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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Courage to Share

I'm not sure where this dose of insane courage has come from, but I kind of think I like it. You see, I have found myself involved in an organization that challenges me and pushes me and inspires me. These women, who have welcomed me whole-heartedly in to their community of badasses, have transformed me. The sense of empowerment I have felt since joining this group is overwhelming. I feel more like myself than I have in years. These ladies are rock stars… and I can't even begin to explain how elated my heart is to be a tiny part of this magnificent revolution.

We're changing "Girl Culture" together… and this might just be exactly what I was meant to do with my life.

I AM THAT GIRL is a non-profit organization aimed at helping women of all ages to become the best version of themselves. We want to empower, inspire and help women to express, love and BE who they are. We want to encourage collaboration among women, instead of competition. And this, my friends, is exactly what the world needs.

Two months ago, I started my own chapter of IATG. And even though I don't have 60 members in my chapter, we've had some beautiful, heartfelt conversations about topics that matter to us. We have given each other advice, we have lifted each other up… and I can't wait to do it again. And again. And again.

Now, I'm spearheading the development of another chapter of IATG. This one will be a collegiate chapter. LORD, HOW I NEEDED THIS WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE!!!!! My hope is that in starting a collegiate chapter, we can reach those women who may be just like I was in college, unsure of themselves, lacking confidence and completely unaware of the greatness they posses! My heart is bursting at the seams just thinking about all the lives we could change!

An excerpt from one of my blog entries for I AM THAT GIRL
I will most definitely be updating y'all on the process of the collegiate chapter, I'm sure. And I will definitely be providing the link to the blog that we will be starting. I'm struggling to find the words to describe how I'm feeling right now. The prospect of impacting these young women has me terrified and yet completely calm. I know this is something I've been called to do. I've been writing for the IATG blog for 6 months and my articles have grown increasingly more personal. Certain ones have even solicited responses, "shares" and "likes" through various channels on the internet. I never could have imagined being vulnerable could feel so liberating. For example, as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is approaching at the end of February, I found myself ASKING my editor if I could do a piece specifically for NEDA week. WHAAAAA??? Who is this girl wanting to share intimate details of the most painful time of her life??  I barely know the person behind all of this confidence and willingness to share.

A couple of years ago, my personal diary was full of fears and worries and doubts. Now, my public diary (you're reading it) is full of goals and hopes and all of my passions wrapped up in excitement and love. So yes, I'm going to share that story with the world. I'm going to write my heart out and hope that someone, some girl just like me, might realize there is a light at the end of that very dark tunnel. So she can know that she is not alone. And so that she can realize that the magnitude of her life can not be determined by a disease, but only by herself and by her heart. People may think I'm crazy for being willing to share such a personal experience, but to be honest, it was the personal stories that helped me through the darkness. I AM THAT GIRL is just helping me pay it forward.

Love True,
Allison

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