Sunday, May 31, 2015

Follow your fear - inspired by Grace Helbig's commencement speech

I adore Grace Helbig. I love what she does and what she stands for. As a matter of fact, once I finish writing this, I am going to Barnes and Noble to buy her book. Grace is an extremely successful Youtuber and comedian who makes videos targeted toward teenage and early twenty something women about life's often comical realities. Girl crush aside, Ms. Helbig gave a pretty great commencement speech at her alma mater, Ramapo College. The message in her speech really struck a chord with me. That message being, follow your fear.


Grace outlines the two kinds of fear - one being real, physical fears like "snakes, sharks, small places, or the Real Houswives franchise mysteriously disappearing." Next, she talks about "good fears." Below is what she says: 

Fears that are born out of love and out of ambition. The things that you are afraid of because you care about them so much. The opportunities that you are afraid to take because you don't want to screw them up and the people you are afraid to talk to because you don't want to embarrass yourself in front of them. And the paths that you are too afraid to take because it seems to uncertain, too unpredictable, and just too uncomfortable. But when you are uncomfortable that is when things get really interesting... being comfortable is truly being alive. Much like an improv show, life is a series of these beautiful and awkward and random and delightful and inspiring and painful and terrifying and just all around uncomfortable moments. And we are all feeling them. All the time. Constantly, together. 

One of my favorite parts of her speech is when she acknowledges that failure is okay,  because perfection isn't a human thing to relate to. She says that being boring is more terrifying than being a failure. I have to agree. One of my driving principles is embracing the imperfect realities of who we are and being honest about the times that we have failed. 


This really resounded with me because in one week I am moving to Chicago. I've never left Columbus for longer than a week, so that in and of itself is horrifying. Additionally, I'm not following the standard path of getting a job in my expected career field right away. Instead, I am spending a few years doing something that I think will be a more robust experience. What if I don't like Chicago? What if I don't like teaching? What if I miss my mom too much? What if Chris and I don't manage the distance? Yeah, I am pretty expletive scared. But maybe that is a good thing. It's definitely better than being boring. 

So Grace, I'll heed your advice. I'll follow my fear. Let me know what you thought of Grace's speech below! Did anything in particular stand out to you?

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