Love is not designed for the cynical.

Everyone makes mistakes, just part of everyday life. Hopefully the majority of them are small and reasonably insignificant though, nobody wants to fuck up spectacularly. Sure, go ahead and try anchovies. You like oysters? Try the Rocky Mountain version, they have to taste similar to the ones you could get from Prince Edward Island, right? Choosing to sit through a showing of Titanic just to try and impress a girl? There are some hours and minutes right there in your life that you’re never getting back, especially if the old yawn and arm-stretch around the shoulder trick doesn’t work. Some mistakes are bigger and obviously impact your life in a much more meaningful way. Accepting a job that you realise was a mistake as soon as you start it, nightmare. Why did I choose to live in this apartment? You should always view somewhere at night too, shouldn’t you? Picking that one person to share your life with, maybe the toughest choice of all, and possibly the easiest one to make an absolute mess of.

Pretty grim when you think about it, but some of us get a lot of things right, anchovies excepted. Life rears it’s head once more, every single one of us struggles with different things now and again, aren’t we just a person trying to find acceptance and love about something or someone, trying to make sense of different things, probably to try and make ourselves feel better? Trying to move to a new place, changing that job, saying goodbye to someone, even when you know that it’ll sting. Sometimes the hardest things and the right things are the same.

It’s okay for your confidence to be dented when something ends though, especially if you weren’t 100% sure about it or them in the first place. Soul searching, trying to tell yourself that it’ll be okay, don’t tell me this is all for nothing.

Do you, or have you ever had someone in your life that if you could only see them one day a year, rather than see somebody else every day of the week, you’d choose the former? Aren’t the few hours you spend with that special someone worth the thousands of hours that you spend without them?

We were young, we lived hundreds of miles from each other. She was visiting family, a mutual friend introduced us, and it became the very definition of a summer romance. Eight magical weeks spent together, giggling, holding hands, hanging out, hugging, kissing, it might have been the best summer that any 17 year old has ever had.

What were the chances of seeing her again? Zero at the time or so it seemed, but all you can do sometimes is to try and better that number and then everything is out of your hands, fate kicks in. Apparently, a school of thought exists that missing someone gets easier every day because even you’re one day further from the last time you saw them, you’re one day closer to the next time you set eyes on them. Bullshit or not?

Christmas comes and she’s here again but things are different. There are hugs, but no holding of hands, no kissing. She has a boyfriend back home now so it’s the right way for her to behave and it’s immediately understood, no words are needed. Nothing better than hanging out with someone who’s quickly becoming a best friend, I’ll take what I can get. It turns out that distance means the square root of fuck all when someone means so much, even if it might not go anywhere. Different holidays come and go,and it’s accepted that if one of us is seeing someone when we catch up, nothing inappropriate happens. Kissing is as far as it’s ever gone but when someone wants to press their lips onto you one day and then do it again the next, how can that ever be bad? Could it be more than something? A question that was never asked, simply for the reason that I might have been scared of what the answer would be.

The holiday visits slowly come to an end and contact becomes infrequent. Days, weeks, months and years pass. She started seeing someone and I’d met an incredible girl who’d give me the best gift ever. We split, she moves onto someone so much better than me and they’re happy. Life again, live in the moment, not the past. What now, miss you or forget about you? Thoughts drift occasionally but only when single life is the reality. I meet someone else and it’s an on and off thing for longer than should ever be necessary for two people. She’s a beautiful person in her own way but it doesn’t take Einstein to work out where the mind goes when it’s an off period. It’s ultimately destructive, you can’t keep covering for someone when they’re in the wrong. Sometimes the people you count on and trust the most turn on you because of their own failings. Some secrets should stay hidden though, even if you’re the one that takes the shit for them. Every day is a school day though, but if all you learn is what’s done is done, then that’s enough. Does it help or hurt? Fuck knows, I’m numb. There is absolutely no harm in trying to constantly connect dots and to forgive someone to make things right. Can it be sorted, is that even what I want?

A message comes from the girl I remember as a teenager, and whilst my smile is huge initially, it’s not by the time I finish her words. She’s now single and is reaching out. Whether as a friend or something more is clear, but who wants to be a rebound?

It’s more than okay to hurt but don’t we all need to find our own little corner of the sky to try and repair ourselves first? Being a friend is the first job, sometimes we all need reminded that hard times will pass eventually. It’s hard not to make this anything more, but I can’t mess someone about, despite how much I want to say some things. Pouncing on someone who’s emotionally vulnerable would be a dick move.

Maybe the feeling of knowing that fighting for the one that you think you love is worth it, but how do you articulate your thoughts? A feeling lingers that there could be a million people against us, but when we have that one person that stands beside you no matter what, does you even care?

You’re hurting and I hate that. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you might think, but the most important thing is I’ll always be with you. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. Every time I get a text, I hope it’s from a certain someone, you’re my favourite notification.

It’s late, I’m in my bed, you’re in your bed. One of us is in the wrong place but I can’t tell you. I wrote some words and then I stared at my feet, became a coward when I needed to speak. Who knows what could happen if you ever ask again?

