Let Your Freak Flag Fly


Truth be told, I’ve always wanted to be on T.V..  I had even been working towards that goal for 22 years…but when I got even remotely close, I panicked and retreated. What if I suck at reporting? What if I embarrass myself? What if I look like a freak?

I can’t stand it when I’m just bad at something. Even the words “constructive criticism” make me cringe. That’s probably because I have this nasty habit of becoming discouraged when I’m not innately good at something — which is a total disadvantage since I can only think of a couple things I’ve ever really picked up quickly. And it’s that fear of failure that has stifled some potentially big opportunities for me in the past.

Just one of my dad’s countless admirable qualities was that he was never afraid to let his freak flag fly. He always did what interested him and he wouldn’t worry about looking bizzare in the process — and sometimes he was a pretty bizarre! My dad was just so willing to put himself out there to do what he loved — maybe it’s because he was so good at it — or maybe it’s because he wasn’t afraid to fail.

So, starting today I will no longer let my fear of failure hold me back. I will no longer be afraid of feeling awkward, looking like a total freak or being downright bad at something. I will find fulfillment in doing things because I want to — not because I’m good at them. After all, if we’re not learning, exploring and bettering ourselves in this life, all we’re really doing is killing time.

I hope you’ll join me in doing the things we’ve always wanted to do, but until now, have been too afraid to actually do. Maybe you’ve been wanting to get into shape but the very thought of the gym makes you a nervous wreck (I’ve been there). Maybe you’ve thought about starting a blog but you’re worried nobody will read it (been there too). Or maybe you’ve avoided dancing in public because you’re afraid of looking completely awkward (I’m there now). Well truthfully, you probably will be a little goofy your first few times at the gym. And maybe you’ll only have one person who reads your blog (and maybe it’s your mom). There’s even a really good chance that you’ll feel (and look) incredibly foolish while you’re dancing in public. So what? Be foolish. At the end of this life, I can promise that you’ll never say “I wish I hadn’t danced.”

And no, I’m not telling you to “dance like nobody is watching, ” I’m telling you to dance like everybody is watching — because there are probably going to be plenty of people watching you dance…wishing they had the courage to dance too.

So go play pool if you want to. Start a band if you want to. Wear a cowboy hat and pink tutu if you want to. Dye your hair and change your name to Sunshine if you want to. Try yoga, painting or paddle boarding. Learn a new language, pick up an instrument or join a team. Go back to school, start your own business and chase your dreams —  even if your dreams make you look like a total freak. Go ahead, let your freak flag fly!

And one day I hope you’ll tune into my first live T.V. report. I will absolutely try my best — and if I come off as a little bizarre…well, that’ll be okay too.


Hannah Jane

“If you’re going to be weird, be confident about it.”

Hannah Jane Nancarrow is a San Diego State University alumni, with a B.A. in journalism and new media. After graduating in 2011, Hannah worked in local T.V. news before her dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Hannah managed and contributed to her dad’s incredibly popular blog (thenancarrowproject.com) and social media platforms before he passed away, after 11 months of bravely battling and blogging. The diagnosis was a catalyst for her own writing and for following each whim and dream. Today, Hannah writes her own blog and has been a keynote speaker at San Diego Women's Week, Relay for Life, and a top fundraiser for cancer-related causes throughout San Diego. Hannah also has a passion for health and fitness, since losing 75 pounds in 2011. She earned her Spinning® and group fitness instructor certifications, and teaches weekly cycle classes in Encinitas, California. Hannah also earned her real estate license and works in the family business, Nancarrow Realty Group, in North County San Diego.

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99 comments on “Let Your Freak Flag Fly
  1. Anonymous says:

    Let your hair down and let it all hang out!

  2. Gloria Jean Bishop says:

    Hannah, I hope you dance. Thank you for sharing. You know when you dance like no one’s watching, you just let go. You just do it. Enjoy traveling this new road of self discovery. My money is on you. You’re going to be great at whatever you put your mind to. I have no doubts and neither do you :))))

  3. Nanci says:

    Honey if you don’t attach your wagon to that star way up high you’ll never capture your dream. So what if you fail, which you won’t, then you haven’t learned. If you don’t try, then you have failed. SOOOO let the Freak Flag fly high and proudly. Keep the blog going. You have a lot of us out here in Freakvill hungry for more.

