Audrey Malone competed in track and field since she was five years old. She grew up in a town of 2,000 people in Nebraska. Before her senior year of high school, her and her family moved to Texas. After graduating from Bryan HS, she decided to attend Texas A&M and compete with her sister, Maggie Malone. That's when she competed for the first time in the javelin. With a determined and open heart, she became the second best performer on the Aggie All-Time list with a throw of 187-2.
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"So, stop fighting to be perfect. Stop fighting to be pretty enough, athletic enough, religious enough, and loved enough. Start fighting to accept who you are just as you are. Fight to believe that you ARE enough in this world because of how imperfect you are."
Audrey Malone - Texas A&M All-American
Dear Younger Audrey,
How are you today?
Before you put on that fake smile and say, "Great, how are you?" remember that I know you. I was you. I know the anxiety that you feel every day; the shame you bury deep down and refuse to allow to the surface; the self-hatred you carry because you feel inadequate. Most importantly, I know the fear you have of people finding out you aren't as perfect as you let them believe.
But guess what?
You, my beautiful girl, are not, "great," and you haven't been for some time.
You are hurting. You are scared. You are broken. And yet, you are surviving. But surviving isn't living. And, my dear, you have so much to live for.
Oh, how I wish I could show you the future God has in store for you. I could tell you how you came into an event you barely knew existed. I could tell you about all the accomplishments and accolades you will receive. I could even tell you about how you fall in and out of love.
But those aren't what stick with you. Because although those accomplishments and recognition are what make you finally feel seen after so long, those aren't the things that fill your soul. What fills your soul isn't a what, it's a who. It's God...and the amazing people he sent to you.
God placed some of the most incredible people on this Earth into your life. People who push you to be better, ask you the hard questions, and guide you on this rollercoaster of life. I'm not saying it's all sunshine and rainbows, because it's not.
You will continue to fight what seems like a never-ending battle, but what you don't realize, is you are slowly gaining the necessary tools to fight the battle. You are building an armory full of knowledge and skills, confidence and strength, and...you aren't fighting alone. You have warriors next to you that love you and care about you and are willing to fight alongside you, even if it isn't their battle. And that in itself, is something to fight for.
So, stop fighting to be perfect. Stop fighting to be pretty enough, athletic enough, religious enough, and loved enough. Start fighting to accept who you are just as you are. Fight to believe that you ARE enough in this world because of how imperfect you are.
Let me be the first to tell you, you are not perfect. And you will never be perfect.
And that is okay.
If you remember one thing in life, it's this: It is okay to not be okay.
People will try to tell you to smile and put on a brave face, but I'm here to tell you it's okay to admit defeat. It's okay to admit you need help. And it's okay to say you are not perfect.
Actually, when you finally admit these things to yourself, you will feel that weight that was slowly crushing your soul dissipate. You will take the deepest breath you've taken in a very long time. You will realize that being vulnerable is being courageous. Having the courage to share your pain, your guilt, and your shame ultimately gives you power over them.
So, take back that power, because you are stronger than you could ever imagine.
Someone in your life once spoke these words to you, and they have now become words to live by. So remember sweet girl:
You are beautiful.
You are known.
You are cherished.
You are valued.
You are loved.
And you are enough.