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

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

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

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

Pretty much sums it up, right?

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

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

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

Time for you to go out into the world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s okay to start a new adventure alone.

I know who I want to take me home.

@TheSamMcLeod

Three makes it a crowd.

When a girl breaks your heart, your friends are quick to tell you things along the lines of, “she wasn’t right for you anyway, there’s plenty more fish in the sea, the girl meant for you will come along, we saw the photos of you two together and she didn’t look like a ‘Sam’ girl.’ Fuck knows what that last part even means, but the rest are all cliches that we’ve probably heard at one point or another, but you know that they come from a good place, even if you don’t want to hear them in that moment. It takes time though to find that trust again, to let someone in, to want to even let someone in, to try and learn who to place your trust in.

Maybe it’s like a mirror, you can fix it if it’s broken, but maybe you can’t fix it with the person that smashed it. There’ll still be cracks, won’t there?

It’s tough to try and move on though, everyone is unique, it takes time. How long it takes differs for all of us, depending on our circumstances. Perhaps the more that you begin to care about someone new, the more sure you are that they’re going to get tired of you and disappear and leave you alone. Just your own insecurities about what went before, right? It’s 100% not fair on the new person that comes along but it can be tough to alter your mindset. What if one day everything changes though and someone new enters your life?

We all know immediately when we meet someone whether or not we’re punching above our weight. It’s a shallow concept, but it crosses our mind, dare to tell me I’m wrong. If more than one person likes the girl that you think you might like, shit, that you know you like, one of you is the underdog. Sometimes you know what’s in your future and what’s not. What’s likely and what’s unlikely.

Conversations happen, she smiles with her eyes when we speak, is there a chance for me, despite everyone else that’s fighting for her affection? It’s looking good, but is someone out of their league here? For sure. Things progress, the conversation is on point. We kiss, the night is spent together, it’s completely innocent, nothing wrong with cuddles and kisses when you’ve been starved of them both for so long.

I don’t know too much about her, other than she’s beautiful, she’s funny and she makes me smile. She’s not my usual type, yet incredibly, it looks like I’m not the underdog any more. Insecurity creeps in again though.

I bet, I bet we don’t make it.

The morning comes and she has to go home. She doesn’t stay in the same city, far less the same country, but an open invite is extended to visit her at any time. An email drops into my inbox on a Friday morning a couple of weeks later, ‘Come visit on Saturday if you can, a friend is having a party, it would be amazing to see you. Let me know when your flight lands if you decide to come, I’ll pick you up, it’ll be fun, assuming that you want to see me?’ The email insinuates a slight tease, she knows that I do. Tomorrow is short notice, but fuck it, why not?

A flight is booked, a couple of hours on a plane to take a chance on someone is no time at all. Better to arrive on the Friday though, get my bearings, although I lived and worked where she lives years ago, sometimes it’s just nice to have a little bit of time to yourself. The Saturday venue is familiar so I know where I’m going, but I use the Friday night to catch up in the same place with an old friend, drink some bourbon and reminisce. We both know the bar well, drinks are ordered and as is usually the case with my friends and I, a table is chosen in the back where you can see everything, always backs to the wall. No one wants to be taken out by a sniper!

The stories flow, memories are spoken about and laughter happens a lot. We’ve been friends forever, we grew up together so it’s a seamless catch up. I get up to go to the bathroom, come back and he points out a cute girl at the bar who he likes the look of. Guess who? I tell him who she is and he’s immediately apologetic. No biggie, she’s a stunner and he knows that she’s why I’m even here. Just as I stand back up to walk over to say hello, a guy walks in, hugs her and gives her the longest kiss that I’ve ever seen. Plot twist.

Neither of them can see us, thank fuck for small mercies. My friend and I look at each other and we both shrug, but inside I’m hurting a tiny bit. If something looks too good to be true, chances are that it probably is. I don’t go to the bar for a while, no way am I getting involved in whatever they have going on. Looks like my Saturday night will be free to do whatever I want to do, there’s no fucking chance I’m going to any party.

More bourbon is consumed, I get the piss taken out of me for trying to punch above my weight. I smile because he’s right, what was I thinking? Eventually they finally leave together with their arms wrapped around each other.

