I truly thought I had finally found my niche in the workforce at Guardian. Although manufacturing was new to me, I was learning quickly and enjoyed the challenges of each and every assignment I got. Foolishly I started thinking that I was actually going to be made a "real employee" instead of just a temporary one. Even six weeks after my termination, I am still not sure how I went from "valuable and exemplary" to "incompatible" in a matter of hours.
That termination, or "cancellation" as they call it there, almost destroyed me. That position was the closest I have come to having a job that pays above the poverty line and offers benefits since 1994. I took a few years off for grad school and raising my boys but I have been looking for work since 2005. Ten years of scouring the job boards, applying for hundreds of jobs, interviewing for less than a dozen and failing at every one of them has taken a toll on my self-esteem and my sanity.
With this new year comes a new plan for my life. Those little boys ready for Halloween are almost grown. "Charlie Brown as a ghost" starts a job in two days making more money than I ever have. The "Avatar" is starting his second semester of college classes while still a junior in high school. The "Dragon" is in middle school and needs me less every day.
My plan has two parts.
Part 1- Publish books detailing all I learned about special education, disabilities, autism, and life. If we had listened to the experts, that little "Avatar" would not have grown into the wonderfully self-driven finance expert and athlete that he is. We did listen to the experts about his toe walking and he suffered tremendously for it. It took two major surgeries and a year of his life to fix those "corrections". I will shout from the rooftops everything I learned. The kids at school always loved hearing my stories. Maybe larger audiences will also.
Part 2- Turn my rosary and jewelry making hobby into a profitable business. I started making and selling crosses, rosaries and jewelry as a way to help my sons learn and grow. Making jewelry developed finger strength and helped with identifying patterns. Selling at shows helped develop social skills, planning skills and math skills. Now I sell on the internet and Gabe has become my marketing and business manager. He just finished a course in marketing from Tiffin University and is using it to push my business to a new level.
On Christmas Day, he gave me a business plan he wrote for me. I cried. It was the best present I ever got. The boy "who will never understand math" and "needs constant adult supervision" wrote a comprehensive marketing plan including a statement regarding conflict diamonds without prompting or assistance. And...he is only 16 years old.
Now our roles are reversed. Gabe is now pushing me to succeed the same way I pushed him and with his help, I will.