Some of the best advice I've ever received was, predictably, from my mother. It was a couple of years ago, and I had once again become madly obsessed with a boy who was completely unsuitable for me. That part of the story isn't particularly interesting, and if you've ever been madly obsessed with someone totally unsuitable for you, I'm sure you know how it feels. Anyway, I was dealing with the situation the only way I knew how, which was to get drunk with my mother, eat cheese, and gaze forlornly at my phone. It went something like this:
"Car," she said, in a voice that your mother uses when it's past midnight and she's sick of your whining "You and I both know that this is total crap."
"I know, right? Why would he say that he likes me, and then act like this? I wasn't even sure I liked him. Remember? Remember how I wasn't even sure I liked him? At all?"
"No, not him. You are being total crap."
I whimper sensitively.
"Look. There are tens of thousands of people you could potentially love, and be reasonably well loved by: so pinning your immediate needs to this one random guy - who isn't even texting you back, by the way - don't you think that's a bit mental?"
I know what this sounds like: this sounds like your standard issue 'plenty-more-fish' lecture that sorrowful teens and even more sorrowful twenty-somethings have been receiving since pre-historic cavewomen were quizzing each other on whether they were a Carrie or a Miranda. But it's not. Okay, it is maybe a little: but really it's not.
"What people don't get," my mum continues "is that this bit is easy. If it's hard, it's because you're making it hard." She stopped, and gnawed on some cheese. "People your age love inventing problems."
Some years later, I’m inclined to agree. I love inventing problems. Working in London, I feel like there’s literally no end to the opportunities to invent problems to my heart’s content.
The trains are down. Aneurism. The water bill is slightly higher this month. Heart attack. That person has a slightly better job than I do: near suicide.