  4. Gloria Jean Bishop says:

    Hannah, I hope you dance 🙂

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Farrah says:

    You’ve inspired my daughter and I to make freak flags today! We’re proud uniques!

    • monique says:

      If as a reporter, you show the same humor, honesty and wit that is in your writing, you’ll be a star. There will be no stopping you. And the “freak” lesson you’ve learned from your dad will serve every aspect of your life forever.

  6. Barbara strona says:

    When and where are you broadcasting? Break a leg. You are a good writer so I assume you also speak well. But remember, while letting your freak show (and I can’t hide mine and don’t want to), when you have kids they will probably say, “Mom, please don’t do that in front of my friends!” Ignore them. The friends will think you are cool.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You are very talented and have displayed wisdom beyond your years.
    I look forward to your postings and will enjoy seeing your bright future unfold.

  8. Cherie says:

    Amen to that…and it’s never too late!

  9. Judy D. Williams says:


  10. Sharon Everinghamq says:

    You go, Hannah!!!!!

  11. Wendy says:

    Hannah, I always love reading what you write! Go for broke! Always stay in touch with your inner child and be silly. I am a pretty silly 60 year old! 😉 You will go far!

  12. Nenette Popiela-West says:

    With such a pretty face, you wouldn’t have to worry if you goof or not because we will be all glued watching you.and hear what you are saying…give it a go Hannah, you’ll be great at it. And we will be there right along with you to cheer you on! Love you doll! I wish you and your family well as always!☺

  13. Kathleen says:

    All the way, beautiful! xoxo

  14. Michael Mathis says:

    With your journalistic skills that are obviously heavily influenced by your pops, I can think of nothing better than for you to represent your pops excellence in TV journalism as a San Diego television journalist. His spirit lives on in you, all of your family members and in and all of the San Diegans lives he’s touched on a daily basis. You would be easily embraced by all of us here in “Nancarrow County”.

  15. Eileen Jackson says:

    Thanks Hanna for keeping your Dads’ sayings alive. Keep it up, I love them.

  16. askforgary says:

    Been letting my freak flag fly for about 3 years now. I’ve accomplished all sorts of things, none have been as bad as I thought. Keep writin GIRL and we’ll keep readin (right alongside your mom) Gary

  17. You sure got a lot of comments on this blog! You talked about what we all want to be.Fearless, not afraid to fail.
    If you don’t ask you usually don’t get. If you don’t try,you’ll never succeed. If you don’t fail some of the time you are not taking enough chances. I loved your last comment! Evelyn

  18. Ida says:

    dance your fears away hannah!!!

  19. Gary says:

    I’ve been letting my freak flag fly (that is a bit of a tongue twister) for about the past 3 years. I’ve done all kinds of fun stuff and once you do it none of it is as bad as you thought. Keep writin GIRL and we will always be here to read your blog (with your mom!) Gary

  20. Roberta says:

    Speaking of letting your freak flag fly…..I’m wondering…did your Dad ever tell you about the time he played in a Charity “Donkey Basketball” game? 🙂

    BTW…..Super writing skills! That’s the makings of a sure journalist !

  21. Sherry Walborn says:

    Children often surpass their parents…. Yes my dear, you are very capable. You have a wonderful place to launch from. Your Dad might even say….that you might even be more of who you were meant to be now that you are in this place that you were forced to be in, living without your Dad. A legacy or whatever it is called could be in order. But know how much you are admired not just because you are Loren’s daughter…. but because you are wonderful amazing Hannah. Love this post, and I ditto all the previous sentiments. Best if luck, and I send good wishes for all the days ahead, good and not so easy. Thank you for these very wise words. Another person says amen.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I remember your Dad had to “kiss some frogs” early on in his quest. He has laid the ground work for you not to have to do that. Any local station would have to be crazy not to give you a chance.

  23. Anonymous says:

    TeeVee is just right for you. Tell it like it is.

  24. Your Dad would be very proud of you… go for it! So glad you are still writing on this page, as I think of your family so often and am praying for you all during this season. Cannot wait to see the second generation on t.v.. DAF

  25. Andy Casillas Hein says:

    I’m so glad you’re not waiting till you’re past menopause craziness before you learn that lesson. Do what you want when you want to, the hell with whoever is watching. Yea, go and have a good time. Lorenzo will be there with a huge smile.

  26. Patti Newton says:

    You’re a chip off the old (freak) block!