It’s my round. At the bar, I speak to the girl serving me and ask who the couple were who just left as I thought I recognised them. Seems they’ve been engaged for years and are set to get married in the autumn. It turns out I was a bigger underdog than I thought. It’s such a shame, a shame, we had to find out this way.

Fuck it, my flight is changed, my Saturday night will be spent with people I know who aren’t messing me around. Might as well get turbo though in the meantime with one of my oldest friends. Unbelievably, less than an hour later, my iPhone pings and it’s a text asking if I’m coming tomorrow?

Thing is, I know something you don’t.

I start to type a text a couple of dozen times and each one gets deleted. Finally I settle on, ‘I’m in the city already, I was in the same bar as you tonight. Good luck with everything for your wedding, we all deserve to be happy. All of us.’ The reply comes, ‘It was a mistake, I’m sorry.’ The thing is, it feels like the mistake is mine, for trusting you. Six words is all I get?

It’s one thing to make a mistake accidentally; it’s something completely different to make it on purpose. We all know what happens when you let yourself get close to someone, when you start to believe they like you, but you know that there’s a chance that you’ll be disappointed. Just choices, right?

We drain the bottle, handshakes and hugs follow and I head for bed, sleep and reflection is needed before heading back a day before I should be. The message I’m left with as my head hits the pillow is to be careful with who I let in, because I could have been the one that has messed everything up in the end for them, despite what she did. It’s not a nice feeling but how was I to know?

I’m down, down, but definitely not out.

@TheSamMcLeod

Raise your glass in slow motion.

Everyone is guilty. Guilty of giving too much, of taking too much. Of not saying the words that we should have said, of articulating more words than was needed in any given situation. Not all of us keep in touch with family and friends, fuck, all of the people in our lives as much as we should. Sure, some of those people in your life will begin to fade away, it’s just life. Maybe you move away, they move away, you gradually lose touch, it’s not necessarily a conscious decision but it hurts on some sort of base level at least. On the flipside, there are people that you choose to keep around, regardless of where they are in the world, but now and again there comes a time when you have to make a choice about who those people are. Is this person making my life better or even just enriching it? It can be as simple as just liking the cut of their jib, they’re your friend. Sometimes though you have to know when to let go. Now and again time closes the door on any relationship that you have, not necessarily because you failed but just because something inside you finally has the balls to tell you that this particular someone or something no longer fits in your life.

What now? Lock your door, keep yourself to yourself for a while, and then start looking for new doors that you want or are ready to open? Is it a sign that you’re changing and you know that it’s going to be okay? Fingers crossed.

Letting go is incredibly tough though. It matters if we worry about the future without the ones that we no longer want to have in our lives, or if we keep thinking that we’ve made a mistake if we choose to let them go. You trust your heart and your mind though, right? Is it painful at times? Damn straight it is, it can be super hurtful when you know that you have to move on without certain people. No matter how hard we try to keep things as they are, sooner or later we’ll confronted with a decision to make, whether we like it or not. Our attempts to hold on to all of the negative people and things that were familiar to us, inhibit our chances to try experience happiness and joy in that particular moment and indeed in those future moments. Maybe it’s more than one moment and perhaps our lives are always supposed to be about change. No matter how hard we try to keep things as they are, sooner or later we’ll be confronted with a decision to make whether we like it or not.

It can be a good thing sometimes because now we can open up ourselves to to new experiences, new people, new possibilities. It sucks though when that time comes. It’s so clear, I should’ve seen it.

It blows my mind and I don’t understand it.

A change in life presents itself, different things are suddenly are on the horizon and decisions need to be made. Difficult ones, the worst kind. When you’re continually in touch with people and it’s a one way road, it’s time to say goodbye, isn’t it? Focus on yourself for once. Scratch that, focus on the most important person in my life, not me, a young girl who will benefit from this life altering decision. This is for you. Em, it will always be you.

Con te partirò is a beautiful song. It literally means ‘With you I will leave.’ This time though, it’s a solo journey, although there are people that will be left behind that I care about. That said, it’s important to forget what and who hurt me but I’ll never forget what it taught me. Some people need to be left behind because things and people weren’t who I thought they were. It might be the same from their perspective and that’s okay, we all believe what we want to. Maybe sometimes people come into your life just to teach you how to let go. We won’t be in touch again. In person, over Facebook or Twitter, Instagram, whichever social platform you wish to choose. No one wants to be shitty, but if you don’t want to keep in touch, then that’s okay, but don’t expect the same the other way around when a new life is starting. 10,394 miles or 16,727 in kilometers depending where you are in the world, it’s not my loss. Perhaps the worst thing is that this choice won’t even be on their respective radar but that’s okay. Easier to say goodbye than have someone bid you farewell, I guess.

