Advice for my daughter.

Advice for my daughter.

Join your union.

Find your tribe. Don’t waste time with people who you don’t like or don’t understand. Find people who share your passions and interests. It’s easier to be yourself amongst people on the same journey as you.

When you go to a restaurant, order something other than the chicken schnitzel. What’s the worst that can happen? You don’t like Steak Tartare? Join the club.

Question all politicians. Even the ones you like. Especially the ones you like.

Be a part of your local community. Share your advice with any who ask, but don’t take ownership of their mistakes. In the end, we all have our own agency, and you’ll make enough mistakes to keep you up at night without carrying anyone else’s. And remember, you don’t get to whinge about it unless you’re trying to make it better. Better yet, don’t whinge at all.

Sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing at all.

Don’t hang around waiting for someone to rescue¬†you. Save yourself. It’s quicker that way.

Don’t buy expensive sunglasses. You’re guaranteed to break them, or sit on them or scratch them. Do buy an expensive satchel. It just looks good.

Stay in touch with your family. Even when they piss you off, they’re still the people who understand you better than anyone else.

Be sceptical about religion. Especially those that want your credit card numbers.

Remember, who you are when you are angry is a good picture of who you really are. Let that guide your actions accordingly.

Learn something new. Study. Believe in the power of education to change lives, communities, countries and the world. Don’t let people tell you what you should be doing: instead, listen to your heart, and follow that instead.

Wear what you want. Don’t dress to impress anyone, but equally, don’t feel that you have to wear the clothes that other people want you to wear. Acknowledge that people will make judgements about you – because of your clothes, or your tattoos, or your lack of tattoos – and there is nothing that you can do about it. Live with it, knowing that it says more about them than it does about you.

Don’t judge people because of their clothes or their tattoos.

If you start it, finish it.

Learn the difference between fashion and style.

Thank people for their time when they are generous with it. Don’t tolerate people who are wasteful of yours.

Remember: only boring people get bored.

Give people the benefit of the doubt once. Let them break your heart once. Let them lie to you once. When they make a habit of this, cut them loose. When you break this rule, and you will, be gentle with yourself.

There is nothing that wastes so much time and emotion as jealousy. Don’t spend your life putting out other people’s candles. Instead, recognise that their lights make the world brighter and Fuel your own fire.

Sing. There is nothing so joyful as the sound of someone joyfully singing.

Don’t worry about other people’s judgements about you or your family. The world is large, and filled with far too much genuine misery to allow supposed thoughts make you miserable.

Read. Read widely. Read deeply. Think about what you read. If you find someone who you can talk to about what you’re reading, then marry them.

Know that everybody, including your father, will be full of good – and not so good – advice. Some of it might mean something to you, and some of it won’t – and that’s okay. Some won’t mean anything until you have children of your own. And some of it will never make sense. Everyone likes to hand out advice, but few people find the courage to follow their own or anyone else’s.

Know that we are here for a lifetime. It seems like a long time, but it will go much quicker than you think. There are incredible moments of joy ahead of you, and terrible times of sadness too. Be strong.