A Story of Discovering What Success Looks Like to Me: Dena

Remote Work Stories
28 May, 2022

Here is what Dena Stilwell shares about remote work.

After those soured freelance experiences, I decided to take a work break and focus on gaining additional marketing skills and certifications while I came up with a new plan. I admit at first I felt uneasy, I had no income for the first time and wasn't pursuing one.

My husband told me to relax, it would work out. So I took a deep breath and let it go. That's when something great happened.

I started sleeping better. I enjoyed more time outdoors. I enjoyed researching and reading about health again. I had time to plan and prepare home-cooked, nutrient dense meals. And I was able to take up hobbies that had been sitting on the backburner for years.

Most importantly - I no longer felt the "need" to unwind after a long day because I was no longer wound up.  

But after several months, reality set in and living on one income wasn't fair to my husband, we were still building a healthy retirement fund that we could both enjoy in the future.

I initially looked for remote work in my field but the more I applied and interviewed, the more anxious I felt. Before long, a cloud of dread settled in as I felt the peace that I had found start to slip away.

My husband also noticed the change and he initiated a discussion about what was best for my mental wellbeing and the future we were planning. That led to us downsizing our expenses and me pursuing a less demanding career in an industry I love. Travel!  

It must have been a meant-to-be moment because I was referred to an opening where I get to do three things I've always enjoyed  - researching, helping people, and writing.

The short story - I recently joined the Customer Relations remote work team with American Airlines. And when I step away from my desk at the end of the day, work is over.

I don't need to unwind. I'm not drained or stressed like before. I have both energy and time to do the things I love.

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