Letting go isn’t a one time thing, it’s something you have to do over and over again. That’s a sad thing. Time to take a second look.

See your eyes, they’re wide open.

@TheSamMcLeod

Here comes the breath.

Things used to be so much easier when we were young, weren’t they? You dreamt dreams, you had hopes and fears, without knowing why or being able to understand them properly. It’s never easy to try and comprehend all of the things it takes to grow up in a world that we didn’t really understand, that we might not ever truly know. Growing up happens quicker than we’d like, but the memories of being a child stay with us for a long time. It’s easy for us to hold on to things that were, but still wonder about what’s to come. There are moments when everything is fine, and other moments where you realise that there are certain memories that you’ll never get back. People, stuff and things are going to change as you get older, is the hardest part knowing that there’s nothing you can do except watch on? We’re all curious when we’re young, we continually ask questions. Does that change as we get older, don’t we still need to ask things, some questions are more important than others?

How good were the times before there were any complicated relationships, drama, or heartbreak? A time when we got closer with someone just by holding hands or talking all night on the phone about anything and everything. A time that was amazing, and yet impossible to return to. Young love, your heart bouncing around like a lottery ball. The innocence of something, when you’re not sure if it meant anything. Living off of the fumes of just liking someone and it didn’t matter if they knew, but you were happy, yet too scared to ask the question that you know you should have. Maybe it’s the anticipation of something happening that was exciting, perhaps it’s the ambiguity of not knowing what will come to pass. You can’t control everything that happens though, just part of life. You’ll mess a lot of things up, but If you’re going to fuck things up, is it better to do it whilst you’re young? Maybe the older you get, the harder it becomes to recover. Who wants to grow up? If there’s a tree, I might want to climb it. If a football comes near me whilst out running or walking, you better believe that it’s getting fucking booted as hard as possible. It’s okay to be a kid at times.

‘I don’t get upset over things I can’t control because if I can’t control them, there’s no use getting upset. And I don’t get upset over the things I can control, because if I can control them, there’s no use in getting upset.’ A famous quote from an ex New York Yan***s player hits the nail on the head. We can’t control everything, easier said than done. You still need to try though, and part of that process is asking questions that you might find difficult. Just growing up, right? An evening comes, bourbon is poured and it’s time to think.

The lights are off and the sun is finally setting.

Do you ever feel like that your drowning in the words that you’ve never said? It’s hard to grow up, to ask the question you should, to tell someone that you like them because you’re too afraid of what might happen if they say no. Time to grow up? When you get older and you start to doubt yourself and you have you that insecurity about someone saying no, they almost become unattainable, it’s almost that feeling you get when you realise that there is someone you like. Too pretty, out of reach?

If you have any sense of moral fibre, then you know that things with someone new can only happen when you know that it’s done with the person before. Sure, it fucking hurts, but reality kicks in and you realise that you need to be kind to yourself. You loved them, you maybe always will, despite everything, but whilst that love lingers, it’s okay to say goodbye. That night, I finally think I know that we know that it’s time to let go of what could have had been, and look ahead to what might be coming. For both of us. How early is too early to move on? A month, a year? Fucking feelings, there are a shit ton of tears, who wants to move on from the person that they thought they would be with forever? The truth is lurking under the surface and my own conscience is waiting to blow up in my face unless I pluck up the courage. Ask or not, toss a coin? Heads or tails, how do you know until the coin lands?

More bourbon, probably not a good idea. Yes or no, literally a night spent on the window ledge staring outside at the night. Talk myself down or not? Dare I ask, how do I find out?

The night sky is changing overhead.

All I want to know is, can you…..

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife

Like you’ve seen a ghost.

‘Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.’

Various days come when there are moments of reflection, you have a wry smile to yourself and try and realise why different things happened or didn’t happen in your life. You know deep down that you can’t always allow yourself to think about what you don’t have, or what you didn’t get, what you have or what you’ve lost. Memories have that way of popping into your consciousness at any given time though, hopefully more good than bad.