I see everything you can be, I see the beauty that you can’t see.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

The debut album, ‘Without Fear’ drops on September 27th, available online and in all good music stores. Shit, it’s likely that you’ll be able to pick it up in some bad ones too, so go and get it!

Dive in blind.

Have you ever been in a relationship that you thought would last forever but didn’t? It sucks, but it happens, isn’t it what you do next that’s important? Sure, we all know that every day moving forward on your own won’t always be be full of rainbows and sunshine, and that sometimes, we’re going to go through some rough patches. What choice do you really have, don’t you need to tell yourself that you’ve got this even when you think you don’t? Maybe it takes a tiny piece of our hearts breaking to shake us awake and help us see that we’re worth so much more than what we’re settling for. You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, fuck, even months over-analysing things; trying to put the pieces together as if your relationship was a jigsaw, attempting to justify what could’ve and would’ve happened if only things were different. What’s the point?
Time passes, the pain slowly fades. Only you know when is the right time to move on, but another day spent thinking about who went before is another day not wondering about who comes next. Even when you know that you want to move forward though, it’s okay to have at least one foot on the brakes, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of vulnerability. Sometimes, it feels as if there are hundreds of reasons not to move on. Perhaps we hope that by trying to hold on, we somehow think we have a way of getting back to how things once were. You’ll get past certain people in time so give yourself the chance to do so.

Most relationships don’t end well, so when you finally meet someone new, you’re probably going to arrive with some baggage, the next person is going to have to endure some things that someone else has caused. Keeping baggage from the past is pointless though, right? Just because something has gone sideways, it doesn’t mean that you need to think that everyone coming will make things the same as they were before. Maybe when someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive.

Well, that’s the school of thought I’m from.

If you feel like you’ve been burdened with blame for someone or something that’s happened in the past, then it’s probably time to be moving on. Spending time on your own can be the best and something that you need sometimes, but it doesn’t mean that you want to be lonely. New people will enter your life every day, even if you don’t expect them to. Unexpected surprises don’t need to be a bad thing.

The girl from Vancouver met through work. She seems super nice but after a few drinks and zero kisses, she starts discussing baby names. Keen much? It’s nice to be liked but some people need to rein it in.

A long while later, a girl comes along one day. Kissing doesn’t feature again but there might be something. There are mutual interests, could this be a thing? One way pictures and videos start to come though that are overly explicit and that’s not cool with someone that you’re not even in a relationship with. If you’re sending those to me, damn skippy you’re sending them to other boys. Whatever it was, it doesn’t end well. She’s the girl who acts like she wants revenge on Dorothy for killing her sister by dropping a house on her. Bullet dodged and batting zero with Canadian girls. That’s okay, nobody bats a thousand.

A random meeting in a hotel bar with an American girl over a mutual love of a football match that we’re both watching. Too much beer, too much flirting and too much regret when she reveals that she’s more than a decade younger. The half your age plus seven rule is bullshit!

The nurse who sits and chats with me every night, who lives nearby and has cared for me for weeks. Stockholm syndrome almost. Funny, pretty, out of my league for sure. The question is contemplated but I see her outside smoking one day, deal-breaker right there. Sigh.

The Italian neighbour who lives directly above me and who knows where she needs to go when she needs something done in her apartment. Chivalry again, and whilst I’m old enough to own a toolbox, no one should shit on their own doorstep.

The one girl from Twitter who invites me for dinner. We interact frequently, she’s super cool but I’m not in a place to give her what she needs. She moves on, finds someone and is happy. Win win, nothing but love for them both.

We met reaching for the last for the last copy of the same book. Chivalry isn’t dead so obviously I gave it up. It sparked a conversation about our favourite authors, about similar books that we liked. Numbers were swapped and drinks are arranged. What an absolute disaster! If you need to wear glasses, wear them. Deciding not to, made her think she’d be more attractive. I couldn’t tell whether she was looking at me or trying to see if a bus was coming. The kicker was when she asked why I wouldn’t use ‘lol’ when we’d been exchanging messages. My response of ‘ I’m not a thirteen year old girl.’ went down as well as you’d expect. Thankfully.

The one girl that I had numerous business type coffees, dinners and lunches with that I thought might have liked me, but I was too scared to ask out. She’s married now and it fucking stings when I see them together, how different life could be. Her friend keeps telling me that she would have said yes if only I’d had the balls. I know you come from a place of kindness, but please, please stop telling me.

Thing is from all of this, it’s alright if someone breaks you in a hundred different ways, it just leads you to where you are. What if you need or want to get back to where you were? It could all change with one kiss. When you really care for someone, just maybe their mistakes never change your feelings. No matter how much we want things to stay as they were, maybe we need a change. Sometimes change is for the better, sometimes it’s not.

Is it okay to go back? If we both rewind to a time where I had you at hello?

Ready or not?

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Whispers in the night-time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://sadforever.lauvsongs.com

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

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

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

You’ve got it at your fingertips.

