I’ve had two great struggles in my life; The first was growing up feeling “un-beautiful”. From elementary school through college I struggled with my weight — I’d even go as far as to say I was the fat girl. I also had acne early on and it’s something I battle to this day. I don’t have to tell you that girls are mean —– and I admit, until recently, I was no exception. Girls are especially cruel to one another, which can make high school a brutal time for anyone, but I know it’s particularly brutal for a girl who’s ashamed of her body. I’ve worked hard to shed 60+ pounds since college and have outgrown the worst of my teenage skin troubles, but weight and self-esteem issues will always be part of my journey.
When I lost the weight I felt like I had won my battle, overcome my odds, passed my test. At 22, I felt like my struggle was finally over. But then it happened…my second great struggle came along and made me dream of days when weight was utmost concern. My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and the struggle became more real and more terrifying than I ever knew possible.
Since my dad passed, the struggle hasn’t even begun to fade, but from here I can see the good in the struggle. From here, I can see the struggle has given me a sense of purpose. Watching my dad’s vibrant life slip away gave me an appreciation for the short time we are given.
The struggle has enlightened me and encouraged me to pursue what is new, exciting and even downright terrifying. This year has already been incredible! I was a keynote speaker at San Diego Women’s Week, ran my very first half marathon and had the privilege of mentoring a teen girl. This year I’ll also climb Mt. Whitney, and rappel a skyscraper to raise money for cancer research. All of this is far beyond my comfort zone, but I’ve found that outside of my comfort zone is where the struggle is — and that’s where I flourish.
While I’m not doing this for my dad, I am doing this because of him. My dad taught me to embrace the struggle — and losing him is has been the greatest struggle I’ve ever known.
Above all, I’m doing this for girls of all ages who have struggled and who are struggling. I’m doing this for those that have struggled financially, physically, emotionally or spiritually. I’m doing this for who have lost someone they love; For those who struggle to pay the bills or lose the weight. I’m doing this for those who have felt rejection and loneliness. I’m doing this for all of us who just want to feel happy and beautiful in our own skin. I’m living outside my comfort zone to help all girls realize that beauty comes from the struggle.
The struggle strengthens us for the journey. The struggle makes us powerful, brave and bold. The struggle is what gives us purpose.
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”
15 thoughts on “The Struggle”
Reblogged this on Loren Nancarrow.
As one former fat girl to another, I am proud of you. Your father would be as well!
Hannah. Your Dad is SO proud of the woman you are. I find real comfort in your post. I am that girl or now old woman who has & is going through all those struggles. I just wish that I had the courage you do. I just know you will do ALL of us proud in Any project you enter into. Much love & respect. Linda
Good luck Hannah!! You are a beautiful girl…inside and out. I know your Dad would be proud. I was also the fat girl…and have dealt with many struggles..Live your dreams Hannah. I think you could win!! Enjoy the journey. Best wishes and love, Diane Middleton
Hannah, you are such a beautiful young lady, Miss California is fortunate to have you as a candidate. Following in your dad’s footsteps in journalism seems a natural fit for you,. You do it wonderfully. You seem to have a gift for writing and those of us lucky enough to follow your dads pathway to forever, are benefiting from your knowledge. His turmoil was ours every step of the way. Thank you for continuing with the blog. I look forward to your experiences. The best of luck in your journeys. Hugs. Jackie
oNe caN onLy iMaGiNe hoW ProuD YoUR FatheR iS oF YoU TodaY
Aloha Hannah ~ WOW, how exciting!!! Congratulations on your journey….”life should be a daring adventure..or nothing at all”. Hard to believe you ever had any self esteem issues…of course I didn’t know you then. So the only Hannah I’ve known is this strong, self assured, gorgeous, intelligent, dynamic woman. You are so blessed to have had such special people as parents and life guides…. Although Loren left us too soon, he blazed such a trail for all of us to follow. Embrace the challenges…there’s almost nothing you can’t overcome with effort, grace, determination and hard work. I’m a great believer in luck…I fin the harder I work, the more of it I have! California would be fortunate to be represented by someone as special as you…. Wishing for you the fulfillment of all your hopes and dreams….
I would give you all my votes! Beautifully written Hannah. Thank you for that, and I am so proud of all you are doing to help others and bring awareness to this disease. Where many others would crumble, and rightfully so, this has fueled you to help fight, and that is a wonderful inspiration to many of us.
If you have the faith, even as small as that of a mustard grain and exert yourself when times are tough, then your struggles do not become hurdles, but mere bumps along your path. Your dad lived his life in much the same manner and has left you with tools that many wish in some ways you currently possess… San Diego is proud to have the Nancarrow’s calling this city your home… Be all that you can be in your bid to be Miss California 2015…
In spite of your self image issue(s), you look stunningly beautiful, Hannah.
You are a stunningly beautiful woman, Hannah, from the deepest part of your heart to every essence of it that resonates with the universe, where your beloved Dad is surely smiling his beautiful smile at your courage! I wish you every possible success xoxo
Hjn, you’re the shit!!!!!
You are an absolutely beautiful woman inside and out Hannah – your Dad would be so proud of you. Wishing you much success in your goal.
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Hello there Hannah Jane, very pretty pic of you in the black dress, you’ve the prettiest blonde hair and eyes, a dazzling smile, a jaw dropping figure, absolutely thee total package Hannah Jane