Dear Family and Friends

For the last 10 months, I have been lying to you. Or, not so much lying as living somewhat of a double life. And it all started when I decided to come home early from Toronto…

It’s hard to admit but the only deciding factor in that decision was the fact that I had no money. Literally. I had about $600 in my chequing account and more than $500 of that was accounted for in automatic savings and debt repayment withdrawals. On top of having no cash, all of my available credit was basically maxed out. Financially, I had hit rock bottom. I tried to put on a happy face and act like I was content with my decision to come home but there were many nights I cried myself to sleep (both in Toronto and in my tiny makeshift bedroom downstairs at home).

Now here’s where the double life part comes in. Since then, while you’ve all been able to shop, go to concerts and take amazing trips, I’ve been here: writing this blog. Through my blog and others, as well as Twitter, I have been connecting and building friendships with hundreds of people from all over the world, who may be or had been in my situation. With their guidance and support, I have managed to stay strong in my debt repayment journey. I haven’t shopped. I haven’t traveled. I haven’t even dyed my freaking hair. What I have done is stick to a tight budget and pay off more than $16,000 of debt. In fact, as of Friday, my credit card statement will finally say that I owe $0.

You might be wondering why I am telling you this now. Well, as you may know, I’ve also picked up some freelance writing in the last year. What you don’t know is that each of those opportunities came from writing this blog. Writing here is why I was offered my first freelance writing contract with RateSupermarket.ca. My personal posts and tweets helped me land my internship at LearnVest. One of the co-founders of Glass Heel asked me to add some personal finance content to their site. And now, based on my experiences, my new passion for personal development has lead me to the most exciting opportunity yet.

Two weeks ago, I was accepted into The Bold Academy. In July, The Bold Academy will bring 26 hand-picked individuals to Boulder, Colorado and connect them with world-class mentors and speakers, expert-led workshops, skill-building sessions, learn-by-doing experiences, and playful adventures. This month-long, life-changing experience is designed to help people find clarity, build confidence, and unlock the ability to lead the life they’ve always wanted to live. And I could be one of those people. But I need your help.

Currently, there are 50 people fundraising the cost of their tuition and only the first 26 to raise it and pay can go. I want to be one of the 26 people who gains everything they need to live the life they’ve always wanted. I want to be pushed and challenged. I want to learn that I am capable of more than I think I am. And, most importantly, I want to come home as the best version of myself; for me, for my relationships – both personal and professional – and for my future.

I’m sorry for hiding all of this from you before. I’m sorry for being too scared to admit my mistakes. I’m sorry for not telling you the whole truth about where each of my new opportunities had come from. And I’m sorry for ever worrying that you wouldn’t support me. There were so many moments where I wanted to share, gush and brainstorm with you, but the fear of your disappointment was too much. As I’ve recently learned, fear seems to be the only thing that has held me back from a number of possibilities. And I don’t want to be scared of doing anything anymore.

Can you forgive me for keeping this secret from you? And can you help me secure my spot in the Bold Academy?

Love you all, xoxo

Cait / Caity / Caitlin

Oh and Dad… don’t worry. Just because I was once nearly maxed out doesn’t mean I ruined my credit score. Last time I checked, it was 778.

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