed. Living life on the edge in 2019?

Stay strong and never doubt it.

@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

Don’t hold back.

Day 5

The final day of the twelfth month of the year is approaching, so maybe you’re hard at work thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. Like all of us, there will definitely be some that you’ll never keep, but it’ll be the same next year and the year after that, won’t it? Perhaps keeping a resolution is having the motivation to carry on thinking about it or them throughout the next 365 days. What helps you to find that motivation though? Music? Travel? Why don’t we all try and live the life that we’ve always wanted?

Wanderlust. “A strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.” The Dalai Lama once said “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” Clever guy.

Maybe 2019 is that opportunity to make time to see the world that you want to see. Where do you go, what do you want to experience? Part of the fun is in the planning so how about putting a plan into action? Research things yourself or seek out friends for recommendations? It has to be more enriching to see something once, than hear about it a thousand times though. Choose to listen to what they say, or go and see on your own? We all dream of seeing somewhere that we want to go, how about next year becomes the year when it finally happens? How long before you decide that every day is either an adventure or a thing that we just watch go by? Think about falling in love with cities or countries that you’ve never been to and with people that you’ve never met.

Lots of things in your life are scary as fuck and deciding to take a trip, especially on your own is brave. It’s not always comfortable and sometimes it hurts. It can break your heart if you need to escape whatever situation you have going on at home, but maybe you find that it’s more than acceptable to go and get lost for a while, to discover new things about yourself. If you do get lost but you know that you’re heading in the right direction, then give yourself a pat on the back. Maybe all that you need to know is that it’s possible to go dream and discover new stuff. Collect moments, not things?

Shouldn’t any journey you take change you? You’ll snap plenty of photographs but aren’t the better parts of time away, the experiences that leave marks on your memory? You’ll experience some things that will stay with you but you definitely leave something good behind too. Take memories, but leave your own imprint. It’s about the journey, right?

Find a winding road where strangers meet?

The trip is amazing, but it could have been so much better. It wasn’t part of any plan, it wasn’t noted down in any map that I’d thought about. Sometimes your worst nightmare comes true and it’s time to get away, to look after myself and collect my thoughts.

It hits home that I’m on a plane alone but I also realise that I won’t remember the time I spent working, it will be thinking about the new things I’m seeing, the new experiences from somewhere that I never thought I’d be. This going to be cathartic, hopefully. There’s so much that I’m not going to see, but I know there’s how much more that I need to experience. Sometimes you know that it’s not what you look at that matters, it is what you see. Be important to yourself.

Discover, explore, travel. Those things. Yesterday might be gone, today could be great, maybe tomorrow will be even better.

Tell yourself that no one you can hold you back from where you need to go.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions