I thought it’s probably time I interrupted the regularly scheduled program here on JessWrites and shared some updates on my journey with you all. So, if you’re not interested in that kind of thing you might want to skip this one!
It won’t be a long one.
If you’ve been following my journey at all (as much as one can on social media I guess), you would’ve gathered that the last year or so was everything but straight forward. My trip to New York in January 2018 left me feeling like my life was going to change significantly in the year following, and my goodness was I right. From looking for, finding and finally meeting my dad and a whole heap of new family in the summer (read more), to going through quite the rough patch in the winter (I call it the valley or the darkness), I got back on my feet and went back to work January this year. Since then so much has changed and I couldn’t be more grateful for where I am at now.
So, let me break it down:
I resigned from my job of almost 7 years this past February. Now most of you wouldn’t have known that, as it didn’t become public knowledge until about April, but I got to a point within myself where I knew I had to make some changes and wanted give it time to make sure I left things the best way I possibly could. These last 7 years on staff at Hillsong Church have been the most incredible experience. I’ve learnt so much, got given so many amazing opportunities and most of all, met and made forever friends with some of the most amazing people anyone will ever meet.
I got to produce conferences and events at the o2 Arena, the SSE Arena in Wembley and so many amazing theatres across London. I got to develop people, lead teams, tell stories, shape content, contribute to building a performing arts academy. I got to travel across Europe (and beyond) work with our start up teams and so much more. The lessons learnt are worth more than I’ll ever be able to express and I am so ridiculously grateful for everyone who has trusted me, empowered me, believed in me and supported me along the way.
As most things in life, this part of my journey wasn’t forever and I knew it was time for me to take a leap of faith and embark on the things and adventures I still have in my heart. Some of the crew sent me off with the most emotional leaving drinks (I actually cried y’all) and then that was that.
So, this is where we’re at now.
What next then you ask? Well that’s a real good question…and if there are any among you who have the answer, hit me up ha! I have decided that for now (and probably the next year or so) I won’t commit to anything long term, which is both exciting and scary, but my goodness has God been kind!
As soon as I finished my job, I got the opportunity to start working with an amazing family, so now, for about 5 hours a day 5 days a week, I get to look after the cutest little girl you’ll ever meet! If you know me at all, you know how much I love babies, so this is like heaven! Her and her parents are such a god sent, and beside the fact that I can know I have at least somewhat of an income for the next few months while I figure out what’s next, getting to hang with them is so deeply good for my soul.
Other than that, at least for now, I have decided to do this freelance thing. Whilst again, that’s a little bit scary, I just know in my gut that it’s the right path for me in this season. So whether it’s producing events, doing writing jobs, speaking, leading workshops and doing training with teams around creating memorable experiences in all sorts of scale events and running leadership and development sessions, I am ready to take whatever comes my way and give it a go (mostly that is ha!).
I set up a little makeshift desk in my room, started going to networking things where I’ve already met some incredible people, and am taking time wherever I can to grow, look after and develop myself.
So, in many ways, I will continue as I have – create content on here whilst expanding a little (I’m working on a podcast friends!), love people and play my part in making a difference in this world. There is so much to be done.
I’ve been thinking a lot about building bridges in that context.
I have found that the intersection I live at, is somewhere around Social Change, Well-Being, Faith and Art. So, as I continue to write, speak, podcast and explore, these are the lenses I will be using to look at some of the current issues we face today.
Whether on a personal, local or global level.
I will continue to educate myself, learn about cultures, faiths and views that are different from mine and try to help us all see our common humanity; with the one goal the late Dr. King has ingrained in me through his writings over this past year: Beloved Community.
A community that is not void of conflict or differences, but a space where our common humanity, human dignity and value are at the forefront of all our interactions. Crazy? Yes absolutely. But if that isn’t what drives our activism, what are we even doing this for, right? At least that’s how I see it…
Sorry I promised this would be short, so let me not digress.
(I’m thinking about doing my masters on that note…open to suggestions along these lines if anyone has done something similar!)
I think that’s about it. I’m sure I will have a lot more to share over the next few months, but like I said, I don’t even know exactly where I’m headed, so this must suffice for now.
I’m so grateful for those of you who have been reading and following along for a while now – I really don’t take for granted that there are people out there who care about the stuff I write! I will keep you all posted with what’s happening, will probably give the old blog a bit of a do-over as we go, but me, the Jess behind it all, is not going anywhere and whilst constantly evolving, pretty much staying the same 😉
I truly believe that after a period of chaos and darkness, there is always light. So, whether you, like me, feel like the world is in a bit of a state right now in some ways, or whether it’s your personal life that feels out of sorts, whilst there is still breath in our lunges, tomorrow can and will be better than today. The best is truly yet to come.
I am sure of that.
Thanks for being up for the ride.
P.S: If you know of any writing work, need help with a project you’re working on or need someone to run your event – you know who to call! Just hit me up on here or on social media 🙂