Daisy Buchanan's 'How To Be A Grown Up'
All of the women I admire in their writing vary from publication to publication: Bryony Gordon at Telegraph, Caitlin Moran at Times, Laura Jane Williams at Grazia, as well as old colleagues from Cosmopolitan such as Sophie Goddard and Jennifer Savin. So when Daisy Buchanan, another favourite of mine, released her debut novel How To Be A Grown Up, it was instantly on my bedside table ready for a read.
Some books can be very hit and miss when written by your favourite columnists; I was severely underwhelmed with Polly Vernon's Hot Feminist after such high hopes so this time around I was cautious.
However, when you're highlighting great lines already by page two; 'Emotionally speaking, I'm Polly Pocket navigating the state of Texas', you know it's probably going to be a great read. I always judge a book by how many pages I dog-ear and this book is so folded over it's practically an origami swan.
Her How To Be Confident section really resonated with me; as someone who would happily describe herself as fairly confident, I still fall victim to many of the jealousies of other people's successes, even if I didn't particularly want those successes for my own. Her advice of 'think what people would say at your funeral' is one that, whilst slightly morbid, actually kicks you into picking out your successes. How would people describe you, in your finest hour? We're our own worst enemies so having a room of people saying what they thought was great about you is the perfect way to keep your confidence.
So many other chapters spoke of that inner voice you try so hard to ignore; do I have enough friends? Does my body look right? Why are other people better adjusted than me?
The chapter all women need to read is How To Be Sad. It sounds ridiculous as who doesn't know how to be damn miserable; as Brits, it's something we all excel at. However, having recently come through a bad break-up and struggling with my career, I needed to learn how to embrace the sadness within me to make it through to be a stronger person. To wallow in it and immerse myself, by sobbing when I need to and letting me feel it all as long as I wanted to without dictating a set 'time' I would need to get over it. I learned that it's okay to let yourself feel like the world is ending, like the anxiety won't ever leave, and that the pain only hurts because it's new. Over time, you become stronger and I know that something that hurts me now, will hurt less the next time around.
Even other sections, such as How To Have Friends, How to Love Your Body and How to Be Jealous all touched upon subjects you didn't know you needed help. I felt as if Daisy was following me through my life and giving me all the correct guidance I'll need to get me out of my 20's as a (somewhat) sane and well-adjusted human being. This isn't a sanctimonious self-help book. It's a memoir from a woman who has been through all the mess and crap that life throws at her, and feels it's only right that she imparts her wisdom that she learned the hard way, if not to help others get through the same thing more easily.
And if I learned one thing from it, it is the glorious phrase of Daisy's that I shall forever take with me, and it is that of 'scrotal twunt'.
Available from Waterstones on 6th April