Notes to My Future Daughter

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Many girls dream of the day they have children, I dream of my career and my future kitchen — it has stainless steel and lots of granite. But, if kids and a daughter are in the cards, there’s a couple of things I’ve learned along the way.

Notes to my future daughter….(And no, this is not an announcement.)

On Life

  • Learn how to genuinely hug.
  • Don’t wait to be introduced.
  • Choose your words carefully, but do know how to curse like a lady. In the words of your grandfather: think before you speak.
  • Look people in the eye when it is the hardest. Practice the art of listening.
  • An hour of your time is nothing compared to a lifetime gone, stay in touch.
  • If you know you shouldn’t be doing it. Don’t.
  • You can’t take pride in yourself when you’re passed out on a sidewalk in your own puke. Know how to drink.
  • If you feel like its time to leave a situation, you probably should have left months ago.
  • Laugh hard and loud, dance in your car, on the treadmill, in the grocery store, if this is who you are inside.
  • Learn how to cook. It will change your view on food and eating.
  • Know how to dine. (If your father is a foodie you’ll know this by the age of 9. Don’t forget what we taught you.)
  • Have friends in different countries.
  • Learn when to be transparent, translucent and opaque.
  • Pick your battles, and when you do, have a strategy to win. Don’t go on sheer emotion.
  • If you’re not sure about a decision, leave it and revisit it the next day. This should become law, not a rule of thumb.
  • That being said, if you know that you are sure, jump. A woman who knows how to make decisions is a force to be reckoned with.
  • Never show up to a dinner party empty-handed. A nice bottle of wine always suffices.
  • Say thank you to everyone who does something for you even if you’re paying for it. Just because it’s their job doesn’t mean a monetary transaction acknowledges that.
  • Be the person in the room who is not afraid to speak up, to walk away, to represent, to fight.
  • If you think you’re on the verge of breaking, you’re likely already broken; know when a good pharmaceutical is necessary
  • What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger but also more defensive, learn when you are responding from a place of hurt versus a place of intention.
  • Speak in terms of “I” not “you”, say “and” verses “but”, say yes more than you say no to life.
  • If you think you’re playing with fire, you likely are.
  • Logic always beats out passion in the long run.
  • If you’re not afraid of where you will go, don’t follow the directions.

On Being a Woman

  • Always have a cocktail outfit ready to go, unscuffed black heels, a good stylist and a good aesthetician.
  • Learn how to walk in heels. Taking dance classes will help with this. On that note, take dance classes just for the sheer sake of body awareness and good posture.
  • Never do to another woman what you wouldn’t want done to you.
  • Check out anything that’s an odd bump in places where bumps shouldn’t exist. Yes, it might be nothing, but one day it might be cancer.
  • Wear sunscreen on your face when you are younger. Trust me on this one.
  • Surround yourself with a group of awesome women.
  • Start building credit early.
  • Filter “want” purchases through the lens of do I need it verses do I want it, what am I trading off because of it, will I still need it in ten months. If you’re like me, you’ll usually put the shoes back.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Trust your intuition. Always have a way to get out of a situation.
  • Grace is your best weapon in life. That being said, sometimes you need to shake shit up to remind people of what you are capable of.

On Business

  • Study business at some point so you know how to have a business conversation.
  • There’s a right time and right place for everything, know how to squeak at the right time to affect change.
  • During negotiations be willing to lose everything, don’t say much and have a number you won’t budget from.
  • Leave your emotions at the door and learn how to communicate when you are not happy in a clear way. Never give an ultimatum.
  • Don’t complain about something until you have a solution. In fact, don’t complain. It’s annoying. Note what can be done better, create a solution and present it gracefully. It may not be implemented, but it will have been heard. If you can solve it, then just do it.
  • If you know you’re right, stand strong and don’t waiver.
  • Don’t quit unless you have a plan or six months worth of cash saved up.
  • Admit to when you are wrong or when you have failed.
  • Start at least one business in your life.

On Dating and Men

  • Invest your time in men who ask “When can I see you again,” not those that keep you guessing, let you down or never show up.
  • If a man invites you out on a first date and then doesn’t cover the bill, you can date him, but I wouldn’t.
  • In romantic conversations, don’t have the last word.
  • Never use sex as a tool to getting what you want. You may get it in the short-term (his time) but not the long term (his love).
  • Arrive before a man on your first date. That first look will decide multitudes for him.
  • Know how to own a room. Dance training and stage experience will help in this area.
  • Know what pleases you sexually and be able to openly communicate it to your partner. Men aren’t mind readers.
  • Protect yourself; the person on the other end is likely not interested in your sexual health.
  • If he’s not asking you to be his girlfriend, he likely doesn’t want you to be. That being said, you have every right to ask for what you want, just don’t be surprised if this scares him a bit. If he’s wants to be with you, he’ll run for a minute, but he’ll always come back. PS. They usually always come back, usually at the wrong times.
  • Lust leaves you feeling insecure, love leaves you feeling full. I hope you experience less of the former.
  • There’s a difference between an emotionally stable man and a man who can communicate his emotions. The latter will usually drag you down.
  • Resist the urge to chase, it never works with men and you’ll just end up annoyed. The ones who want you will come following. It’s up to you to where you want to lead them.
  • Wear your heart on your sleeve once. If it doesn’t work out the first time, do it again. By the third time, don’t hide it but don’t give it up so easy.
  • If you feel love for someone, tell them. It will take a lot of courage, but this is one area that I have many regrets on.
  • Prince charming doesn’t exist and if he does, he’ll likely want to control you later. If you know what you makes you happy as a woman, tell a man. If he doesn’t take heed and deliver, someone else out there wants to. Let them.
  • If you end up liking women instead, which I’m totally cool with, all the above still applies.

PS. Call your mother. Don’t be afraid to tell me anything either. I probably did it.

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