10 Things I Learned From Being My Father’s Daughter

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I come from an old-fashioned Texas family: the man of the house brings home the bacon and the woman of the house manages the family and belongs to the top social clubs. My parents made sure my brother and I got the best education and that we were prepared for the whatever the world threw at us, but in the back of my mind I assumed that they would expect us to fall into the same social roles they had taken on. My brother would work and I would find a nice man to marry who could take care of me. That’s not really how things worked out though. When I first sat down to write this, I still thought that. After going through all of the things my father taught me, I realize now that that isn’t true.

Growing up, I was a daddy’s-girl. Let’s be honest, I still am. When I visit my family, I always want to be by my dad’s side whether he is cooking steaks or talking business. He never pushes me away or tries to steer me away from listening to (and occasionally commenting on) his business ventures. I learn a lot from watching my dad, but here are the 10 most important things he taught me.

1 | Speech is important.

When I was younger, I would marvel at how my father would tell stories. He could command a room with his tone of voice, making people laugh or smile or place their hands to their hearts sympathetically. I learned that the ability to speak and capture people’s attention is truly an art-form that not everyone can master. While I still struggle from time to time getting my stories or my words to pack the same punch my dad is able to, I continue to practice when I attend networking events or meet people for the first time. If people are captivated by the way you speak, you can make them listen to what you have to say.

2 | Friendship is counted in quantity, not quality.

My dad always told me, “Hattie, I can count the amount of friends I have on one hand.” I would look at him confused when I was a child. In my mind, he had hundreds of friends that were always inviting him and my mother to parties or charity events, but as I got older I realized what he meant. Just because you know a lot of people or spend time with certain individuals, does not necessarily mean that they’re your friends. A friend is someone who is there for you through the good and the bad; not someone who just wants to show off or take advantage of your hospitality. I learned what it meant to be a friend and realized that, similar to my father, I can count the amount of friends I have on just over one hand. I’m happy with that.

3 | Laziness is unacceptable.

I know, this is a pretty standard lesson. Work hard to achieve your dreams and what not. But I learned that it was okay to quit an activity – ballet and piano were the big ones I wanted out of – as long as I had a reason for it. Did I want to quit so that I could sit on the couch all day? Or was I actually miserable and knew I could develop and utilize my skills better elsewhere? This lesson taught me to really think about why I do what I want to do.

4 | Some people are just out to screw you over.

I always had the mentality of having the benefit of the doubt with people but my dad was always a bit cautious of people’s ulterior motives. I listened to him talk about people he would be negotiating with and how they were unwilling to compromise on basic points. I am the type of person who tries to make everyone happy but there are some people out there that will just take and take until you have nothing left to give. My father’s life experience taught him that lesson and I am lucky enough to have him teach me that before I make any big mistakes that leave me hurt. I will always want to make people happy, but I am much more wary of an individual’s intentions before I give them my all.

5 | Be nice to everyone.

It was my mother who always told me, “be nice to everyone” usually said with the side note of “because you don’t know who they’ll be in ten years,” but it took both of my parents to show me how to do that. I’ve seen my dad talk to people he can’t stand as if they were best friends. There’s never a hint of annoyance – until he complains about it later. The point is, there’s no reason to be an ass to someone just because they aren’t your favorite person. That applies to all people, not just ones that could potentially help you in the future.

6 | Sometimes, you just need a cocktail.

Life is hard sometimes. You go through breakups. You get stuck in ruts. You get depressed. You can go through terrible days. Sometimes, you just need a drink. Anyone who knows my family personally knows that we love a good cocktail or glass of wine, it’s not a secret. While no Weber condones or approves of alcoholism, some days you just can’t fix a problem so you might as well sit down with your friends or family and unwind.

7| If you approach life with humor you’ll always have a smile.

No one has ever been able to make me laugh like my dad. I used to get into hysterics from laughing so hard and would only stop once I gave myself the hiccups. My dad has always had a good outlook on life and has incorporated humor into every part of it. While everyone does experience bad days, if you are able to keep up a good spirit and find a way to laugh, you’ll be able to get through anything.

8 | Being on Team Hysteria is perfectly acceptable.

Every family has a rock. In my family, it’s my mom. My dad and I have been deemed “Team Hysteria” because of how worked up we can get over things. I’m serious about this, we have matching t-shirts. It’s okay to get emotional over things and it is okay to let those emotions out. There’s no reason to hold in those emotions. It’s perfectly fine to get hysterical sometimes.

9 | Life is so short.

“Hattie,” my dad said to me one night, “Life is so short. One day you just wake up and you’re 65 years old. You have to enjoy it while you can.”

10 | Be brave, be confident, and be whatever you to be.

Like I said before, I come from a very Texan family and while I still assume that my parents half-expect me to quit my job, move to Dallas, settle down, and raise a family, they have also instilled in me the knowledge that I can be whatever I want to be. It’s one thing to tell someone that they are capable of doing anything; it’s another to teach them to be brave and confident in whatever they decide to do. I once interned for my dad and got to sit in on several of his business meetings. Watching his confidence from when I was very young to the young woman that I’ve become has meant a lot to me because he has shown me it’s okay for me to be confident. If I can’t be confident going into something, at least be brave and fake it until the confidence is there.

I love my dad more than anything and I am so grateful for every time he’s made me laugh, every time he’s told me he’s proud of me, and every single thing he has taught me.

Happy Father’s Day!

Categories: Life & Love, Spirit

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Hattie Weber
Hattie Weber is a senior editor at Badass + Living. A 2015 college graduate, Hattie is a Texan residing in New York City. Her life experiences – from being a traveler to a debutante to an office manager – have given her a great understanding of her fellow millennials. Hattie has been published in Thought Catalog's "More Than 20 Minutes Of Reading: Everything You Need To Read About The Brock Turner Case & Controversy." Her dedication to those she cares about and her unapologetic honesty are what make her a badass.

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