My name is Jessica Sheridan and I’m a 26 year-old wife, mom of two dogs, writer, recipe developer, and Master Roaster who lives in beautiful Milwaukee, Wisconsin. But before we move on, what the heck is a Master Roaster? It’s a fancy title for someone who oversees the production of roasting coffee (think quality control). And luckily for me, it also means I get to work with coffee, write about coffee, and even develop coffee drinks and brew recipes. I love my job, but it’s also only one of many passions.
In fact, it just so happens that my working in coffee is a happy accident. Some people might also call this fate, but I digress. When I first started grad school in 2014, I needed a job with flexibility. A coffee shop was the perfect fit. As I worked on my MA in Language, Literature, and Translation, I quickly fell in love with working in coffee, and eventually was given the opportunity to begin roasting during my last semester. At this point in my life, I had reached an impasse. Should I apply to a PhD program and become a professor of literature, which had been my plan for over 6 years? Should I go to law school, which I had been accepted into? Or should I follow my heart, take a leap of faith, and accept a full-time job in coffee?
I chose the former, and although I cannot say I have never looked back, I continue to forge onward, defining a path for myself that was entirely unexpected, but entirely appropriate for who I am as a person. Although I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I pursued law or a PhD in literature, I’m satisfied with my choice and the freedom to explore that it has given me. It’s hard to imagine my life without working in coffee, but there’s also a lot to me beyond coffee that I’d like to begin to share as well, and that’s where this blog comes in.
Aside from the copy I write for my work and an article I got published in a trade magazine, the past couple years, I haven’t written nearly as much as I hoped I would after graduation. Like all writers, I was hoping to crank out a novel in less than a year and start a career in writing. But as it always does, life happened, and here I am two years later with a few incomplete fictional novels that I rarely get around to working on.
As if it were some stroke of genius (but probably just a brush with reality if I’m not being dramatic), I recently decided that perhaps my problem was what I’ve been writing. Naturally I want to write fiction like all of the great authors whom I admire, but like many people trained in literary criticism, I encounter a wall of difficulty trying to write anything like them. Yet when I write non-fiction, the words flow through my fingertips from my brain, pulsing like blood through the veins. Coupled with the realization that my food blog was failing, I decided to begin this one–a personal lifestyle blog about my search for radiance in every day living. After all, after working on trying to create and grow a food blog for the past two years, I finally realized what was missing this whole time–me. And, well, if you know me at all, that was a huge problem.
My solution? Something bigger, bolder, and uniquely Jessica–well-refined and curated, but eclectic and all-purpose. From this, Radiantly Living was born. I kept all of my old recipe content, but expanded the scope of my blog to be about much more than just food.
Please join me as I explore the things, people, places, foods, and memories that make my life radiant.
Photos by DTMingo Photography 2018