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

There’s nothing for me to miss.

Day 4.

“There is an end to everything, to good things as well.” It’s a quote by Chaucer that’s over 600 years old, and has changed over time, most of us now know the derived version as “All good things come to an end.”

No one likes losing good things, but maybe that loss helps you to be better in the long term. Some people will always come and go in your life but the loss of some hit harder than others. Aren’t we all tormented now and again by some past relationships? Maybe 2019 will be the year that you put her or him behind you and move on. Be honest with yourself, you can’t start the next chapter if you keep re-reading the last one.

It’s okay to miss someone, because don’t you also miss the part of you that you had when you were with them? You shared experiences and more, and now that’s gone. Maybe you shouldn’t be missing them but you feel what you feel in any given moment.

It’s funny how all the feelings you had when you were in love with someone can sit gathering dust in the back of your mind, only to come flooding out at the slightest reminder. You hear a song maybe, and it all comes back to you. Now you’re thinking about them again. Fuck. Is there much point thinking about people from your past though? Sure, there will be times when you think it’s a good idea to call them and see how they’re doing. Do you really care about how they’re doing, aren’t you just trying to get back an idea of what you had? No point hurting yourself, you liked them, but there’s a reason why they didn’t make it into your future. It hurts like hell when the person that made you feel like a million dollars one day, decides that they don’t want you the next. She chased me because she liked and wanted me. She got me, but then she left me.

From best friends to strangers.

Your friends rally round because they get it too. She made me feel like less of a man because I couldn’t give her what she wanted any more. Some friends have bizarre traditions and one that we have is to convene a tribunal if one of us is being a dick about something. There are times though that people know when to be there for you. No tribunal needed, everyone knows that the hurt is real.

It turns out that time can be a healer. Regret her? No point, she was exactly what I needed at one time and it must have been the same for her.

Maybe the biggest test comes when a boy and a girl meet after their breakup. That feeling you get when you bump into into your ex and you’re looking your best though. You still remember things, don’t you? The eyes, the smile. It happened randomly one day. We looked at each other, smiled, traded pointless words, had a hug and left. The funny thing is that one of us knew that it was a good idea that we split. In that moment, the penny drops that all we really shared was an address, a bed and a lot of lies.

She calls, but I leave it to go to voicemail. Hours later, I listen to the message and as it finishes, I hear the words, “You’ll never find someone like me.” There’s a regretful smile because that’s exactly the point. She’s the past and has nothing new to say to me any more. She ranks amongst one of the most beautiful people that I’ve let into my world but there’s not going to be an idiot ex who wants her love again. I thought I still loved her but then I realised I just love the memories of who she used to be.

Is she sorry for the way she treated me? I don’t know, but maybe I do care, even if it’s only a tiny bit. It’s a new year coming soon though so I don’t worry about that. The focus is on my own growth, maybe she’ll be the one who makes me strong.

If you’re hurting right now, be proud of your heart. It’s been broken, cheated and stabbed but it’s still working. 2019 might just be your year.

My ex? We’re not friends, we’re not enemies. This shit is dead and gone, it’s not what it used to be.

@TheSamMcLeod
#YouMeMusicLifeResolutions

You need to know.

There are over seven billion people in the world, yet so many believe that there’s only one person out there for each of us. Can you only have one soulmate? That doesn’t sound fair, don’t we all deserve and want the chance of having a fairytale relationship or romance without it being limited to just one person?

Apparently we all fall in love with four different people in our lifetime, so there’s more than one person on the face of the planet that’s suited for you. If it’s true, does it matter then if your first, second or third love doesn’t work out, as long as the fourth person is the right one? Maybe you’ll only fall in love two or three times, so wouldn’t that would render the notion of just one soulmate as absolute bullshit? Maybe you’ll be that lucky person that meets your soulmate immediately, that ultimate complementary match.

Stick the word soulmate into any internet search engine and the response you’ll get, will be along the lines of, “a person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner.” Sounds about right, just someone that you have a deep affinity with, compatibility is key. If we had a wishlist, we’d all pick different things that we’d want from a partner, but someone who you connect with on an emotional and physical level would be a good start, right? Hopefully not too much to ask.

Just because you think that your relationship is meant to be, does it really mean anything? The odds aren’t great for soulmates or whatever else you want to call them. Four out of over seven billion? You’d never part with your money for any other bet, would you? Yet, every day, we gamble on love. Life is different every day, perhaps you’ll never know how lucky you’ll be, but surely there must be someone out there for everyone, just because you haven’t found that person yet doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. There’s university research out there that reckons less than 3 in 10 of us meet our soulmate and get together. What chance do we really have? Maybe some of us are luckier than others though. How many people in your life have you said those three words to? Maybe it gets to a stage where it’s five words. Maybe as long as you remember that it’s about both of you living this adventure together, the pair of you might just do okay.

The three words have left my lips to eight different girls in my lifetime. The five words? Only to three, so does that mean that there’s still one girl left out there for me? It’s only later when you reflect on things though, that sometimes you realise that those three little words get thrown around too easily and you can say those words to some people, but not really mean them. You can get caught up in the moment for sure, but who pretends in their heart about loving someone? Not fucking cool. You always mean the five words though, don’t you?

Can you remember the first time that you told someone that you loved them and meant it?

The first time? She was and is amazing. We shouldn’t have gotten together, she was with someone else at the time but there was something there and you know that when you look at someone in a particular way and they look at you in a similar fashion, that there might be a chance. Circumstances changed months later, and one telephone call from her changed everything. She’s so far out of my league that it’s unbelievable, always has been, this boy definitely got lucky. She’s pretty, super intelligent and she has a smile that will always be imprinted on your mind, if you’re lucky enough to see it. She told me those words first, but it took me a little while to get there too. It sucks, doesn’t it, you’re almost automatically put under pressure to respond with the same three words if someone says them to you? Doesn’t it matter more though if you say something that important that you know when you’re at that stage? It could and should have been the most meaningful relationship ever, but sometimes boys fuck up. We were in love, but now she’s in love with someone else and she’s happy, ergo, I’m happy. She gave me more than I could have ever expected and I’ll always be humbled by it. If I saw her today, she wouldn’t get the five words, but she’d definitely get the three. A relationship can destroy you when it ends, but one day you wake up, and it hurts less than it did the day before. You try to get better every day, you walk like you have somewhere to go, and you hope that there is another opportunity with someone else.

The second time? We met through work, she called me one day for help in finding a new job and coffee was arranged. We’d spoken about a hundred times on the telephone, but never met. Complete randomness, what should have been a half hour conversation turned into two hours. She likes the same bands that I do, she quoted film lines at me verbatim. When you smile with someone, with your eyes, as well as your mouth, then a part of you wonders about something more. Days and week passed and we met up more than once for drinks and food. Things progressed and then one day, I blurted those words out before she did. Maybe she felt the aforementioned pressure but she responded by saying those same words. We spent a lot of time together but then she had to move away for work. Conversations became less frequent and she met someone else. She told me she that loves him, it seems he loves her, so how can you not be happy for that one person who was in your life that you fell for?

The third time? It still hurts to this day and it’s difficult. She’s the third of three people on the planet to hear those five words and she’s the third girl to be way above anyone’s league, especially this guy. Punching above my weight, should have been a fucking boxer.

It’s difficult and ultimately wrong to put yourself out there again when you’re still thinking about someone who went before. You try though, but you’re doing well if you can manage to follow things through with someone else. Number four? It hasn’t happened but there’s a girl. You can be old friends with someone and then one day realise that there is the potential of something more. Leave your pride at the door and put your heart out there, right? Words are said and a rejection follows, but it’s almost a relief. No three or five word sentences are spoken but there might always be a part that wonders. Still thinking about number three though, so it wouldn’t be fair to the girl that might have been number four. The search continues, or does it?

Without all of these beautiful people, I might never have made it this far. Without them, I might never have even tried. The thing is though, you can try and move on and still not be over someone who you’ve said those five words to.

ILYSB

@TheSamMcLeod

If.

How cool would it be if you could go back in time and have at your fingertips, all of the knowledge that you have now? If you could, you’d probably give your younger self a ton of advice. Which career path to follow, who you should pursue romantically, where in the world you want to see, decide on all of the things that you have in your day to day life that will make you happy. Sure, there will be some bad days and nights along the way, but you try as hard as you can to have the right people around you who enrich your life and automatically make your day better.

