Welcome to the first part of the series to serialize my book The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom. Every other week will have another segment of the story of how a 23-year-old dancer struggles with and ultimately overcomes the burdens of her crushing financial debt. Look for posts on a variety of topics in the intervening weeks.
Since I am not a writer, my story would probably never have been told if I hadn’t met my mentor, who helped me get out from under the burden of debt and improve my financial life. My mentor was neither wealthy nor a man. She seldom told me what to do, although she did encourage me to write about the twists and turns in my own journey to financial freedom. Rather, she helped me understand my life and my finances by her encouragement, examples, and questions. In the course of dealing with my money cares, I learned to see my life as a spiritual adventure. I discovered and developed aspects of myself that I would not have imagined existed. And I found a lifelong friend in my mentor. I believe my story offers a message of hope. As my teacher’s wisdom and generosity helped me meet many challenges in my life and eventually free myself from debt, I hope that this retelling will help others. In some ways, my story appears to me to be the story of America at a certain moment in its history, when wealth and debt raced in a rivalry that mastered my life and the lives of so many people around me. My story is about my decision to end my participation in that race; in fact, to imagine my life in a new way that made the idea of a race beside the point.
This series represents an accurate portrayal of a crucial six months of my life, but even my efforts to fit my life into a story are open to questions, since I felt my life was more like a flood, moving me in ways and places that I would never have expected. This story is an account of some difficult and exciting times in the course of that joyous overflowing.