Texas is the land of cowboys, pageants, and 15-year-old Emily Murphy. Although you will rarely find her riding across the plains on a stallion you won’t ever see her in a sash and tiara.
“I’ve never been in a pageant and growing up I was kind of a tom girl,” Emily says with a laugh, “I could never be a Southern Belle. I’m dramatic and sarcastic.”
Yet Emily still embodies strong aspects of a Texan native with her love of the outdoors. She finds time for nature through the numerous sports she participates in. Inspired by her parents, Emily played soccer like her father for most of her childhood, then followed in her mother’s footsteps with a few years of volleyball. Nowadays you won’t find her in just a gym or on the field, but at both and a swimming pool.
She is now excels as a triathlete who also pole vaults on the side.
“When I first started pole vaulting I was terrible. There is a state athlete at my school who (high) jumps six feet two inches and I was like, ‘Dude, it took me three weeks to vault that!’”
As for the other Texan traits aspects of Texans she is prominently missing: a deep accent. Again, it takes precedence from her parents. Having a father from England and a mother from Pennsylvania contribute to the lack of a twang. Yet subleties of a drawl can still be found.
“Back home, the way everyone talks seems natural to me. Since Fort Worth is a metropolitan area, you won’t really find a deep accent, people tell me I say y’all a lot, but you know, it’s what I say.”
But the essence of the south still lives strong in Emily, she finds comfort in southern culture from the food to the music and even the hot climate. And although she can appreciate her home town’s beauty, she believes a new landscape is in her future after high school.
“I love nature. So I’ve looked at (colleges like) Iowa State but now that I’ve been here [Washington D.C.] I’ll have to look at schools here. Its so beautiful here, so full of life.”
And that is who Emily Murphy is, a person brimming with life.