Having the Courage to Live a Truly Audacious Life

05/14/2015 07:02 pm ET | Updated May 14, 2016

Audacious, as defined in the dictionary, means "showing the willingness to take surprisingly bold risks". I'd say that pretty much sums up my life these days.

But, I wasn't always so bold, or willing, to do such audacious things. I played life "safe" for many years. I'm sure you know the drill:

  • Living daily life on autopilot
  • Answering "it's fine" when indeed it's not fine at all
  • Staying in a career you might "like", at best
  • Saying "yes" to things you don't want to do
  • And the biggest one of all...lying to yourself day in and day out...that one day, you will do "x", or one day you will take that trip to "y", or one day you will fulfill that dream of "z"

At the age of 28 (I am now 38.), I woke up to a failed marriage of seven years and $5.00 to my name. My ex-husband had a gambling problem that I wasn't aware of, and he had not only sunk our marriage though deceit and lies, but our credit was sunk, we were behind in our mortgage and our bills, and the love was gone. When I came out of shock and stitched all the pieces together to this terrifying puzzle, guess what the first words out of my mouth were? Yep, you guessed it, "It's fine, honey. We will make it work." And I tried to do just that. And the following year, we were in the same sinking ship again. That was the year that I decided I was going to start living life on my own terms, no matter how hard the transition was going to be, and no matter who I had to "release" from my life to do so. I packed my bags, sold my house, regrouped for a few months by staying with my older sister, then rented an apartment and began building a new life. This life was much different:

  • I embraced spontaneity more in my day to day happenings.
  • I erased "It's fine." from my vocabulary. That standard response generally means it's not fine at all.
  • I started saying "no" to opportunities and people who didn't light me up with passion and gusto.
  • And I made a monthly "bucket list" of foods, classes, and trips I wanted to experience.
By now, I was 30, living in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I was back in the dating scene! I met a wonderful guy from Brooklyn, named Michael, and we began a long-distance relationship. Every six weeks or so, we would fly back and forth between LaGuardia and Charlotte. I got to experience the big city life of New York City, which was quite a drastic change from the 4,000 person town I was raised in! I tried new foods (Falafel is my all-time favorite!), listened to all kinds of new music, attend parties that started at midnight, and really fell in love with learning about cultures and traveling to foreign parts of the world.

Michael and I married, and I once again packed my bags and headed to Brooklyn, where I reside today. I was a public school teacher for 15 years, and when I knew that it was time for a change, because everything in my career wasn't "fine," I ditched my teaching job in four months flat and opened my business, The Writing Whisperer. That was two years ago, and I haven't looked back.

I am living what I often refer to as a dream life. I love my business and the work I am doing. I have complete freedom over my days and evenings. I am packing my bags this year for the Bahamas, Bali, and London -- all of which I will travel to in a four-month timespan. I am training for the November New York City Marathon, and I am making friendships with people around the world.

I often pinch myself to make sure my audacious life is really true. I make decisions rooted in love and compassion, and I live every single day with purpose and zeal. Above all, I remain grateful and count my blessings each night.

Do you dream of loving every single moment of every single day? Is it time to make some changes, so that you, too, can live an audacious life? In my memoir, the final words read, "head west -- I'll be waiting for you." Reset your compass and join me -- you won't be disappointed.