Advice to my-boy-crazy-teenge-self & who to stay clear from

Friday, 4 August 2017

If there’s one thing I like to divulge in, whether that be to my best friends or to a hairdresser is: boys. As a 20-year-old now, I’d say I’ve dabbled in the male species for about 7 years. Up until that pinnacle moment I was most definitely an advocate of boys being stupid, and not worth talking to unless they had a huge stash of dried grass that they were willing to give you to make your “grass nest” in the summer months of school (you may have had no clue what I was just on about, but that was a thing) . It seemed that the minute I reached thirteen I became obsessed with finding my very own Zac Efron, Justin Bieber, or any other “hunk” of 2010. This sudden urge to have myself a boyfriend at ALL times meant I had a huge chunk of my teenage years spent on my blackberry curve, trying to impress boys on BBM that really, in retrospect, weren’t anything spectacular. If anything, were really-sorta-kinda tossers.

I thought I would perhaps dedicate this post to the teen-boy-c-razy me, who had no idea what she was doing wrong, but seemed to spend far too many nights repeatedly sobbing into her qwerty keypad asking my friends what was wrong with me and WHY the fuck has he left me on read for an HOUR AND TWENTY-SIX MINUTES.

You can thank an ex-boyfriend of mine that I bumped into recently for this post. Seeing him, gave me these intense flashbacks to my needy, insecure teenage self, with montages of all the many moments of being fucked over, from some cheeky adultery on his behalf to getting back together with me the day before his birthday, receiving the present he wanted and dumping me the day after. Something he now admits actually happened. True story. Seeing him made me realise I am truly a completely different girl than the version of myself that needed constant validation from males from 13 years old and onwards. So here we are little me, looking back, here’s where you became the biggest mug, and what I have now, learnt from it:

1.     Honestly, I don’t care if you think he’s cute because he’s Facebook famous, he’s an absolute asshole.

Ladies and gentlemen, my first ever proper relationship. He was “Facebook famous”. Which six years on, is truly laughable but 2012 was seemingly a turbulent time as it was actually a thing. I thought I bagged myself a real man, a man who could get some serious likes of him in a tie dye t-shirt, score! The thought of our relationship, in which I now know he wasn’t particularly faithful in makes me want to 1. Learn how to time travel asap 2. Give 15 year old me the biggest bussom hug and confiscate my phone off myself, until I realised there was zero point in the “relationship”. No amount of him putting pictures up on social media of the two of you is going to disguise the fact it was rather a toxic, infidelity filled first relationship. A declaration of love in an Instagram is not half as nice as a faithful boyfriend. Poor little Fran didn’t even realise there were worse boys on their way.

2. I hope your six hour per- week job pays well?

  You fall in love for the first time, I want to say, age 16. You think all the other times were love, but unfortunately this shit is the real deal. All the lessons, you thought you’d learnt from past “heartbreak” as a prepubescent tween needs to be chucked out the window, because this will make no logical sense as to why you like him as much as you do. No advice column in Sugar magazine will prepare yourself for this shit storm. He will refer to us as being just good friends. He won't ever tell you he loves you back. But despite just being friends he will make you pay for everything, including his travel to see you, on your wage from of being a waitress for 6 hours a week in a local pub.

Your friends will hate him, your parents don’t want him coming round the house anymore, yet poor little sucker-punched-in-love-fran still genuinely believes in some miraculous turn of events, that tomorrow he’ll wake up and actually be nice to you. I could honestly put together a medium-to full length non fiction hardback on the tumultuous “relationship” that was myself and this young man. That day will come, but for now I let you have just one re-telling of one particular event: the time he abandoned me in London.

 (Context: this was a long distance “friendship” whereby he lived in London and I lived, well no where near London) I was in London on an overnight school trip. Me, being the absolute Lizzie off-of the Lizzie Mcgquire Movie, hatched a plan to fake an illness to my teachers. I would spend the day “sick” in bed, whilst the class all spent the day on their trip and I met up with, let’s call him, Dave. So the plan went ahead, I faked that illness like none other, to the point that one of the teachers actually went to the shops for snacks I liked out of pity (which still to this day I feel guilty about, and think about on a monthly basis, I am so sorry Andy, so sorry). They all went on with their trip, whilst after looking left and right at the hotel main entrance like I was member of Mystery Incorporated, I hit up the big city of London. You need to remember, I am an young girl from the middle of nowhere, let loose on the streets of London. After maybe getting lost a minimum of six times I made it to Hyde park, in a spot we had agreed to meet at. Dave never showed up. He decided that today of all days he just didn’t feel like getting out of bed, also he didn’t feel like telling me that so I sat there for maybe five hours until I accepted my fate: sat by myself in a park that was becoming less and less friendly looking as the day dwindled. It actually breaks my diddy heart thinking about it.