You’d do anything for the people in your life that you care about, wouldn’t you? No cry for help or question goes unanswered if a call comes, when you’re needed, you’re there. An email, a text, maybe a visit needs to happen. Shit, sometimes, your presence isn’t necessarily wanted or expected, but when you know something is wrong, you get there, you help in any way you can. Sometimes a cuddle is needed, sometimes harsh words need to be said, albeit in a caring way, sometimes just being around when that someone finally realised that when they need someone to pour their heart out to will help, even if they don’t realise it in that initial moment. We all have two ears and one mouth, sometimes it’s much better to listen than speak, especially if it’s someone who tugs at your heartstrings because they’re struggling and they need you, or they need someone.

We all need someone now and again, especially when you can’t tell that you’re bigger than the sea that you’re sinking in.

A visit becomes a little tougher when they’re over 8000km away, although an offer is made, yet politely gets declined. Calls happen though, texts are exchanged, thank goodness for FaceTime. That said, it’s never easy to watch a friend struggle, to see them cry, to be able to witness their fragility. It doesn’t take too long to catch on to the things that she’s trying to say without her being able to articulate the words. What advice can you give from so far away without everything that leaves your mouth sounding like a cliche? ‘It’ll all get better in time, there are plenty more fish in the sea, you were better than him anyway.’ How easy it is for those words to sound hollow? Finally something I say makes sense, ‘How about heading away for a few days somewhere, have a change of scenery and try and collect your thoughts?’ A couple of days pass and I don’t hear from her, but you give the people in your life what they need, even if that’s a little bit of space. You can try and help all you want to but sometimes, they need to get to a place on their own when they begin to think that they’ll be okay.

A call comes and she’s at the airport. Not her airport, my airport, can I go and get her? I can’t, but she knows where I live and she knows that my neighbour has a spare set of keys so she heads there. Work is finally done, I get back to my place and she’s already there, is already in pyjamas and has managed to demolish a large part of a bottle of bourbon. Usually this would be a great night together, music on, maybe a film and just hanging out. Given everything that’s happened though, letting her finish the bottle would be a bad idea. We sit, we talk, she cries, we hug and awful television is watched.

She falls asleep so I take the chance to make up the spare room, who doesn’t like fresh bedding, although by this point, I doubt she’d even notice. I pick her up, lay her gently into bed and pull the covers over her. I head for the kitchen, grab a couple of bottles of water from the fridge and stick one on each side of her on the bedside tables. The lights get turned out in her room and I watch the rest of the shitty TV show and make sure that there will be no bourbon left by morning.

It’s been a long day emotionally so it’s time for bed. I climb in and as soon as my head hits the pillow, sleep isn’t far behind me. I’ve no idea how long it is, but I feel something, turn over and there she is next to me with her hands on me, trying to kiss me. A few years ago, absolutely. Right now? Zero chance. We have a difficult conversation, mostly because she’s still drunk but I lead her back to the spare room and put her to bed. Again.

Her actions are understandable, maybe we’ve all been there. Perhaps nothing numbs the sting of a breakup quite like a rebound fling or relationship. Toxic for some people, but maybe beneficial for others. Maybe sometimes it could grow into something amazing, but this isn’t one of those times. Don’t you both need to be on the same page about whatever the fuck this is? No point in dragging someone else into your emotional horror show while letting them believe that there’s a chance that your new relationship could be something real. Sure, it’s easy to assume that once they’ve finally healed from their breakup, that they’ll look to you as the knight in shining armour who swept into their life at just the right time to make it all better, but how is that a basis for something new?

It’s more than okay to hurt, but maybe if you’re in pain, you should try and heal, rather than move onto someone else straight away. A rebound will never the best idea you’ve ever had, everything should happen with dignity and especially when you’re sober. Take time to heal before committing to someone new, right?

No one wants to be the first person to be picked out of a lineup of a potential new partner.

It’s not going to be fun if I start to get feelings for her in a different way, there’s no way that it’ll happen though, to make her hope that things will be anything different, anything more than just a friendship. Once upon a time, maybe, but she chose someone else and that’s okay, but no one should want to be a rebound, I certainly don’t. Hopefully the morning comes, she remembers and apologises, or forgets completely. It’s okay to be alone and wait for the right girl but what’s the point in ever allowing your own loneliness to drive you into the arms of someone that you know that you don’t belong with?

It’s not difficult to get over the possibility of a relationship that I wasn’t even in, but it doesn’t mean that my heart doesn’t hurt for her.

The morning comes, I’m awake first and breakfast is made, complete with a shit ton of coffee. She wakes, comes through, looks at me, hugs, says sorry and that’s enough. Saying sorry is always enough. She’ll be okay in time, cliche again, but she’ll always have a friend who has her back.

She stays for a few more days and we do things that friends do. It’s okay to put your arm around someone when they’re hurting, long walks are cathartic. She’s still hurting but K, I know that you’ll be okay.

I know you think your fire is burning out but I still see you shining through, you’ve got it in you.

@TheSamMcLeod