42 Things To Thank Your Father For, Today And Every Day

42 Things To Thank Your Father For, Today And Every Day

Behind every great daughter is a truly amazing dad.
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We all have people in our life that are extremely important to us. For me, one of those individuals is my father. My dad has been there for me (literally) my entire life, and has supported me through the ups, downs, and in-betweens of everything I've faced in the past 21 years.

Sometimes it's the people that are the most important to us that we forget to appreciate because we tend to assume they understand our immense gratitude, love, and respect without us verbally expressing it. They've been there through thick and thin, and there is no doubt they will never leave our side. In honor of Father's Day having just passed, here's a shout out to the awesome dads in this world. Thanks for all that you have done, continue to do, and will do throughout our lives.

Here are 42 reasons to thank your father today and every day.

1. For spending time with you after a long day of work.

2. For teaching you how to ride your first bike, and eventually drive your first car.

3. For being Santa Claus.

4. And the Tooth Fairy.

5. And the Easter Bunny.

6. For teaching you financial responsibility.

7. And for remedying the destruction of your first credit card when that lesson eventually failed.

8. For allowing you the freedom to become who you want to be.

9. And supporting all of your dreams while still keeping you somewhat in check.

10. Teaching you the value of money and items, but spoiling you nonetheless.

11. Corny dad jokes.

12. Sneaking junk food with you when mom said no.

13. Your love of action films.

14. For driving you everywhere in the good ol' pre-license days.

15. For paying for gymnastics/cheer/dance/other classes.

16. And for college, your sorority, clothes, food, and all those other things that you absolutely need to have .

17. Essentially for being your personal bank of which you are a VIP Platinum level member who also happens to be very much in debt but are constantly graced.

18. For having good intentions, even if he can be overly protective.

19. For vehemently standing up for you if anyone ever puts you down or hurts your feelings.

20. Teaching you the true meaning of respecting others.

21. Embarrassing you in public.

22. Always calling you beautiful and pretty even if you're dressed in sweats and not wearing makeup.

23. For giving you everything you've wanted, within reason.

24. For playing basketball, tennis, and catch with instead of just lazing around all day.

25. Teaching you how to fix a dead battery, flat tire, and other car issues.

26. And picking up the phone and coming immediately during an inevitable car issue because turns out you don't remember how to fix it.

27. Working so hard to provide the family a good life.

28. Even though you still don't really understand what he does.

29. Always eating more than you at the dinner table so you don't feel like you overate.

30. For bear hugs.

31. And tucking you in at night.

32. Making sure you got up in time to go to school during the dreaded middle school/high school days.

33. For being proud of you no matter what the outcome.

34. And loving you unconditionally, no matter how many times you mess up.

35. For fixing everything you break.

36. Doing your taxes.

37. Making you laugh, even when you're upset.

38. Forgiving you for driving over that once patch of lawn each time you back out of the driveway, even though you ruin it each time he fixes it.

39. Actually, pretty much forgiving you for everything of his that you break.

40. Taking care of the pet hamster and cleaning its cage even though 10-year-old you said that you would.

41. Daddy-Daughter dances.

42. For telling you the only gift he ever wants is spending time with you.

Cover Image Credit: sweetsharing.com

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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We Need To Stop Treating Arranged Marriages Like Business Deals

We need to stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

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When I was thirteen years old, I spent my summer break at my cousin sister's place. She spilled steaming hot tea all over her thigh leaving a huge burn scar. The first thing my aunt said to her was "What would your future husband think about that scar? You should have been more careful." My cousin was just fourteen.

Growing up, we are made to believe that marriage is the most important thing in a woman's life and is going to be her biggest achievement. I thought it was hideous how we were made to believe this and pressurized to get married in fear of what society would think until I realized just how hideous the process of an arranged marriage itself is.

According to an IPSOS survey conducted in 2013, 74% of Indian marriages are arranged. Being the youngest sibling and cousin, I watched a lot of my older family members and relatives getting arranged marriages. Having spent most of my life in India, I have witnessed no other marriages than arranged marriages. It is funny to me how people have a checklist of superficial expectations like stereotypical beauty standards and unrealistic salary expectations. From publishing ads like "In search of a slim, tall, fair, very beautiful, homely girl who knows how to cook and sew" in the newspaper, the process of finding a groom or bride through an arranged marriage couldn't be more misogynistic and sexist.

Surrounded by all this, I penned down a poem in hope that we would stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

I

The glass bangles on her wrist jingled as she placed a plate of laddoos in front of the guests,

She wondered if this was the family that would finally pass her parents' tests.

"Oh! She is as fair as milk" the boy's mother exclaimed,

Her cheeks flushed to the color of scarlet under her dupatta as trained.

"He is too short" to her mother, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

II

When no suitable match was found, the search was still profound.

"Hush," the girl's mother whispered "Don't tell them about the burn on the leg of the bride"

"What man will marry her once he finds?"

Another man arrived, tall, fair, and handsome- he was perfect,

Except that huge mole on his cheek which left him imperfect.

"The mole doesn't complement his face" to her aunt, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

III

Still no luck in finding a groom,

Her father placed a matrimonial ad.

"Searching for a suitable groom, engineer or doctor, 25, fair, slim, vegetarian, no disabilities" the ad read,

The ad was published in multiple newspapers so that she could finally be wed.

Another boy arrived, but this time the tables turned,

"What? She can't cook?" the boy's mother was left concerned

"Oh, what a shame" to his parents' she didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

IV

When everything had been tried, a Jyotish was consulted,

Vastu remedies for delay in marriage he suggested.

"Fast for sixteen consecutive days, the kitchen shouldn't be in the southwest."

Yet another boy arrived, tall, fair, slim, no moles- he seemed the best,

With everything from their checklist of expectations checked, everyone seemed to be impressed.

"But his earnings are so less," her father was left depressed.

To nobody he appealed,

The deal still wasn't sealed.

V

The number of grooms decreased as her age increased,

The girl walked in with a plate of laddoos, but this time from the southeast.

"Oh my god, the bride can't cook," the boy's mother noticed,

Thankfully the burn on her leg went unnoticed.

Double the dowry was demanded,

Her father's savings made sure the groom's family didn't leave empty-handed,

The girl's mother approved the boy, so did her mother's mother,

And her uncle, his wife, and their daughter

Even to the distant relatives, he appealed,

The deal was finally sealed.

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