I love writing (though granted, not as much as I love talking) and I've just been reminded of my life-long interest in putting pen to paper*(*false nails to keyboard) when I recently re-discovered, and re-read, those most cringe-worthy of tomes - my teenage diaries.
There's nothing like reading those back to make you wonder why your parents didn't throw you out / send you to a convent / sign you up for the army.
In the words of everyone's favourite 'ponderer' Carrie Bradshaw - looking back at my adolescent worries got me thinking - How much have I actually learned over the last 15 years?
Sometimes, like most people I've come to realise, I feel like I've learned nothing at all, advanced in no way whatsoever and can't quite believe I still stress about the some of the same things I did at 16. If you're interested those things are why I love food more than I should, why I still bunk off any form of exercise and why I cry in fitting rooms.
The three are not unrelated.
However, after I spent some time thinking about it, I realised of course, that if I could sit down with my 15-year-old self, I'd have 15 pearls of wisdom to impart to her.
1. And I can't emphasise this enough. Mothers are always right. Always. It's the most endlessly frustrating thing, which the sooner you accept the sooner life becomes easier. Mums have an annoying habit of predicting exactly how things are going to play out, sussing out boyfriends months before you do, working out which friends are going to let you down, and if you're lucky, not judging you when you go back to her with your tail between your legs.
2. Friends will end one day. But it will all be ok because it will be repeated forever more, box sets will be endlessly available and then New Girl happens.
3. You will never, ever look good in skinny jeans. Accept it and move on.
4. Friendships change. At some point, you're going to realise your life is so very different to those of your friends. The good mates don't care if you're married or not, if you've got kids, and how much you (don't) earn. They will be there forever more. Friends can also dump you. It's hurtful, sometimes more so than when a partner walks away, especially if they can't even articulate why they don't care any more. Just remember that unless you're a grade A, prize-winning, home-wrecking beeatch, there's a good chance it's them not you.
5. Dancing round your flat singing loudly to musicals is ok at any age. It also saves on the therapy bills. People do, however, get funny about it when you do it in the theatre. Or the street. Or on the bus.
6. West Wing will remain the best TV show ever made. But you really, really need to understand you won't be First Lady of the United States.
7. You will experience gut-wrenching, heart-aching grief from which you think you will never recover. You will. You'll never forget the amazing people whose laugh you will never hear again - but life without them becomes normal and one day you will smile at the good times.
8. Out of every dark moment comes an act of kindness from a friend or stranger which takes your breath away.
9. Take your make up off every night. Even when you're so tipsy you try and let yourself into someone else's flat*. Seriously. You will really, really notice it by the time you hit 30. And with any luck, it will prevent your false eyelashes from falling out of your hair in the morning meeting after the Glamour Women of the Year Awards*.
(*These things happened)
10. This thing called Twitter gets invented and it's awesome. You get to waste hours of the day on it and send massively inappropriate tweets to your favourite hot actors. Just don't let the 'block' button be a stranger.
11. Feminism will still be incredible. But you'll come to realise some feminists just sit in judgement of how other women live their lives.
12. There is an episode of Sex and the City for every life crisis you will experience. They did that to make up for the fact most writers won't get to own their own apartment in the heart of the capital or spend their salaries on £700 shoes.
13. Some friends will make decisions in their lives that will leave you wondering if you knew them at all. They're human (see point 11) and unless they go out of their way to hurt you, you've no right to judge. Be there if it goes wrong. If you can't, then move on - just in a nicer way than Number Four please.
14. There'll be times when you look at where you are and you'll be terrified you've 'done life wrong'. That all the decisions you've made were stupid, that you've cocked up and you can't get back on the right path. Chances are that's a load of old rubbish, but change what you need to and accept the rest. It's the past.
15. Finally, despite all the tough times, I promise you there will be moments when you look around and can't quite believe how lucky you are - whether it's with friends, family, the love of your life or in your dream job. Treasure those moments because whilst they won't last forever, the memories will.