3.   3.  You are really quite alright being by yourself littleun.

Fun fact: at one point in my teenage life my mum legitimately wrote on our kitchen wall “Fran there's more to life than your teenage relationships” (true story). And she was right. The thought of knowing that I probably missed genuine memories with my family because I was too busy with my blackberry asking some awfully average boy “wuu2” and patiently waiting for them to finish their game of Fifa, or even worse, pretending that you cared they won. This blog post isn’t exactly putting my pubescent self in the best light but there wasn’t a moment in my teenage years that there wasn’t a boy I was talking to. I became OBSESSED with the idea that, having a boy to talk to, and having a boy that WANTED to talk to you was the only way I could really have some form of self-worth. It was almost as if for every time a spotty looking kid “popped up” on Facebook to tell me I was “fit”, or whatever endearing term was used back in 2012, it was almost as if it was another tally on my self-confidence chart.  In retrospect, it truly makes me sad. It’s so easy to get lost in high school. It wasn’t just me. I can vouch for my group of friends in high school when I say the majority of our conversations starting with a holding up of a phone screen followed by “Look what _____ just said to me”. 

It wasn’t really until I had my heart metaphorically beat the shit into by a really not very nice young man (see part A) that I was forced to be absolutely repelled by the male species that I learnt boys really aren’t that great, and actually, your family and friends are far funnier and love you far more than any other boy ever could. Now as an old and wise 20-year old I no longer gag every time a male walks past me wearing Pacco Robane 1 million or start hurling objects at any male that comes near my vicinity. Although it’s safe to say it still has left me a resilient, even to this day.

  4.  You’re more than someone's girlfriend

I’ve managed to work out the secret little combination that I really do not need to be in a relationship to show that I’m a worthy person. There’s no love and support that I can get from a boy that I can’t get from a phone call with my mum or one sentence in my girl's group chat. 

I seemed to equate worth came from being paired up with someone, even from as young as thirteen. In retrospect, these relationships had very little substance. It got as saucy as holding hands at lunch time, but not ACTUALLY talking to one another, this was until it came to the end of an lunch hour where it seemed you were contractually obliged to kiss, which I assume wasn’t exactly at a professional level. These were the “relationships” which I thought made me a more worthy, attractive girl. It makes me want to shake myself. Self-worth does not come from a guy having nothing else to say over text apart from: “what you having for tea tonight lol? Xx :p”.

This carried into my teenage years. My mum, and my dad, and probably all my friends can vouch for the fact I always had a boyfriend. And if it wasn’t a boyfriend, I’d sure as hell be dating. Without sounding too cold hearted half the time, I didn’t have genuine feelings for these boys but I would lull myself into a false sense of security that I was much better off being with someone, anyone, rather than being on my own.

To conclude..

In reference to meeting an ex-boyfriend of mine recently, whilst we sat talking about our rather turbulent past he made a comment (whilst I sat thinking, coming to the conclusion that tan he had alledgly caught certainly did seem to smell a lot like bondi sands), which now, whilst I type, this is rather poignant to me. He told me that he can see I no longer, need to be in a relationship, that it’s merely just an added bonus that I can give or take. (Note: I’m rewording this as I doubt anything he was saying was particularly articulate). He told me that, after however many years, now I have actually had a life that isn’t centred around a relationship status, and because of that I’m completely different person. 

And for once,  he was right, I have this blog, I work in an industry I could’ve only dreamed of a year ago & I have things in the pipe line that it keeps me up at night with excitement. I spent all these years putting all my effort into boys rather than myself, that if I had just ditched the males from the get go, (if my calculations are correct) I would be the CEO of a company is the FTSE100 by now.

Crossover shirt: Zara
Jeans: H&M
Mules: Asos
Sunglasses: Ebay

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