This post was originally published at www.iamthatgirl.com
"You are profoundly and utterly extraordinary."
My heart claps incredibly loud reading these words (Disclaimer: the term "heartclap" is a signature phrase in the IATG community used when something truly resonates deep within your soul). The words of a woman who has, without ever meeting me or knowing anything about me, completely reshaped the image I have of myself. I did not know confidence like this existed for me. I knew it existed of course, I just wasn't aware it was something I could manifest within myself. That is, until I stumbled across the I AM THAT GIRL phenomenon sweeping this nation.
I had friends who were beautiful, intelligent, witty, confident fire crackers and I was JEALOUS. I remember wishing that I was more like THAT GIRL, even though there were a lot of girls in my life whose qualities I lusted after. I wished I had THAT GIRL's confidence, or THAT GIRL's athleticism. My roommates were all THAT GIRL to me because they were brilliant, beautiful and had incredible senses of humor.
Everyone loves THAT GIRL because she exhibits all of these incredible qualities. She's strong without appearing over confident, she's loving without seeming over bearing, she's beautiful on the outside without knowing it and she's beautiful on the inside with the most selfless heart.
My entire life I knew girls like this and secretly looked up to them. I always wished, with my whole heart, that I could be just like THAT GIRL.
When I found Alexis Jones and the I AM THAT GIRL community, I bought her book immediately and messages like this started flooding through my heart:
"To be 'that girl' just means you're going to give life your best shot, that you're not going to make excuses or justifications, that you're going to go for it, whatever that means for you. It also means you're going to be an example of true beauty in the world and encourage the same for all the other women in your life. Being 'that girl' means you are a constant work in progress-- you're willing to be vulnerable, flawed, and compassionate and are someone who stumbles and falls but isn't afraid to admit her shortcomings in the midst of her magnificence."
That's when I started thinking about all of those girls who I had admired for being THAT GIRL in my life. I had never felt like THAT GIRL. I had never assumed I'd be worthy of the same kind of admiration I had been feeling for my rockstar friends. But reading Alexis' words about what truly defined THAT GIRL gave me a strange sense of enlightenment.
I'm giving life my best shot. I'm living life inexcusably, and going after my dreams same as the next girl. I love with my whole heart and acknowledge the fact that imperfection is the most beautiful expression of womanhood. Coming to the realization that being a "work in progress" is okay was completely liberating for me. I had always had this idealized vision of who I could be when I become that perfect version of myself. But through my involvement in this incredibly inspiring community I've realized that embracing exactly who I am NOW is the most perfect display of grace.
I AM THAT GIRL. It may have taken me 27 years to figure that out, but I have. All of those other girls... they are THAT GIRL too, but so am I, and I am finally at a place in my life where I can appreciate that my sense of humor, my athleticism, my beauty, my brains and my confidence are what make me, ME! They are unique to my own self and yours are unique to YOU!
It's great to have role models, or people you admire. But inn admiring all of your idols don't lose sight of what makes you THAT GIRL, because that's exactly what you are. Embrace all of your Beauty-full... because there's a lot of it within you.