The truth shall set you free

42 comments

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, 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

You might also like to subscribe to my blogs posts via email (it’s free!), or visit my Facebook page.

break

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda | A Crafty Traveler July 29, 2012 at 10:06

Your story is really inspiring and you should be so proud of how far you’ve come. You are very brave to have been so candid and I have no doubt that your story has helped a lot of people in the same predicament. I can’t wait to start reading all about your adventures in India!

Reply

Hannah July 30, 2012 at 10:34

Thank you Amanda, your comment really means a lot. It hasn’t been an easy process, in fact it’s been hideous at times, but it’s been so worthwhile 🙂

Reply

kittencat July 29, 2012 at 11:50

Which publication is the debt/cheating feature in? Can I buy from local newsagent or… ?
🙂
And an Ebook of your financial/spiritual journey a fab idea… will deffo put my name down for one! 🙂

Reply

Hannah July 30, 2012 at 10:35

It was in Fabulous Magazine – but they’ve basically made up their own version of my story, which is ironic considering the fact that the article is supposed to be about being honest!
And I’m thrilled that you would like a copy of my future eBook, thank you 🙂

Reply

Tiffany @ theUnimaginedLife July 29, 2012 at 14:45

Hannah-
As much as I can possibly love someone I’ve never met, I love you…! This much and more… You are an amazing woman, an unbelievably talented writer, and one of the truest sources of inspiration I’ve come across on the blogosphere. Thank you for being so transparent, so raw, and so real…
xoxo Tiffany

Reply

Hannah July 30, 2012 at 10:47

Wow, what an incredible compliment… I don’t know what to say, except THANK YOU 🙂

Reply

Joan July 29, 2012 at 14:48

Hannah, you make me smile every time I read what you have to say. I’d never have met you if we BOTH weren’t committed to putting it out there in the spirit of truth, the good, the bad and the really icky.
Very nice to have “met” you – and I cannot WAIT to hear about your journey!

Reply

Hannah July 30, 2012 at 10:51

Joan, thank you so much for your comment! You continue to be a huge source of inspiration to me, and it means the world to have you following my journey. It’s so nice to have ‘met’ you too, and I hope I can continue to make you smile – what an honour 🙂

Reply

Naomi July 29, 2012 at 15:12

Good on you for taking such an unbelievably brave step! Can’t wait for the eBook – I’m sure it will be a smashing success!! 🙂

Reply

Hannah July 30, 2012 at 10:51

Thank you so much Naomi 🙂

Reply

Monica July 29, 2012 at 16:17

You are such a beautiful writer, person, and friend. Thank you for being so unabashedly YOU!

Reply

Hannah July 30, 2012 at 10:54

Ditto xxx

Reply

Jeff Dobbins July 29, 2012 at 20:21

Wow. I’m inspired. I’m usually trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do, who I’m “expected to be.” You’ve made me want to risk just being real…honest. Look forward to following your adventures in India.

Reply

Hannah July 30, 2012 at 10:59

Hi Jeff, thank you for your comment, I’m honoured that you feel inspired. I spent all of my 20s being who I thought I was expected to be, and it made me miserable. I never imagined the changes that would ensue simply by being honest – the truth has rocked my world and continues to do so.
Let it rock yours too 🙂

Reply

Victoria July 30, 2012 at 03:11

Beautiful post as always. I actually saved this to read at the end of the day. I always do that with things I’m looking forward to. I made a choice to be true a few years back too. My main issue is learning to hear myself properly. It’s tricky separating the external noise from your inner voice. I learn more all the time but I think it’s a journey that takes time. Mindfullness is my mantra.

Reply

Hannah July 30, 2012 at 11:06

Wow, I love that you did that, thank you! I feel as though I have found such a kindred spirit in you Victoria. Your authenticity shines through in your writing, and your journey inspires me so much 🙂

Reply

Ayngelina July 30, 2012 at 13:18

So so happy to hear this I really do believe you can help people and it’s also a great way to make some money on the road.
I’d be happy to review in on my site when you are done. I think a lot of my readers will find it inspiring.

Reply

Hannah July 30, 2012 at 14:57

Thank you so much for your inspiration and support Ayngelina – that would be great!

Reply

Rhonda July 30, 2012 at 15:25

A great post Hannah… we can all learn from your honesty about yourself that has helped you turn your life path around. I will say, we have got to meet one day because I think Tequila is always a good idea too. Thrilled for you that this journey is nearly becoming a true geographical fact as well as a personal one. Keep telling the truth!

Reply

Hannah August 2, 2012 at 22:26

Thank you Rhonda – and yes, tequila with you sounds wonderful! I look forward to that very much 🙂

Reply

Carmel July 30, 2012 at 15:40

I feel like I’m honest with myself, but if I really take notice, I see all the little white lies I tell myself on a regular basis and just how damaging they are. Even the littlest of lies we tell ourselves can be devastatingly destructive. It is scary to be honest, but like many things in life, it’s much scarier thinking about telling ourselves the truth than actually doing it. Our addictions are often rooted in these lies and admitting the truth weakens the power of the addiction. On paper, it seems so simple….
You’re completely right about those little “flaws” that we have–it’s part of what makes us human and helps us share our experiences. Personally, I think your flaws are fabulous!

