What a year 2019 has been! Full disclosure… I’ve been terrified a lot of the time but, rather than give in to these feelings and just carrying on as I was, I did what the author, Susan Jeffers, encourages in her infamous book: “feel the fear and do it anyway”.
And so it was that back in March I took the decision to leave the security of a very good job and take a six month break to travel the world. I free-wheeled it around South East Asia without any plan or agenda, staying in hostel dorm rooms, living off street food, and embracing all the new people I met from many different walks of life. The entire experience was incredible and very humbling, and it gave me a sense of freedom that I’d never felt before.
About half way into my trip, I was climbing a volcano in Bali called Mount Batur, where I met the wonderful Ali @a1i_p1. We were hiking through the night so that we would reach the summit for sunrise. Finally arriving at the top around 5am, the sun emerged over the horizon, illuminating only the thick grey clouds that shrouded us. Despite seeing none of the spectacular views that we had set out to see, I found myself feeling immensely grateful that I was able bodied enough to climb the volcano and to have met a very interesting guy on the hike, who was the first to nudge my life in a different direction. Something that my wonderful brother has often said to me when I’m trying to achieve a goal and struggling to get there is to “enjoy the journey” and for the first time in my life I actually felt what he meant… this entire hike wasn’t about seeing the sunrise; it was about enjoying the moments getting there and learning from them. This was a groundbreaking life lesson for me personally.
Something my brother often says to me when I'm trying to achieve a goal is to "enjoy the journey". For the first time in my life I actually felt what he meant.
The beginning of change...
After the hike I was introduced to Ali’s friend, Nichole @itstartedattwentysomething; such a wise and switched-on woman who is a total inspiration to me. Nichole challenged me in ways that nobody else ever had before, encouraging me to take steps to achieve what it is that I really want in life and offering practical advice on how to get there. I honestly believe it was fate that I met this amazing woman and that she changed the course of my life. As I set about planning how I will realise my dreams, another great turn of fortune occurred… one of my oldest friends who had been living abroad, Kirsty @kirstyat82, was relocating back to London at the same time as me and was so unbelievably generous in offering me her support and encouragement, for which I will be eternally grateful.
When I returned to London in September I set about starting a business in helping people achieve happiness with their homes through interior design and decluttering. I am a people-person at heart, and my love for design as well as my very neat tendencies just made this my dream job. So there I was, beavering away on all the administration of setting up a business, building a website and, finally in October, launching! The first day I announced this to the world, clients immediately emerged… both for my interior design services and for decluttering. I even got to work for my favourite print designer, Anna Hayman @annahaymandesigns and it was such a privilege to work for someone so talented and who inspires me so much. It quickly became clear to me that when I was truly going after what I wanted, things just started slotting into place.
What 2019 has taught me is that if you want something enough, you have to put yourself out there and just go for it, regardless of how far out of your comfort zone you feel. It’s also taught me how important it is to surround yourself with people who help to build you up and who inspire you. I am so incredibly grateful to my amazing family and friends who have been my biggest cheerleaders. Now we find ourselves at the beginning of a new year and I am so excited about what it holds. I'd like to wish you all a fantastic and life-enriching 2020! With much love, Vanessa xxx