EOY Editor’s Note

Jessica Sturdy shares her weekly wellness series about a question triggering negative emotions, when you're not on the same path as your peers, and tapping in to what you truly want.

What. A. Year. I know it’s not quite over yet (only 19 more days!), but I’ve been reflecting a lot as the year (and my Remote Year program) winds down. I feel like I’ve been saying this for the past few years(🌪), but this year was somehow crazier than the last. If you’d have told me in January that I would be moving back to the United States in December after living in South America for four months, I would have laughed out loud. If you would have told me that I’d actually be sort of homeless, moving back into my brother and sister-in-laws spare bedroom, where I moved in to in August after I sub-letted my apartment fully furnished, I would have laughed even harder. I truly never could have guessed the happenings of this year! To be honest, it’s been a rough one (this spring and summer… oof, some of the most challenging months of my life), while simultaneously being one of the most interesting and thrilling years, jam-packed with “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities. (But like, real talk – if you know of any great apartments or housing situations in Chicago, help a girl out. The “#homelesschic’ phrase I use to describe my at-times disheveled attired has a whole new meaning right now.)

As I’ve been journaling more (one of my Remote Year goals that I’ve crushed!), I’ve sort of realized that I’ve been treating my blog more like a diary of sorts over the course of this 4-month Remote Year adventure. I used to share more in this style (in a “dear diary” sort of way) the first few years that I had the blog. I started this blog back in 2010 and over the years, it’s actually served as such an incredible way to go back and re-live certain times and remember how I was feeling (and what I was wearing, haha). So I really do hope all of this current content is interesting to read! It’s been therapeutic for me to write, and I know it will be oh-so-interesting for me to look back and reflect on. But I promise, I’ll share more on the style front again once I’m not living out of a suitcase!

When I did my reader feedback survey last year, there was a big trend in wanting more real-life stories (70.2% of readers that took the survey said they wanted more personal narrative, and many more hand-written responses reiterating that, too) and 73% of readers wanting more posts about travel, too.

I’ve been trying to be cognizant of the fact that not everyone can up and move out of the country for a few months… I’m without a S/O, without kids, without pets, and (semi) able to work remotely, which has allowed me to seize the opportunity of going on Remote Year. But I realize that’s not most people’s reality right now, even as the future of work is shifting! I’ve really tried to be intentional with my content, hoping that it still resonates for anyone moving, thinking about moving, contemplating taking an opportunity to live and/or work abroad, taking time off to travel, etc.

You gals (yes, you, reading this post!) are the reason I get to run my own business, work for myself, and do what I love (most) days of the year, and I don’t take that for granted. I’m not planning on doing another reader survey this year, but I have been diving deep into analytics and content, making a plan for this coming year. So if there’s anything you’d like to see more of or less of, please leave a comment below or shoot me an email! I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

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6 Comments

  1. 12.13.18
    Elle commented:

    Yay to coming back to the states! So proud of you for taking the leap of faith and going to South America this year- what an adventure! Loved following along but can’t wait for you to be more active again on IG and of course your IG stories with real life stories. They always make me laugh and put me in a good mood! Also PS- come to NYC 😉 xo elle

    • 12.13.18
      Jessica commented:

      Haha, thanks lady! It’s bittersweet for sure… I am so not ready for this chapter to be over, but there are definitely things I miss about being home in Chicago and I’m excited to get back into the swing of things with the blog. And YES – I need to get a trip to NYC on the calendar this year.

  2. 12.13.18
    Wendy commented:

    It’s tacky AF to poke fun at those experiencing true homelessness. While you may not have your apt, you have the means to do so much and you have a support network, which those experiencing homelessness do not. #homlessnesschic is not a thing. Apparently working with TECHO didn’t really resonate.

    • 12.13.18
      Jessica commented:

      I’m sorry that you took offense to that comment, Wendy, that was never my intention. I was under the assumption that it goes without saying that I am in no way poking fun at homelessness. As I’ve mentioned previously on the blog, I’ve been volunteering my time for the last four months to raise money to fund our build with TECHO and spent 30 hours over the course of a weekend building a home for a family in Colombia a few weeks ago.

      It’s actually extremely offensive to me that you would say an offhand comment that “apparently working with TECHO didn’t really resonate,” when you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, and are jumping to conclusions, making a judgement about me based on two sentences on my blog. I’ve talked about this in blog posts, in an Instagram Live, and on Instagram stories (saved in it’s own highlight if you missed it) about how that was truly one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve ever gotten the opportunity to have.

      I’m truly not poking fun at homelessness whatsoever (in any way, shape, or form), but simply using the word as it’s definition of “without a home.” I’m just trying to put out a feeler to my network because I actually do not have a home (of my own) to live in when I get back to Chicago. Yes, I’ll be able to stay with family 200 miles from Chicago, but my work requires me to be in the city, and I’m hoping to get something lined up soon.

  3. 12.13.18
    Alana commented:

    A reader meet up in Chicago when you’re back would be a lot of fun and a great networking/social opportunity!

    • 12.13.18
      Jessica commented:

      That’s an amazing idea, thanks for the suggestion! I feel like that would be SO fun, especially in the heart of the winter. Yay, stay tuned!