Interview with Jenna Feagley

Tips for Creating the Perfect Balance in a Stressful Life: Interview with Jenna Feagley

Jenna Feagley lives and works in Texas. She possibly has one of the toughest jobs in the world, working for 911 emergency calls. She also lost a close friend at a young age. Enough reasons to collapse, one might think. That almost happened, but fortunately, Jenna managed to bounce back completely. Here you can read her remarkable story.
Thank you for sharing your story, Jenna. We would love to hear more about you.

We have met at a cruise ship

Recently, I was fortunate to meet a very kind young woman on a cruise ship. She radiated so much love and joy that I never would have suspected that behind her cheerful smile lay such a heavy story. She had great tips on how she deals with the daily high stress level in her life, and thus creates the balance we all need so much. She does this by taking good care of herself.

Princess on a white horse

Horse riding is one of her ways to release stress. Jenna is even a Rodeo Princess in Texas, USA. “Y’all!” as she lovingly says with her charming Texan accent!

Anne-Marie: Jenna, it’s so nice to talk to you again! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your life. Since most readers of this magazine live in Europe, I would first like to ask what a “Rodeo Princess” is.

Rodeo princess jenna

Jenna: I was a barrel racer, which is a competitive sport in rodeos. A Rodeo Queen competition is essentially a beauty pageant on horseback. Depending on the competition, usually a Rodeo Queen (winner) is crowned, a Rodeo Princess (first runner-up), and sometimes a Rodeo Sweetheart (second runner-up). It’s like traditional beauty pageants, but instead of a swimsuit competition, we had an equestrian competition with a riding test. Instead of a talent portion, it was a test of knowledge about rodeo and horses. I still continued barrel racing, but as a crowned rodeo princess, I had other duties like carrying the Texas flag on horseback during national anthems and assisting younger rodeo participants.

I talk to people usually at the worst moments of their lives or sometimes at the end of their lives

I see the worst of society

Anne-Marie: You have the stressful career of an emergency call dispatcher, a first responder for 911 (emergency) calls. How do you manage to create balance in your life, to avoid going crazy from the stress and sorrow associated with your job?

Jenna: Until May 2021, when one of my best friends passed away, my stress management was honestly not great and I had no work-life balance. I lived to work. I was always working. It was almost like I kept myself so busy with work that I was constantly exhausted. I’m empathetic, so while I think I’m made for this job, hearing and seeing all the bad and sad things in society took its toll on me. I talk to people usually at the worst moments of their lives or sometimes at the end of their lives, and I gave all my energy to my work. Because of this, there was nothing left of myself outside of work.

You can’t take care of others if you’re broken yourself.

I was very cynical, which I still am to some extent, but it has softened. I started seeing everyone as bad and was surprised when someone was kind, while in reality, it’s usually the exact opposite. I was depressed and began having medical issues myself. I was also heavier than ever before. When one of my best friends passed away, I was inconsolable. But through that pain, my eyes were opened to how short and precious this life is. I thought to myself, if I were to die tomorrow, what would my regrets be? The answer was that everything I had done since graduating high school in 2012 was working. No trips or memories. I began to change. Instead of living to work, I worked to live.

Finding balance

In August 2022, I went on my first cruise with my sister. I knew immediately upon departure that this was real joy. I could finally completely disconnect from work. It was a joy and peace that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Probably since my years of horse riding in rodeos. And my time as a traveling rodeo princess. When I was on the back of a running horse, it was the same feeling of complete happiness and letting go of any worry or fear I had in my life.

Happier than ever before

Anne-Marie: How are you doing now?

Jenna: Now I’m happier than ever before. I still work a lot, but I have a good work-life balance. I also fully enjoy my free time. I spend more time at dog parks with my dog son, Lecter, and go on a cruise about every four months. I moved to the street across from the police station. That has its pros and cons, but not having an hour and a half commute has really helped with my stress level. Work shouldn’t control your life. Work is a necessity to earn an income to live, not to control it.

In this life, we all have a date for a dash, and we all have a date after the dash that is already determined but unknown to us on earth. Make the MOST of that dash.

Live your life

Anne-Marie: Thank you so much, Jenna, for taking the time to let me interview you! This interview has been a learning experience.

Jenna: Thank you for your interest in what I do. My career is emotionally taxing but very rewarding. I love what I do and I am exactly where God wants me to be. If I could leave your readers with one thing, it would be: Live YOUR life. Life can be taken away in an instant. I see that every day. Don’t let anything, people, or work, stop you from living your life to the fullest. Find whatever or wherever brings you peace and take every opportunity to experience it. In this life, we all have a date for a dash, and we all have a date after the dash that is already determined but unknown to us on earth. Make the MOST of that dash. In that dash is where your life is to be lived. Don’t take a second for granted.

Jenna Feagley, June 27, 1994 – ????

Photo’s: Jenna & Anne-Marie

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