A health scare caused me to slow down, reflect and acknowledge that my daily routine wasn’t working. This is the story of how I started my freelance writing career.
I was working at my desk when a sudden, overwhelming pain hits my chest. It’s hard to breathe, my vision is white and efforts to talk were in vain.
As I avoid gaining any attention to myself around my coworkers, I stand up, place my hands over my head to help with my breathing and try not to panic.
It’s been 10 years since I’ve had symptoms like this, and I knew if I lost it, I’d pass out on a floor in an office 45 minutes away from home.
I walk outside to get air, but Dallas’ summer heat gives no relief.
I return to my desk, close my eyes and try to take the deepest breath possible, but with each attempt, my chest continues to tighten.
These painful breaths give me just enough relief to help clear my vision from whites to blurs. I’m able to focus, grab my keys and head to my car.
An emergency room was 3 miles away from my office. So, I get in my car and drive by faith to the ER for some aid.
After an EKG, X-rays, steroids and a breathing treatment later, my speech returns. My chest is sore but functioning normally and my vision is clear.
A doctor asked me many questions, but the ones that stood out were:
- How often are you sleeping?
- When’s the last time you’ve relaxed?
“I believe you had an asthma attack,” the doctor said. “When’s the last time this has happened to you?”
It’s been over 10 years since I’ve had any asthma problems. I work out with no issues, so it didn’t occur to me that having a flare-up could be possible.
“As you get older, you can have flare-ups from weather, stress or anxiety. What do you do for a living?”
His questions made clear what triggered my random episode.
My lifestyle was the problem.
For seven months, the demand of having three jobs had me severely stressed out, underpaid, traumatized and fatigued.
Some weeks and even months at a time, I worked every day unless I requested off, which was rare.
Within those seven months, I suppressed emotions, ignored my health and fed into bad energy for money until it took a physical toll on my body. I didn’t end up in a hospital bed because of something I was doing right, but because I was doing something wrong.
After two days of required bed rest and another week of the same toxic routine, I was blessed with an opportunity that allowed me to part ways with the job where I had my asthma attack.
The day I turned in my badge I started my freelance writing career and began to gain control of my daily routines.
MY CAREER BACKGROUND
Before those crazy seven months, I had some pretty awesome and enjoyable jobs.
Right out of college I worked in digital marketing focusing on social media and content writing where I produced countless amounts of SEO-driven blog posts and graphics for a major e-commerce brand.
I also had a copywriting opportunity for an agency that focused on fulfilling digital marketing strategies for clients in many fields including technology, consulting and food.
My favorite opportunity has been working for a local television station as a digital producer, with content writing still playing a major role. The highlight of my career so far was being able to produce my own digitally exclusive web series where I interviewed, shot, edited and wrote feature stories of influential Millennials around my community doing great work in their industries.
Unfortunately – life happens – and I had to leave that amazing producing job, which started the seven months of chaos.
MY FREELANCE WRITING CAREER NOW
Those two days of bed rest made me reflect on what I love to do and what I’m good at, and thankfully, they coincide within my career.
Now that I have full control over it, I’m able to work with clients to create fun and engaging projects that are a reward not only for them but for me as well.
I create digital content for B2C brands with lifestyle, travel & leisure and technology being my favorite industries to work in.
My digital marketing and journalism background has developed my freelance writing career into something I truly enjoy. Without that scare, I never would have thought of starting this journey.
I LEARNED THE HARD WAY
If something isn’t working, know when to review, regroup and depart from it if needed.
Unnecessary stress isn’t worth the trouble and can harm you if you allow it.
Learn your value so a company can’t put a price on you.
Once I discovered my worth and stopped putting my energy in the wrong places, my mindset changed, my life is in balance and my health is under control.
The message: listen to your body and take care of it. It’s the only one you have.