  27. Joanne Monia says:

    Hammer Jane – Thank you so much for your inspiration….love reading your blogs…. you are simply amazing!!!! Nice to see you write and I can feel your Dad in all things you have written. Let your Freak Flag Fly and I will try to do the same! DSB girlfriend! ❤

  28. Barbara Archer says:

    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
    ― Thomas A. Edison

  29. Janey says:

    You are quite wise for a young women. I am three times your age. So many of us have held back because we didn’t want to look foolish (it’s called perfectionism). Sounds like your dad is right there with you in spirit urging you to take the next step. Take it for him. Make it happen for you. Many blessings to you.

  30. Kat O says:

    We learn to crawl,then we stand up and awkwardly walk, we fall but we continue to get up and keep trying. Our loved ones and those who know you cheer you on and encourage you. You got this sweetie.

  31. gmaj1939 says:

    Hannah please continue with your dream. If you are your dads girl, and I know you are, you will knock it out of the park. God bless, I will be watching for you.

  32. Anonymous says:

    You go, girl!!!!

  33. Linda says:

    You’re not going to fail…just let us know when and where and we’ll be there with you to cheer you on!

  34. Cheryl Pronchick says:

    Hannah, you are such an inspiration! I wish I knew what you know when I was your age. Go get ’em, girl!

  35. Kelly O'Connor says:

    Hannah, you are absolutely correct, in that you should never worry about what people think. This is what makes the world so wonderful!
    I love the quote at the end!
    And I do “weird” well!!! Lol
    Kelly O’Connor

  36. Tony says:

    What a shot of being in the moment. Thanks for this gentle and very real reminder of not taking time for granted.

  37. Linda Gloria says:

    Hannah, thank you so much for making me see that I’m not alone. I just know you will be great at any adventure you take on. I’ll be watching

  38. After my Dad passed I celebrated his life by doing something he loved, “taking pictures” I was nervous at first when a friend asked me to photograph their wedding. I felt my Dad’s presence with me and with his help we did a great job. (So I was told) .
    Go for it Hannah, your Dad will be with you and smiling !
    FYI I’m still taking pictures 17 years later & made into a rewarding business.
    best, Michele Friszell

  39. Marilyn Mueller says:

    You’ve got what it takes and what it takes is attitude and determination. Go for it! I’ll be watching for you!

  40. Sadie P. says:

    You’re an inspiration Hannah just like your Dad was and still is. You fly your flag high and proud. I plant to every single day.

  41. Vicki Markley says:

    How can you possibly be anything but fantastically amazing. You have strong journalistic genes, an incredible last year of awesome, sensitive, insightful writing behind you, and a loving supportive family behind you~ Congratulations sweet Hannah and I am so excited to look forward to and witness your first live T.V. report~ Reach for those stars!!

    • Jean says:

      Hannah – I love reading your blogs. My best friend died of the same brain cancer as your Dad in September. Then my Mom died on the same day as your dad – so I sort of feel we are kindred spirits. Your blogs make me smile and makes me feel I can do anyhtinhg cuz I am strong. Thank you very much.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Hannah thank you!! I soooo needed this today! I’m going to let my freak flag fly!! Thank you – and thank you Loren!! Hugs and lots of love to you all. Keep writing and inspiring! 🙂

  43. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful point. We all need to head towards those things we are intimidated by..if we fail, so be it..not the end of the world. if we have some success we will have gained inner strength as well as that awesome sense of accomplishment. I look forward to seeing you on your firsTV report..and I am sure it will be enjoyed by many..Freak Flag and all!

  44. Anonymous says:

    You will be nothing short of fantastic!!!!

  45. Anonymous says:

    You have a wonderful gift of communicating. I put my odds on you succeeding. Your Dad gave you a great deal of good advice. I am sorry for your family’s loss.


  46. Anonymous says:

    You ARE, your fathers daughter. If you speak in public as well as you write, you have it made. You know that he is up there, watching you and prodding you on. Good luck on whatever you choose to do with your life.

  47. GT says:

    Good for you! It’s hard to get over the fear of failing but really, the only way to grow. I’ve been following this blog since you and your dad started it. You are a very good writer and I’m sure you will transition into TV successfully. And lastly, I hope you and your family are coping well with the loss of your dad.

  48. Lisa says:

    Hi Hannah Jane, Thank You again for this blog! 🙂 I think I’m going dancing tonight, woohoo…. Much light and love to you on your next endeavor! ❤

  49. Anonymous says:

    You’re so right!

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