Bankruptcy is a word I learned very young. Bankruptcy is when a company's liabilities exceed its assets, so a process is used to sort everything out. But to me, bankruptcy is the process of my family tearing apart. It is having the locks changed on our doors. It is people taking away our furniture. It's something my parents never really explained to me, but I figured it out.
Bankruptcy taught me to fear that everything I have could be taken away.
I never dreamed of making a difference in the world – only of surviving it.
After our bankruptcy, I became terrified of risk. Every action I took was to guarantee a secure job, with a secure future. To follow my passion, do what I love, find my calling – these were follies of the foolish. I was too smart to fall for those traps.
Fear was suffocating me.
But as I made my way in the world, small moments of hope emerged. I saved money. I bought a car. I got promoted. I slowly allowed myself to dream.
My past will always be with me, but it won't decide my future. My past gave me resilience, compassion, and strength – but I won't let it burden me with fear. To have dreams and to follow them isn't folly – it is courageous. And I choose courage over fear.