How to be a daughter AND an adult (DAY 01/10)

Photography by  Cass Bird  / Edit by me

Photography by Cass Bird / Edit by me

I am a daughter and an adult.  The former I became in a spark, while the latter has been a long road.  And breathing life into both at the same time is a delicate dance, I've learned.

Here, I'm going to offer up two handfuls of ways (ten, to be exact) that you bright young things can use to navigate the undulating tide - from being someone else's kid to captain of your own ship - with integrity and honor.



Hug your mom and your dad (or both of your moms/dads...or your single parent, or your parental figure.)  The power of touch is boundless and underrated in our culture of GO HARDER-GO FURTHER-GO IT ON YOUR OWN.  When I was working my soul off as an architect in NYC, I would go days without experiencing meaningful touch (and being crammed on a subway train, forced into "stranger snuggling" didn't count).

*Disclaimer*  I am officially a touchy-feely person.  A massive believer in the power of a pat on the back, a held hand, a high five, a kiss, and certainly a hug.  (I trust the internet, and it told me that touch is my #1 Love Language.)  I understand, respect, and relish that we all have varying degrees of comfort with physical touch.  But "Love/Belonging" is a fundamental human need, according to Maslow's Heirarchy.

So now that I'm in a place where I see parents on the regular, I hug big and I hug often.  At the end of an arduous day?  Hug.  When our team wins a game?  Celebratory hug.  (With my hometown's Redskins these are rarities; with my current town's Patriots, they're exhausting.)  After a stubborn argument?  Bite your tongue and hug.

Now, don't get me wrong; I'm not offering that in order to be adult daughters we need to be fakers...sweet little things who speak in pretty rainbow sentences and hug to bandaid over tough times.  What I do wholeheartedly believe is that our souls feel nourished when they are doing good to others.  We feed ourselves -our deepest, true, raw nature- when we crowd out fleeting feelings of hate/rage/jealousy/confusion/spite with the recognition of another person's common humanity.  Goodness knows that dads can test our patience and moms can be nosy, but if we reframe our outlook towards them, we might find it easier to stretch our arms outward in gratitude.

We've grown to be beautiful babes with gifts of compassion and operable limbs.  Let's use them tandem...more often.


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