Being Brave

IMG_8600Sometimes to get what you want out of life you have to be willing to make the jump and take the plunge.

With spring around the corner (who are we kidding, it has been 80 degrees in LA since February), I decided to pop into Sephora and purchase some self-tanner. I have had a giftcard to Sephora since July (thanks for the birthday gift, brother!) and it was finally time to redeem it. I picked out the St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse as I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. While in line to check out, I noticed a woman shopping.

It was Ingrid Nilsen.


She creates content for YouTube and her channel has almost four million subscribers. I am one of them and have been for over 5 years now (it has been live since 2009). Ingrid seems to have a genuinely kind and caring heart, which has hooked me to her channel throughout the years. She also loves cooking, traveling, chocolate, and her cat Nugget.

What mosts inspires me about Ingrid is her bravery. She speaks openly about hard-hitting issues that matter most to her, such as her place in the LGBT community and issues close to women that aren’t often discussed in a public setting (i.e. menstrual cycles). I mean, how many of you women would feel comfortable talking about your preference between pads, tampons, and menstrual cups on a platform that reaches millions of viwers? If you are interested in seeing that video, click here.

I think Ingrid’s commitment to keep her channel unfiltered and uninhibited by social stigmas came about when she posted this video. Believing that “we all deserve our best chance” Ingrid opened up about her sexual orientation. She came out to the YouTube community and the world. Her brutally open and wonderfully honest confession has over 14 million views currently.

“I was just living this quietly unhappy life. Where I just kept telling myself, essentially, I wasn’t worth of happiness… I’ve had this wall up for so much of my life. But it wasn’t like this brick or stone wall…[it was] a glass wall. Where you could see me, but you were never getting all of me” -Ingrid Nilsen

The vulnerability. The sincerity. The courage. It speaks to me. As someone who puts many aspects of my life on a public platform, Ingrid has my utmost respect. Ingrid loves herself enough to bare all. She knows that her best chance at happiness is to be true to yourself, unapologetically as she says, unreserved and unabashed as I say.

Now that you know this amazing person I was presented with, let me take you back to Sephora. When I saw her shopping, I felt like a deer in headlights. I wanted to walk over and tell her how awesome I think she is and completely fangirl out, but I was scared. I felt timid and shy and it was easier to look away than to push myself out of my comfort zone. With a deep breath I reminded myself that life is about growing, and in order to do that, I would have to challenge myself. As I was already waiting in line when I noticed her, I resolved to say hello when I was done checking out. Well, whether bad luck or an act of God, when I turned away from the cashier, Ingrid had moved. The logical thing to do would have been to make a quick lap around the store in search of her. I, instead, gave myself 6 seconds in which to glance around. Surprise, surprise, I didn’t see Ingrid. I walked out.

As I left the store, I immediately felt a sinking feeling. I was missing a great opportunity to meet someone who has inspired me for years. More than that, I was choosing to miss this opportunity.

Like Ingrid, my aim is to help people pursue and live their most authentic life: setting aside monetary restraints, familial pressure, or social ignominies in the endeavor of personal and individualized fulfillment.

With such similar goals, I am sure approaching Ingrid could only have benefited our cause. If the conversation allowed for it, I could have introduced Ingrid to FromBrownEyes. If she supported my message, who knows what could have happen. Ingrid would be a great person to have in my corner, even if just in the smallest way. Ingrid’s channel alone has 311 million views, so you can bet her thoughts, actions, and support means something. So much so, that she was recently able to interview President Obama. Talk about public influence. You can watch the view here.

As you can tell, I have nothing by great things to say to Ingrid, so why didn’t I take the time to tell her everything I’ve just written?! She deserves to hear it.

Today, by not saying anything, I did Ingrid, myself, my goals, and FromBrownEyes a disservice. She should know the impact she has had on me and our ambitions deserve to have their best chance at helping others.

Maybe I am being idealistic in hoping that talking to her could have such an impact. Maybe it was the right thing to not disturb her as she shopped. Maybe I’m just telling myself this to assuage my regret…

Either way, what’s done is done, but I am going to take this missed opportunity and do my best to counteract it. Instead of regretting my nervousness, I am going to make four other opportunities happen for myself today. I will remedy the disservices I mentioned above.

  1. For Ingrid, I am going to reach out to an influential woman and thank her for her contribution and the impact she has had on my life and the lives of other women.
  2. For myself, I am going to push against my comfort zone.
  3. For my goals, I am going to purchase the domain name of the future company I want to found. Although it may be years before it comes to fruition (if ever), I want to know that the name I have chosen will be available.
  4. For FromBrownEyes, I am going to promote my message to a company with similar self-development aims.

I will follow up with at post detailing what these four actions will specifically look like and what, if anything, comes of them.

Today made me realize something. I have always known, maybe if only subconsciously, what I wanted out of life. Now I understand that I need not be scared to make it happen.


Do you go for what you want out of life? Let us know below.


3 thoughts on “Being Brave

  1. Bill Ochalek

    There is a line I love in the movie “We bought a Zoo”, where Matt Damon’s character (Benjamin) is telling his teenage son (Dylan) that being scared is normal and how to get passed it. He says: “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally, twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”. Dylan uses it to talk to a girl he likes, and tell her that. Benjamin used it to introduce himself to Dylan’s late mom years before.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Lost – From Brown Eyes

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