Although easier said than done, how is it a good idea to overthink everything, about what’s gone before, about what might have been? Just because someone got away, doesn’t mean that you’ll always be pining for them. No point on missing out on the here and now though, about everything that’s ahead. Don’t miss out on something that could be great just because it could also be difficult, take the leap. Sometimes you tiptoe into the water, but then aren’t you missing out on the adrenaline of plunging in headfirst, who wants to be engulfed with a tidal wave of what ifs?

What if you lose yourself for a minute or two?

It’s a Friday morning, the letterbox makes that familiar noise with mail hitting the mat. There’s a card, much more interesting than the usual utility bills and bank statements. It’s unexpected, it’s not my birthday, it’s not Christmas, so I’m intrigued. The words inside are surprising, ‘I just want you to know that I enjoy your company, that I love being around you. I want to spend more time with you, we could have fun together. If you want the same, meet me on Saturday at 5 where the bus used to collect us to take us to school.’
It’s unsigned, my mind starts working overtime, who could it be? Is it a love letter of sorts? Love letters never used to be thought as something out of the ordinary, but things changed with texts and emails. Why not do either of those things instead, shit, go crazy and dial my number.

Like a Magic 8-Ball, I didn’t come up with any real answers, but then the penny drops and I know who it is, let’s call her L. She’s a lovely girl, very pretty but it’s never going to happen. We’d been spending a lot of time together as part of a larger group, but she’s just split with one of my best friends and there’s a boy code. Once a friend is with a girl, she’s off limits forever. I head for football practice instead on Saturday, I’m too shy to let someone down in person.

There’s also the small matter of someone else, let’s call her M. She’s part of the same group, our parents are friends, so we spend a lot of time together, I’ve been to her house more than once. From the minute I met her, I wanted to know more. Cute, engaging, fun, sarcastic and super clever. Maybe sometimes you can know someone better in ten minutes than someone you’ve known your whole life. Obviously, I can’t say anything. Beautiful ships never sailed by my dock so I couldn’t speak to her, I just didn’t have the courage. A boy having the balls to try and tell an amazing girl that you like them? Like trying to put a jumper on a jellyfish. Despite her obvious physical attractiveness, she was like the ubiquitous girl next door, someone that you could play football with, and happily not mind when you ended up losing. Asking the question might cause the end of the friendship though, she’s too cool to be around and I’m too smart to let that go, so words are left unsaid.

The friendship continues but I have to move away for work. She’s the one that’s being left behind, but I knew full well what that cost of that was, although thankfully M will never know. We could have been two perfect circles entwined, but it is what it is. Thinking of how it could have been if I’d done something, if I’d said something. There’s the feeling of loss, the feeling of never knowing what could have been, the feeling that you let someone that you always wanted slip right through your fingers.

We’re in touch less and less, just everyday life.

Another day comes and that familiar sound of the letterbox is heard again. It’s an invite to a party, catching up with old friends will be fantastic.

Years have passed, M walks in an hour or so after me but she hasn’t changed a bit. Part of me hopes the only reason she even came to this party, is so that she can see me. Pretty arrogant male behaviour.

Everyone is catching up with everyone so we don’t meet again until around midnight. She kisses me on the cheek, we hug and it’s like how it always was, the girl next door is back in my life. Drinks are bought, glasses are clinked, maybe it’s time to say something, Dutch courage always helps, right? Just as I start to say those words that should have been said before, another friend whisks her away to dance. Hours pass and the night winds down. She comes over, leans in for a hug and kisses me, whilst holding my cheek. She puts her mouth to my ear and whispers, ‘I wrote you a card once, asking you to meet me because I wanted us to be more than friends, I was in love with you. I was so hurt and disappointed when you didn’t show up. I’ll love you always, take care.’ My heart drops, I can’t stop blinking. Friends say ‘What is it, you look like you’ve seen a ghost?’

Sometimes we meet people and neither of us guesses that the other is someone who feels it too. That can’t be a good thing.

Soon after, it’s almost like she makes sure that I see her leave with someone else, sometimes you can read the tea leaves as well as anyone. Will another chance come along? No, sometimes you only get one shot. The knowledge that there is one other soul out there who has your number, right down to the last decimal place hurts though. How often does that happen?

You just have to see her and you know that she’ll break you in two.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife