In exactly nine weeks time Lee and I will be settling into our seats, about to depart for India and the life we have been dreaming of for nearly two years.
Well actually, I’ve been dreaming of it in one way or another for my entire adult life, I just didn’t have the courage to admit it, or the foresight to see where this courage would take me. But eventually my overwhelming desire to travel the world won out, and in doing so, acted as the catalyst for a wealth of independent change.
In many ways I feel that over the past 20 months I have perhaps travelled further on a personal level than I ever will geographically. I have gone from being a secretive, debt-ridden spendaholic, to a money saving workaholic who shares every detail of their life on the internet; from being £15K in debt to £15K in credit.
It’s been one hell of a turnaround.
People often ask me how I paid off and saved so much in such a short space of time, and (thanks to some inspiring words from Ayngelina Brogan) I am now planning on writing an eBook that will detail every step of my process. Until then though, I wanted to share with you the greatest tool that has helped me change my life:
I learnt to tell the truth, both to myself and others.
I used to feel like a swirling culmination of secrets and lies. There was the person I had been, the person I was but was too afraid to be, and the pretense of myself I displayed to others. Eventually, truth was the magic ingredient that mixed all the elements together, and there I was.
It gave me permission to fill the spaces with me, and I became full, whole.
Eleanor Roosevelt said that you should do one thing every day that scares you. I can think of no better way of acting on her sage advice than to always speak the truth. Honesty scares the shit out of me on a daily basis, but I lean into my fear and push through until I reach a place on the other side where I can make peace with it.
Telling the truth about our lives is the best contribution we can make.
- Susannah Conway
Case in point: Recently I was asked by a national British magazine to take part in an interview about my debt, and the fact that I had kept it a secret from Lee. Titled The New Cheating (ouch!), it pushed me to the very limits of my truth.
This article was published today. Holy. Shit.
Equal parts utterly humiliating and liberating, to me it feels like the final step in dealing with the shame that still lingered in the folded corners of my story.
It wasn’t easy sharing my experiences in this way, but I had made a choice to be honest, and so I stuck by that. Though it isn’t 100% accurate (what media interview ever is?!), I hope it might be of some help to other people in similar situations, and encourage them to face their own truths.
Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.
- Brené Brown
I am letting myself be seen.
I am no saint. I am crude. I say fuck a lot, I burp when I drink beer or champagne and I always think tequila is a good idea. But I am fiercely loyal, open-hearted and generous, and if you let me into your world, I’ll leave my doors wide open in return. I learn from my mistakes, and share my lessons willingly in the hope that others might find some comfort in my words.
Because we are all different, and all the same.
None of us are perfect, and that in itself is perfection to me. It is our flaws and idiosyncrasies that set us apart, and we need to learn to see the beauty in that; to share our stories and help each other move closer towards our dreams.
To quote Susannah Conway again: “The world is smaller when we tell the truth about our lives.”
So let’s travel it together.
Those of you who have been following my journey will already know what happened since I revealed the truth about my debt. But for those of you who might be visiting here for the first time following my interview – firstly thank you and welcome, and secondly everything else you might like to know should be here on my blog, but if it isn’t, please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email.