Sunday, January 12, 2014


When G & I last met with our phenomenal financial planner Verhanika, she asked me to tell her the story behind my debt.

This is not a story I had discussed with her before this meeting.

In general, I approach our meetings with an I-have-debt-and-it-must-die resolve that has made impossible any discussion of the whys and hows in favour of the what-nows.

And, in honesty, I never thought it mattered, so I never thought to bring it up, which is why I was caught unaware when she asked me for the story behind the Beast.

I started the story, stopped. Where to start?

"I was 18," I said. "I had no choice."

Then my chin quivered. That horrible, telltale quiver I thought I'd left behind in childhood.

"I didn't know."

I took on my first loan while my family was in upheaval, and I didn't realize until Verhanika asked me about my history with how I acquired this debt just how entangled my emotions from that time are with the debt itself.

"I had no choice."

For as long as I'm in debt, I will have no choice. I've related debt to my sense of control over my life, even though I exert all sorts of control and make conscious, informed decisions about my life every single day. It takes away my sense of self-determination.

Debt disempowers me.

Somewhere along the way my ability and determination to pay debt has become a way for me to heal the hurts I've carried in this monetary total. This isn't just about money. It's about my history, a little bit of hurt, a girl who had no choice, and a woman who wants to be free.

Debt is an emotion.

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