An Open Letter to That Girl

By Allison Annala, Regular ContributorAugust 25, 2015

Dear Sunshine,

I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you so much for bringing light into this world. In a time where trusting motive is a constant worry and competition wins out over collaboration, you have shown me that there are amazing women to look up to. Thank you for helping me understand that there are people who believe in others and who support those around them, simply for the sake of showing someone support!

Thanks for being a gal that shows up.


image of IATG members in Chicago

Thanks for reaching out and asking if I’m okay. Thanks for sending a sweet note via “snail mail,” because it means you took time out of your day to really be there for me. I love that. And I love you.

Thank you for your patience. Thanks for understanding that we’re not all caught up to your selflessness, and not because we don’t want to be. It’s hard, you know. We live in this world that asks us to be prettier, skinnier, and sexier than the next girl… so we’re all a little on edge. Not you though, you’ve risen above it. You know that your beauty is intrinsic and vast and that your capacity for love has nothing to do with your outward appearance. You’re THAT GIRL.

You’re the girl that smiles at strangers. The one who takes the time to call the manager out of a restaurant simply to compliment your waitress instead of complain. You’re the girl who makes friends at a tourist attraction and graciously takes photographs of families until they’re satisfied with the most beautiful group shot. You’re the one who chats feverishly with every cab driver you meet in the hopes of learning something new.

Thank you, sweet girl, for your charisma. There are days when I struggle to remember that life is magical. You remind me, each time we speak, of the magic in the world. The sparkle shining bright in your eyes as you talk about your passions helps lift me up in ways I could never explain.

Thank you for fighting for what you believe in. You’re the girl who stands up for us as a whole. You’re making this world better for the rest of us, simply because you’re in it. Girlfriend, you are setting the greatest example for the girls in your life. By the way you’re living your life each and every day, sharing your wisdom, leading with vulnerability and striving for change… you’re making it happen.

We’re all growing, and we have you to thank for it. Being THAT GIRL isn’t always easy, but with you paving the way for us, we’ll be okay.

Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself, for teaching me that kindness is contagious and that grace is not something we’re born with, but something we choose as we begin each day.

I know that I am a work in progress. You taught me that. So thanks for allowing me to follow in your glorious footsteps. I AM THAT GIRL, because you taught me I could be.

All my love,


Let's chat!

What has THAT GIRL taught you? Who in your life is THAT GIRL? How has being a part of IATG changed you? Tell us below!

About Allison

ALLISON_ANNALA_writer_bio_(1).jpgA gymnast since age 4, Allison uses the life lessons learned through the sport to help young women discover their greatness! She is a huge advocate for girls and women, particularly when it comes to body image and self-worth! Along with coaching, Allison now teaches at her Alma Matter, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She loves sharing her passion for gymnastics with women of all ages and her passion for life and love on her blog She is so thrilled to be an advocate for IATG and can’t wait to help inspire women all over the world! 


Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.


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  • commented 2015-08-25 18:31:52 -0700
    Thank you for this Allison! The beginning of this week was difficult and heartbreaking. It made me question, “why do I even try?” and this was the reminder that I needed. Reading this post made me realize that my small day to day efforts do matter. Thank you for giving me the confidence to continue to be THAT GIRL even when things get hard.
  • followed this page 2015-08-18 19:07:26 -0700

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