Diana de Avila

Web Architect

Location: Malta, NY

"I love to learn—so I take advantage of learning new things all the time just for the sake of learning."

I was a web architect with GE and riding the corporate rails upward and onward. I loved it. In 2002, things were moving along and going well. I was leaning in and pushing forward. I needed to change some of that and lean back.

I needed to lean back after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was relapsing a lot in my current situation. I loved my work and climbing the corporate ladder but in the long run, it was going to diminish my quality of life. I had to lean back, rethink and retool.

I did retire in 2004 and I ended up doing various entrepreneurial pursuits that ended up differently than I expected due to fatigue issues and not being up to the work. The thing is, I tried things and I never gave up. I let all my creativity ride. I invented, created, sold, imported, exported and did everything I wanted to in that moment leaving no stones unturned. I'm not doing things in exactly the same way these days but I am creating, inventing and finding meaning.

I lean in now and take advantage of every opportunity within my scope. I love to learn—so I take advantage of learning new things all the time just for the sake of learning. I enjoy using and developing my talents (technical and interpersonal) and I create opportunities where using them in a volunteer aspect is valued but done purely out of love for my community, for my own well-being and for ultimate meaning. I treat my volunteerism with professionalism. One and the same work ethic. I lean forward in my life now even when I could lean back because leaning forward keeps me exploring and discovering. I've learned that no matter who you are, where you are in life, and whatever challenges you may deal with—there is always an opportunity to learn and do and participate. I love the challenges.