Raised by a Single Father

I’m a very rare breed; I was a girl that was raised by a single father. Most stories you hear of single parents it‘s not the Dad who is the one doing the work of two. Throughout every school play, tea party, sleepover and field day it wasn’t my mom standing on the sidelines cheering me on, it was my incredible father. He was always the only man among all the moms taking pictures, bringing in snacks and helping me pick out the perfect prom dress. I experienced things most girls don’t, My dad raised me himself, which I’m sure to most males raising a daughter alone might be the scariest experience of their lives. However, he did the most incredible job, that I never once felt I was missing a part of my life. I never cared that it was my dad cooking me breakfast and giving me boy advice, instead of my mom. Being raised by a single dad taught me a lot of different lessons that I don’t think many women get to go through so I wanted to share my experience.


My Value

He taught me that my value didn’t come from my looks but from my heart and my mind. I always remember from a young age, and especially as I got older, that he would tell me to never rely on my looks to get me anywhere. My looks would eventually fade but my heart and my values never would. My dad taught me that to get where I wanted to go, I needed to put in my blood, sweat, and tears to get to it. He taught me that anyone who only valued my outer shell over who I was as a person wasn’t someone I needed in my life.



He made me fiercely independent. To anyone who reads this and knows my dad, he is the most independent person I have ever met in my life and I believe you all would agree. He raised me to be able to walk alone in this world without fear. That I could be happy and live the life I wanted even if it meant there wasn’t someone by my side cheering me on. That I could change my own oil, travel the world by myself and pave my own way in this life. I don’t have a fear of being alone because he taught me how to take care of myself.


Fuck the Status Quo

My dad is a very progressive person. He taught me to fuck the status quo.  There was nothing in this world that I couldn’t do. If I wanted to play basketball instead of dance, then he would spend hours shooting hoops with me. When I wanted a fast muscle car when I turned 16 instead of a Punch Buggy, he searched the Internet and got me a car with a V8 engine. To him, there was nothing that my gender would stop me from being able to do. He pushed me to go against the traditional and be different.



He made me brave, so incredibly brave. I remember when I told him that I wanted to pursue writing. I was scared because what if I wasn’t good and I knew that he always wanted me to join the family business and I didn’t want to disappoint him. I specifically remember him looking at me and saying, “Where is all this fear coming from? This isn’t you. Who cares what I think is best I don’t know everything. If you have a passion you need to go after it, this is your life.” His words are what helped push me to pursue this most likely unstable career, and to not be afraid because even if I failed at least I went for it.



One of the greatest things my dad taught me was how I deserved to be loved. To be with someone who cherishes my heart and respects me. I deserve someone who is trustworthy, dependable and unconditionally loves me. I have such high expectations when it comes to love because he set the bar so high, I’m not even sure if there is any man who can live up to the man that he is.


This doesn’t even grace the surface of all the lessons that my dad taught me, but it is just a look into the life of a girl that was raised by a single dad.


Dad, you are the most gracious, giving human being that I know. Your unwavering love and devotion have made me into the person I am today, and I am forever thankful that I have you by my side. I love you.


-S. Annette

Admit It Girl

I like to think I understand the male species fairly well. Raised by a single father and surrounded by my brother and his squad of 10+ best friends at all times growing up, I have learned some of the inside secrets that the male brain operates with. I’m here to give you some hard truth on if that guy you’ve been tindering (or bumbling, sexting, insta-messaging etc.) is really into you or not.


  1. You know the old saying from Ted Mosby’s mom “Nothing good happens after 2 am.” Well, no text from a guy after 12 am means he wants to have a deep emotional conversation and get to know you for you. Sorry girl, all he wants is for his bed to be a little less lonely for the night.


  1. To piggyback off the previous one if you do happen to go over there and have a wonderful night of “conversation” and he then, in an all too sweet way, asks you if he can call you an Uber, or if you’re at your place and he dips out? Let me tell you, you just got royally douched.


  1. Guys don’t think in the spider web process that us girls do. If that dude is really into you, he will make sure you know. He will text you, he will call, he will ask you on a date, plain and simple. If he isn’t doing that then its time for you to put on some red lipstick, go out to the bar and find yourself a new man.


  1. If he says any of the following cringe-worthy statements; “Not ready for a relationship” “Not looking for anything serious” “Don’t want you to fall in love with me” run like the fucking hills because he’s not trying to be cute and act like he’s an emotionally scarred sheep you’re there to fix. It means he really REALLY isn’t looking for a relationship, and nothing you do will change it.


