Inspired By / Januaries

by SARAH MATHEWS

 
 Always look up, that's my advice for life and New York sidewalks. To the person who let go of these in SoHo in November 2016, this hopeful visual has always stayed with me. 

Always look up, that's my advice for life and New York sidewalks. To the person who let go of these in SoHo in November 2016, this hopeful visual has always stayed with me. 

 

Every January, I find myself reflecting on the year we've just neatly filed away under its respective numbers .... 2-0-1-7. Some years are easier to see the back of than others but ultimately, we bookend our experiences with a December and a January.

For me, 2017 felt like a collection of endings and it didn't surprise me that that was the first thought that landed. It's human nature to suspend ourselves in difficult storylines; we find ourselves replaying events over and over in our mind and spend countless hours imagining how it could have played out differently when, very often, they never get the chance. When I stopped for a minute to think about the rest of the year and how much I had achieved (despite those difficult stories), it made me wonder why we give so much power to the icebergs in our lives. Looking at Instagram, to the highlights, you’d be none the wiser ...

Like my decision to return home after a crazy 18 month 'Eat Pray Love' adventure, traveling and living in a remote fishing village in Thailand; fond memories ending that trip in Koh Kood with my Irish best, riding our "death scooters" up and down every steep hill without fuel gauges or brakes (who needs 'em); coming home to find my dream apartment and renovation project smack-bang in the middle of the Dolce & Gabbana of decor shops; landing another styling and branding project that took me back to Bangkok and the opportunity to collaborate with really funny and talented people - who could forget that charming Italian photographer with the fear of heights who swore that 'just because I'm Italian, doesn't mean I have a restaurant', naturally we talked about pasta to distract him from the fact that we were outside and 63 storeys up. There were so many laughs and so many fun adventures - my favourite being the spontaneous trip to Bali that almost didn’t happen. Those unscripted moments that give life to freedoms and possibility are the ones I’ve come to insist upon.

You see, Januaries have a beautiful way of making you look to the future and the past that's just been. They suspend our lessons in time and give us permission to actually do something with them, right here and now. While we’re so quick to think we’re already in February, March … yet another Christmas, this invitation is always with us.

The thing about endings are the beginnings that follow. This January marks the first time this tiny space on the internet has lit up... something that, quite honestly, lights me up! It was an invitation that came my way more than a year ago, one that was in the works long before Janie (my business partner) and I even realised it and you just have to hear our story to see how we managed to create something beyond our wildest dreams with so much more in the pipeline (more on that later). She has seen me through many icebergs but has been even more instrumental and inspiring in coaching me through the light. She's held onto my ideas and my 'always look up' approach to life and the company she registered more than four years ago now has bold ambitions to help give life, action or spirit to whatever it is you desire. I used to joke with her and say: 'if there was some way I could put you in everybody's pocket the world would be a better place'. I'm smiling as I type this because after years of leaning in, that dream is finally here. It is light, it is fierce and it is only just the beginning...