These last two months have been weird. Sorry, future Jessica, for not keeping up with the monthly recaps. Maybe I’ll go back and do that eventually. Sorry, loyal readers (mostly my grandparents and uncles), for abandoning my posts. But I’m back now.
So, where’d I go? That’s a good question and not one I’ll really be able to answer. Maybe ever. Physically, I was in Peru and Argentina… mentally? Not so confident.
I had an inability to write, even non-personal things, over the last two months. I struggled a lot with my emotions – constantly changing my mind and taking it out on people I care about. I couldn’t explain my emotions to you if I had tried, and believe me, I had tried.
But now, I’m back. And although I can’t tell you where I was, I can tell you how I got here and what I’m doing now. Because I can write again!! <- see proof of written words!
The biggest factor in coming back? I quit my job. I no longer work for Nielsen. I had a good 2.5 years on their Marketing Mix team, and I’m ever grateful for the learning experiences and the people I met, but it was time for me to move on. The direction I want my career to go didn’t match up with the opportunities that Nielsen had to offer me, so I said my goodbyes.
What am I doing instead? Well, I’m one of those crazy people who took a chance and quit a job with no other job lined up. Was it the smartest decision? We’ll never know. But I do think it was the right decision for me and my circumstances. Since giving my two week’s notice, I have had a few offers for interviews – which were rare while I was still employed. I applied for a coding bootcamp and scholarship and received it! Honestly, the timing of these things freaks me out to the point where I can’t help but explain with: I trusted that my future wasn’t mine to control or plan and quit with no job lined up, and I was immediately given opportunities that I had been waiting on and aiming for. Immediately! Like that same day, I got emails to set up phone interviews. After weeks of no interviews. God is good.
So, the details of what I’m doing now that I’m not at Nielsen are still being hammered out. Don’t worry, friends, I’ve got until May 27th around 10am before I’m officially homeless. As long as I find a bed to sleep in that night, I’ll be fine. Also, can someone go tell 18 yr old Jessica to stop freaking out about colleges? That first rejection letter hit hard. But she’s got a future she can’t even imagine planning.
Besides my career life helping me come “back,” I’ve also gotten some push from the Remote Year program. After 11 months of traveling, I’m exhausted.
Don’t spread this secret, but I really miss America. I miss knowing where things are in the grocery store. I miss knowing how to use my stove and oven. I miss fast food. I miss having a currency that I don’t have to convert. I miss not riding in a really old elevator every day. I miss H&M, Target, and Chipotle. I miss movie theaters. I miss speaking English in situations where I am tired, grumpy, hangry, scared, or confused. And I realize that these are not significant things, but they are things that have worn me out this month.
And instead of them making me more sad, like they were in Peru (where we didn’t have running water in many apartment buildings for just over a week – so much character was formed, haha), these things make me excitedly anxious now. I can see the finish line. In 36 days, I will say goodbye to an incredible year of constant travel and to an even more incredible group of people. But I have no doubt that this is a group of people that will see each other again. And the next time I choose to travel, I will get to make decisions about where I stay and what I spend. It has been a blessing and a curse letting Remote Year plan my year. I have loved it and I have been frustrated at times. I’m glad I did it, but I’m ready to make decisions again.
So, there you have it. I’m back. I’m writing again. I’m smiling more. I am optimistic about what is to come. And I am so grateful for anyone who cared for me – subtly or overtly – over these last two months. I was a mess, but I’ve found my way back and your help was greatly appreciated.
I’ll have more life news next time as my Remote Year comes to a close. For now, I’m happy with my potential options. I can’t say which one will end up a reality, but I’ll keep you updated when it does.