Reply

Hannah August 2, 2012 at 22:29

Ah, those little white lies – I’m still not immune to them. Right now my LWL is that I can cope with my ridiculous workload AND packing up the rest of my life before we leave to India. I was trying to be optimistic, but now I realise I was kidding myself. Time to slow down…

Reply

Sarah Somewhere July 30, 2012 at 17:37

I’m so happy you are living your truth, Hannah, you are a beautiful soul! It has also been my experience that the truth has set me free, and continues to do so. I love what you write about being human, a huge part of my journey is acceptance, of self and in turn others, faults and all. There’s no point beating ourselves up for our failings, they are the parts of ourselves that allow us to grow and change. I’m excited for your book, writing from experience is the best way, and I know you will inspire change in so many others. Go girl!!

Reply

Hannah August 2, 2012 at 22:32

Thank you so much Sarah. I love the many parallels in our lives – I feel like I have known you forever even though we’ve never met (yet!).

Reply

Kim July 30, 2012 at 19:55

Hannah, this is beautiful and I completely agree. When I told the truth, first to myself and then to others, about the kind of life I wanted to live, it really did set me free.

Reply

Hannah August 2, 2012 at 22:33

It’s an incredibly potent thing isn’t it? Just being honest is possibly the most powerful tool in the world.

Reply

Adam July 31, 2012 at 03:20

Yup. Something I still work on everyday, though in a very different sense. I was never a chronic liar or something, but just very secretive and mysterious. I didn’t like to lie, but I didn’t like to be honest about what was going on with my life either. So just working on my site like you work on yours is strange and scary in how OPEN I have to be. So, your def brave sharing your story with said lying magazine, haha…

Reply

Hannah August 2, 2012 at 22:36

Thanks Adam. It’s funny isn’t it; how blogging can be the catalyst for so much. When I speak, I don’t hear my voice in the same way as I do when I read it. Now that I am pursuing my dream of being a writer, I feel the responsibility of every word I write, and the truth is the only option 🙂

Reply

Izy Berry August 1, 2012 at 20:46

I love that you’re being so frank and honest about your debt. It’s a step in the right direction for all of us, so thanks 🙂

Reply

Hannah August 2, 2012 at 22:36

Thank you so much Izy 🙂

Reply

EM | Cubicle Throwdown August 1, 2012 at 22:27

Love the honesty you are living Hannah, very inspiring! I hesitated at first about the level of sharing on my blog, especially with finances but I realized that part of the reason people get into trouble with it is that we are not open about it and so no one learns from each other. Thanks for sharing 🙂

Reply

Hannah August 2, 2012 at 22:38

Thank you so much, and you are absolutely right Em – if we were all open and honest about such things, there would be no need to keep them hidden. I say share and support – we are all in this together 🙂

Reply

Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) August 2, 2012 at 04:02

Hannah, I just wanted to let you know how deeply this post resonated with me. I thought it was so beautiful that you put yourself out there and spoke the unvarnished truth – I think the hardest thing we can do is to be completely honest about who we are and live our life so that we are completely accountable to ourselves. In the past few months, I have been doing my best to be honest with myself and with those around me about what I am feeling and although it can be hard, the relief I have felt in just being true to myself has been enormous. It’s one of those things where you wouldn’t necessarily think it should be so hard, but we get so used to veiling ourselves from others, that by opening ourselves up to the truth, we also make ourselves incredibly vulnerable. I see immense courage in you and the life you are living and find it so inspiring!

Reply

Hannah August 2, 2012 at 22:46

Wow, thank you so much for your lovely comment Steph. I’m so glad you have been making similar changes – it’s not easy, in fact I think it will always be a struggle, but I also think it is one of the greatest things we can do to make a difference in the world. I see immense courage in you too xxx

Reply

Heather August 8, 2012 at 03:02

Wow, few posts resonate like this one did with me. Well done.

Reply

Hannah August 16, 2012 at 02:26

Thank you so much Heather, that means the world to me 🙂

Reply

Therese August 11, 2012 at 08:13

Love this (but you knew I would!).
Also, did you say tequila?!
😉

Reply

Hannah August 16, 2012 at 02:26

You know me – I always say tequila!

Reply

Jasmine August 13, 2012 at 05:36

Wow, so after stumbling on your blog this morning, I have spent the entire day reading every entry. Beautiful… I am really looking forward to following your adventure when it finally begins. If you are interested in researching starting your own charity, there is an extraordinary young Aussie woman who has done just that in Cambodia. You can see her story here http://www.abc.net.au/austory/specials/childrenlessergod/default.htm
or visit the charity’s website here http://www.cambodianchildrenstrust.org/
You may even be able to pay them a visit if you ever end up in that part of the world. Good luck with everything you are planning (or un-planning!).

Reply

Hannah August 16, 2012 at 02:25

Hi Jasmine, thank you so much for your lovely comment, that is so sweet of you to read all of my posts! And thank you for the charity link – I will check it out now, it sounds amazing 🙂

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge