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15 Life Lessons I Learned From The Best Dad A Girl Could Ask For

My father is 6'5″, has a half-sleeve tattoo of Thor, practices yoga on nude beaches, frequently attends Warped Tour, coaches football, is a Princeton graduate and the father of six kids.

I believe this man is the reason I have a sense of humor and a free spirit. As a parent, you never know what it is you say or do that will impact your children’s lives, and here are a few things I have learned from mine:

1. The age you are is defined by what you do.

Always be on the move and use your muscles. If you keep your body active and consistently use your brain, you will stay forever young.

2. Don't wait for him to call you.

“The prince always chases after the princess.” That's what women are taught — to wait around for a man to come to them. My father taught me that if you think you deserve someone, you should go after him or her.

You never know if someone is just shy or going through something. I'm not saying make yourself look desperate, but who doesn't appreciate a strong woman who knows what she wants?

3. Use organic toothpaste.

My father is chemistry teacher and is constantly telling me how bad fluoride is for our bodies. Fluoride is found in both water and toothpaste, and being overexposed to it can be very harmful.

4. Men like women with curves.

At the awkward age of 14, I was 5'11″ and a size 12. I have stayed this size ever since. Growing up I couldn't understand why I was always so much bigger than everyone else.

To be beautiful, I thought I had to be shorter and thinner. My dad always told me that men like a woman with curves. I never really understood that until I met his second wife. She was 6'0″, curvy and gorgeous. Today, she is still one of the most beautiful women I have ever known.

5. Be kind to everyone.

You never know where someone is going to end up in life, so it’s important to be kind to everyone. Who knows, you might need that person's help some day. Not to mention, being kind is simply the right thing to do; being angry only hurts you in the end.

6. All-you-can-eat buffets are God's gift to the world.

Maybe once every two months my dad goes to Atlantic City. Now, for the record, my father doesn't gamble at all; he goes for the free buffets. A single guest can pay anywhere from $10 to $20, for UNLIMITED food.

Some people may find this gross and disgusting, but my personal advice: Get high and go to a Chinese buffet. It's a life-changing experience.

7. Improve your sex life by doing yoga and kegel exercises.

Thanks for the tip, Dad. Practicing yoga will make your body more flexible, thus improving your sex life. As for kegels, they'll keep everything tight, making an overall enjoyable experience for both people involved.

8. Football.

A touchdown is worth six points; quarterbacks pass or hand off the ball. Like I said, my dad's a football coach and in my 25 years, he’s taken me to all his and my brothers' football games. I still know very little about football, so I guess what my dad taught me was how to fake knowing football.

9. Laugh at everything, especially yourself.

Nothing is ever that serious.

10. Never go to a doctor out-of-network.

I have made this mistake more than once, and the punishment is something I'm still paying off. Out-of-network providers have no agreement with your insurer, so you most likely will end up paying more than you would with an in-network provider.

11. Meditation is a way of finding yourself.

Meditation allows us to become more self-aware, within our bodies and emotionally. It’s a spiritual practice that lowers the stress and anxiety in our lives and allows for better focus.

12. How to shop at thrift stores.

My dad has always been obsessed with used bookstores. He even plans family vacations around which state has the “best” used bookstores and knows everything from where you can find high quality to stuff to which place has the best record selection.

13. Use protection.

I don't want to say all of my siblings and I were accidents, but there is a very good chance we were. My dad, who, by the way, thinks he's “psychic,” always warned me that I’m very fertile and need to be careful.

14. You don't need to follow a cookie-cutter lifestyle.

People are very surprised to find out how supportive my parents were when I told them I didn't want to go to college. Instead, I wanted to move to the city and pursue acting.

Then I wanted to pursue nannying, and then comedy. Whenever I changed my mind they were supportive, or at least pretended to be.

You may think you have to go to college, get married, buy a home and have children, but in the end, you're the only person you need to make happy. Don't do something because you think you’re supposed to.

15. Be thankful.

Things could always be worse, so always be thankful for what you have. Sending negative energy into the world will just bring back more negative energy. We are here on Earth to learn to be compassionate, forgive and to love, so stop feeling sorry for yourself and spread joy.

Photo via VK

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Kristin Manna

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