  1. No eye contact, or touching. When a guy is into you he will stare you down and he will take any opportunity to make physical contact. If there is enough space between you two for an elephant to fit and he keeps making googly eyes at the bartender, then he is really not interested.


  1. GHOSTING. Ah, the classic dilemma that is sweeping our generation. Girl, if you hooked up and that boy never ever responds to anything you send him then please delete his number (no don’t block it because your drunk self can very well undo that) delete it and move on. No his phone didn’t fall into a toilet and break. He just doesn’t care.


  1. Haven’t you been graced with meeting any of his friends? This one here is a sneaky but huge red flag on if he’s into you or not. If he’s not dying to show you off to all of his friends then he is using you. No guy wants to keep a girl he’s obsessed with a secret, he’ll want to show you off like a pony.


  1. On the contrary, if he never wants to spend time alone with you and only agrees to hang out with you in a group setting, then he isn’t interested. There needs to be a happy medium of alone time and group time. If he leans way to far to either side then something is up.


  1. Emotionally distant and doesn’t listen to you. Do you ever find yourself repeating the same information to your guy that you’ve told him over and over? When your crush is really into you he will listen and remember your hilarious story about how your BFF told off an old lady on Valentine’s Day. If he doesn’t that means he’s is not investing in you and doesn’t see you in his long-term plans.


  1. Constantly talking about other girls. Do you notice that he is always talking about that bitch Carly that he works with, and always saying that she did the funniest thing ever today? Well if he feels he can talk about pretty much every other girl in the world to you then he probably isn’t interested in you. If he was all eyes on you he would be telling YOU how funny you are, not how funny Carly is.


Well ladies, please keep your heads held high and if a guy is doing any of these things to you then please take the L and let him go. Don’t go trying to change him, or convince him that you’re worth it because a real guy won’t need to be convinced of how great you are, he will know it. I’m sure I will have a follow-up article with many more ways to tell if he’s digging you or not, so keep your eyes open for it.


P.S. I would like to dedicate this article to my best friends and contributing authors whose sacrifices in the dating world made this article possible.

-S. Annette


The Lessons Death Taught Me

Many people get undeniably blessed in life by not experiencing the death of a loved one until they are well into adulthood. I am not one of those people. I have lost more people in my life to death than I care to count. From the sudden death to the long awaited one, each one carried its own unique pain and its own lesson with it.


Lesson One: The pain will never go away. I know sometimes people try to tell you that over time the pain fades, but I’m here to tell you it never does. I can still remember every single detail and the cracking of my heart when I found out about each one of my loved one’s deaths. I can relive it over, and over again just as if it happened only moments ago. You will never ever forget that kind of heartbreak, it changes every cell in your body and you can never go back to who you were before it happened. Even though the pain doesn’t ever go away what I can tell you is that you can decide how you respond to it


Lesson Two: Happiness really is a choice. Each loss I experienced I could have chosen to let that pain and that suffering consume me, to let it engulf every part of me and turn my view of this life upside down. But happiness is a choice, you can choose to live in the pain of loss or you can choose happiness. I beg you to choose happiness, do not feel guilty for laughing or loving after a loss, it does not mean you no longer love or grieve for them. It just means you see that life, your precious life, must be lived to the fullest.


Lesson Three: Don’t live your life for other people. As a young girl, I used to do everything in my power to make others happy, even if it meant not being happy myself. When I lost two of my loved ones in college I realized that I was wasting my life trying to live for other people. You never know how long you have here in this crazy world, so why waste any of it living for others. It is your life and it is your time here, and you should seize every moment of it.


Lesson Four: Be kind. Life is too short to be anything other than kind to everyone around you. This world is already filled with so much hate and anger that if you have the opportunity to be anything but that, please do. You never know how one small act of kindness you present to another can change their entire day. When I lost my mother at a young age the amount of kindness that poured onto me from strangers was incredible, it didn’t take my pain away but it helped me see that this was not the end of my life as I knew it, it was only the beginning.


There are so many more lessons that can be learned from losing someone you love, but for me, these were the main lessons that changed my life. I am not the person I was before losing so many of the ones I loved, but I am a stronger and more resilient person because of it. If you are someone that has just lost a loved one, know I understand and know that I can say with all the confidence in my heart that you will be okay, maybe not right now but I promise you will.


-S. Annette