I Want to Be Bold

Knowing that I’m one week away from having $0 in credit card debt has left me both excited and uncertain. First, the idea of it is almost unimaginable. Not even a year ago, I was maxed out, borrowing $70 from my 17-year-old sister, because I had less than $100 to last me more than 6 weeks. I used to stare at my credit card statements, holding back tears while feeling my heart pound out of my chest.

As of next Friday, that will be nothing more than a memory. A lesson learned. Something that helped me change my life and took me down a path I never knew existed. One where I’m finally happy with what I have and can accept the things I don’t. And, for the first time in my life, I’m actually finishing something I started. To say I’m mentally and physically rebuilding my confidence and my life would be an understatement.

Over the last month, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what’s next. Financially, I’m going to have a few hundred dollars each month that I can now “play” with. My immediate thoughts were to start paying down my other loans sooner or start saving for a down payment. Before that, maybe I would save up for a new bed. Or, heck, even a trip. But I haven’t been able to make a decision on any one of those things, because last week I was presented with a new option.

After writing a simple tweet – one that was both serious and a joke – I received an email from Amber Rae. If you’ve never heard of her before, Amber is a motivational rockstar. She is “hell-bent on cultivating a world where human potential is not governed by what we’re told we can and cannot do, but rather by our highest intentions and inner gifts.” In her email, Amber addressed my financial situation but encouraged me to apply for a spot in the Bold Academy – a month-long, life-changing experience designed to help people find clarity, build confidence, and unlock the ability to lead the life they’ve always wanted to live.

I had been following Amber’s journey in thinking up the Bold Academy and, with each blog post she wrote, knew it was somewhere I wanted to be. For years, I’ve felt stuck in a life I should be living while wanting something completely different. I’ve come up with business ideas that I knew in my heart could change my world and the lives of others. It’s what lead me to Toronto… and eventually back into my parents’ basement! Because I always got stuck. Usually with fear. The fear of failing. The fear of looking stupid. And the fear of having no one care about me or my passions.

I don’t want to be scared anymore. Over the last 10 months, I have learned that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to. I went from being a total couch potato to running a 5K. I paid off $10,000 of debt in 6 months. I wiped out a $6,500 credit card balance I’d been building since I was 19. And I’ve lived without new clothes, shoes and hairstyles for over a year, gosh darnit!

Now, I want to go to the Bold Academy. I want to spend the month of July in Boulder, Colorado, surrounded by like-minded individuals, speakers, motivators, entrepreneurs, personal trainers, career coaches and life-changers. I want to be challenged and tested until I know how to overcome fear and take charge of building the life I want. Most importantly, I want to feel so alive that I cannot help but push all of my energy into helping the world around me.

So, I took Amber’s offer and spent an afternoon banging out answers into the application form. Answers that were so brutally honest, I was wiping the tears off my keyboard. Those tears were worth it. Two days later, I got the email from Amber I was hoping for. I was in. But so were 49 others. And only the first 26 to fundraise for and pay the tuition will get the honour of joining the first-ever class of the Bold Academy.

For the next two months, my usual credit card payments will go into a Bold Academy savings account. I’m going to ask the fam to help with what they can now, as well as what they would have given me for my birthday and graduation this summer. And my bosses have said I can use all of my vacation that month, if I can raise the cost of tuition. The ball is rolling… and I can’t stop shaking with excitement, at the thought of what is next for me.

Do you want to see the tweet that started all of this? Check out my fundraising page and know that if you could part with a $5 latte, a $10 lunch or a $15 bottle of wine (that I would never want you to give up, otherwise) you’d be helping me start a journey that I know will not only change me but the world around me; including the personal finance community. I have big plans for us!

The only thing I have left to ask is…

Can you fit me into your budget?