I was just watching people get their A Level results and I remembered with this incredible clarity the day I got my results. I got four As, which was a massive surprise, and I was so excited and happy, and my Mum cried and my Dad was proud, and my Mum took me shopping and bought me a new top and then I went out with my friends, just turned 18 and bubbly and excited for the future. It should've been this perfect day, but there was a blot on it - this guy I liked.
I remember he called me that morning and for some reason we got crossed wires and he hung up cross, and I was sad. Then he wouldn't come to the pub I was in, until eventually at 11pm he said he'd drive me home (and even though I didn't really want to go home yet, I let him).
Why didn't I tell him where to go? Why didn't I see the future - my lovely, trustworthy boyfriend, who recently bought me a bottle of champagne and took me for dinner for getting a new job? Why did I let him make me feel like less than I was?
It feels like a running theme, looking back at my younger life. Through my late teens and university, I was always being upset by some guy. Letting someone make me feel like crap. Liking people who didn't like me back - or at least didn't like me enough.
I remember back when MSN was popular sitting on my bed in the first year summer and the guy I'd been sort of seeing, who had dumped me for my friend, telling me he didn't like my fashion sense, and I pretended I was finding it funny as my tears hit my fingers on the keyboard.
I just want to say to anyone in that position right now (I don't mean literally, on MSN, but hey, if you are - stop changing your status to Away and back again, it's not fooling anyone) - stop it. Don't be civil. Don't be nice. Don't think 'hey, maybe if I put up with this, one day he'll like me again.' He won't, and even if he does, why do you want this complete fool to like you? Tell them to f**k off. Even if you never swear - hey, ESPECIALLY if you never swear. If I could go back and change one thing, it would be not doing that. It would be wasting time and tears and energy over meaningless losers who won't matter. Who in a few years time will be the source of your friends' jokes - 'Oh my god, remember when you went out with HIM?'
Go out with your friends in your highest heels with your brightest smile and meet someone worth your time. And when you get home and you want to cry just remember this quote by Caitlin Moran in her letter to her daughter, which just rings so true to me every time I read it:
'Never love someone whom you think you need to mend - or who makes you feel like you should be mended. There are boys out there who look for shining girls; they will stand next to you and say quiet things in your ear that only you can hear and that will slowly drain the joy out of your heart. The books about vampires are true, baby. Drive a stake through their hearts and run away.'
And then run away, and don't look back.