There will be a misstep now and again but just maybe our mistakes are the experiences that we need to learn. Things are constantly changing, you’re always evolving, whether it’s emotionally, physically or in any other number of ways. Your life won’t always be perfect, but don’t you want to look back on it and know that’s how you wanted it to be? You have to make the decisions though at some point, some easy, some more difficult, but time isn’t going to be on your side forever. Perhaps one day, you have an epiphany and you know what it is that’s out there for you from now on. Something can happen to you that makes you stop for a second and really think about your own mortality. Today was such a day. The human heart beats sixty to eighty times a minute. You don’t feel it, or notice it, but you certainly don’t want it to stop beating.

Has anyone ever made a bucket list?

I’ve done plenty of things in my life so far that I wanted to do, some big, some small. Get a tattoo, accept a dare. go on a blind date. Ask out the girl of my dreams, she said no, probably sensible on her part. Run across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise and sunset. Attend a film premiere. Look out from the crown of the Statue of Liberty, look out over New York from the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock observatory deck. See a band live in said city. Visit the Library of Congress, spend some time in Washington DC, visit the White House. To have done it when Obama led that great nation, was even better. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, it’s chilly up there, wrap up warm. Get lost in Venice with a girlfriend. Live in a different country, stand on the glassdeck of the Willis Tower in Chicago and check out the city. See the Northern Lights, take in a game at the Camp Nou. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Visit Arlington Cemetery. Cross the Equator. Ride the Cyclone at Coney Island and the Ferris Wheel in Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square. RIP. Not ashamed to say that I jumped in front of a kid just so that I could have the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. Sorry little man. Complete a Man v Food challenge. Try oysters. Buy someone a first edition of their favourite book. Visit the Red Light District in Amsterdam. If you’re about to ask a certain question, then the answer is no. Learn a foreign language that wasn’t forced on you from school. My Mandarin is fairly coming along! Stand on the pitch at Celtic Park. Complete a round of golf in under 100 strokes. Treat my girlfriend to front row seats to New York Fashion Week. Kiss a female celebrity. Look for the Loch Ness Monster. Ten minutes and that one was ticked off. Send a woman a drink across the bar. She didn’t send one back. Eat the hottest chilli pepper in the world. Dance on the piano from Big. See the Berlin Wall.

It’s nice when you can do things that you’ve always wanted to. Now’s the time to make a new list though.

If it’s meant to be, it’ll be?

There is no cure for curiosity, right? It’s difficult to take that first step and sometimes you don’t want to do all of your things alone. Maybe you need to take the plunge and ask the question, if there’s someone special that you want to share these things with? It’s a lot like penguins before they enter the ocean. Loads of them will go right to the edge, but none will leap into the water until one goes first, and then everyone follows. If one hesitates, they all hesitate. Take the chance, right?

Sometimes, you have no idea what it is you want, you just know you want. Sometimes, you know exactly what it is that you want to do though, to experience, to see. It can be difficult to think of things, on some days you’re not exactly getting punched in the face by the good idea fairy. If you make a list, does it matter if it has one thing or a hundred things on it? A small list is made. Baby steps, a list can always be added to.

Sit on the H of the Hollywood sign drinking bourbon. Write a book. Visit every NFL stadium, visit every MLB stadium. Combine them both and raise money for charity. I’m going to need some serious time off for that one. Visit Alcatraz and then run across the Golden Gate Bridge. Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Go to the airport and take the next flight to somewhere random. One of these is in progress and one will happen next weekend.

Wherever your story takes you, however difficult it is at the time, isn’t there is always some sort of hope that you’ll be okay? Better to be an optimist at heart?

The only things I like less than mysteries are surprises, so this will be a cathartic thing. You can put your entire personal life in a box and slam the lid shut but what’s the point? It’s a cliche but are we here for a good time or a long time?

Do we do all that we set out to do? Will we manage to tick everything off?

Maybe we do, maybe we don’t, maybe we will, maybe we won’t.

You have to ask yourself many questions when you’re making a list. What if you need to ask one more question?

@TheSamMcLeod