Today’s Top 3 Things I Would Like to Tell My Daughter Going into Adulthood:

1. Always have a healthy relationship with food. When I say “healthy relationship”, I don’t mean dieting, watching calories incessantly, or weighing in daily. I also don’t mean to ignore the benefits of nutrition. I mean: Eat, and LOVE the art of food, eating, and being a foodie. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Some of the most unpleasant looking, smelling, or seemingly outrageous food possibilities are the most deliciously surprising! Try not to be so turned off by something that you won’t try it. If you don’t like it, you never have to eat it again, but more often times than not, dishes will surprise you in the best possible way. When they do, it’s magical. Food is to be admired like a painting or a poem — food can have romanticism and beauty. It not only nourishes your body, but can nourish your soul if you treat it as such. Enjoy preparing it, enjoy making it visually appealing, and take your time eating it, when you can. Use the good China! That’s, of course, a metaphor, but sit down at the table and savor it — pair it with a nice wine, loose tea, or espresso — really make it an event and not just sustenance. Obviously it can’t always be this way because life is busy, sometimes finances are tight, or you may not have a place to store the leftovers, but when time allows, allow yourself that pleasure and simple luxury. Likewise, enjoy a scrumptious dessert or sweet treat from time to time, but don’t think of it as a reward for eating all your vegetables, so to speak. I didn’t raise you that way, and you have probably already learned (by now) of the dangers of too much refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Dessert is another great pleasure, but it is not a reward for good behavior, grades, conquering a hard work week, etc. It needs to be in moderation. This is not for punishment because of weight, but for diseases like Diabetes, for example. Using dessert as a weapon makes it a vice and not a delicious indulgence. Watch your blood pressure, cholesterol, liver, etc., and stay healthy and strong, but EAT. Eating and sleeping and playing in life are three of the most greatest things about living, if done in quality. Taste other cultures. Taste spices. Taste things that might seem obscure. TASTE life. We embrace all our senses without question — to see, to smell — but food sometimes comes with fear. Your body needs to eat, but your palette should taste like an artist’s palette of paints. It’s amazing what you can make by mixing it up.

2. Never subscribe or like something just because it’s the new “in” thing, or considered “cool”. You can most definitely like something “in” or “cool”, but don’t force it just because everyone else is into it. Sometimes liking something can make others think you’re actually “uncool”, but uniqueness is uniqueness, whether mainstream, “cheesy”, or totally obscure. Being your authentic self is never uncool. Never, ever. No matter what culture you identify with, what “scene” you’re in, or how much society tells you how you should view something, what you truly like is what you truly like, whether or not you deny it. By denying it, you miss out on finding those people who are the most like-minded, will get you best, and a circle of friends you can always be yourself with. This isn’t easy to learn, but it is really quite mandatory. It’s okay to have broad interests and dabble in a little bit of everything. I have always been this way, even when it wasn’t “cool” to be because a certain group of people pooh-poohed something I got pleasure out of. At the same time, never shame someone else for their likes/interests/passions, either. Sometimes it takes guts to step out of the “norm” (and this could the norm of the most alternative mindset/group of individuals out there). I used to get a lot of slack from my different networks of people for some of things I relished. My motto was: “Poser and proud of it!!” My life was always rich for having a multitude of interests and likes. I found that there were quite a few naysayers, but just as many people who loved me for my quirks. Even when I was a goth/industrial DJ and so ÜBER all things “progressive”, I never denied loving Yanni, donning hot pink (when the whole “Pink Makes Me Puke” thing was trendy), or lied that my first concert was New Kids on the Block (the boy band phenomenon of the 80s, like your beloved One Direction is now (yes, one day you will probably take a deep breath before admitting that, despite what you think today )). Just genuinely LOVE. Don’t let anyone influence you otherwise. Whatever tickles your fancy, let it make you smile and giggle and feel touched in a frolicsome way. One day, all of this “What is Cool” stuff won’t matter. Only the feelgood of it will, and that being a poser is not always a negative.

3. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not good at something. We’re all born with inborn gifts; life is too short to sweat those things that don’t come naturally to us. It’s wonderful to try new things on for size and see if we click in. It’s also great to give everything our “All”, and see if we can learn something new, but each and every one of us have something(s) we’re really good at from the get-go — these are called talents. It is far more rewarding to practice and master those things that belong to us, and are given to us through whatever grace you believe in — genetics, a higher power, or just our own one-of-a-kind-ness. It doesn’t matter if it’s an instrument, a sport, a subject in school, or a creative outlet; if you’re struggling with it after you’ve attempted and tried, than don’t let it cause you any grief. There are a plethora of things out there that you excel at and are passionate about — bloom where your gifts have been planted. They’re in there deep even if you shove them aside. Even though it may *seem* that there are people out there who have it all, this is not true. NO one is good at everything. No one. Some scientists are not athletes. Some academics are not creative. Some artists are not musical. The list goes on and on. Celebrate that in which makes you…… YOU. It’s not the least you can do, it’s all of what you do! As you grow up, you will see that these things will become your life and livelihood, so don’t waste time on the stuff that doesn’t fall into line. Move along. As of this moment in time, you are chockfull of gifts and talents. We’ll see how this compares to now (when you’re reading this for the umpteenth time), but right now the gifts and talents I see in you are: Writing, singing, strategy, gaming, dancing, cooking, reading, articulation, leadership, kindness, experimentation, vocabulary, and smarts. (And yes, being smart is something you were born with, but never get lazy in learning more.) Just don’t worry about being perfect at everything, please. This is a death sentience. Worry about what you love because it loves you back…… it’s why it showed up in you; it knew you’d foster it well.

… Oh, and I love you to the Milky Way and back!

~ Heather Angelika
Founder/Owner of Gallant Girls


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