Wednesday, July 11, 2012



Monday I was released from my employment.  It was not that bad of a deal all the way around.  The work was super-challenging for me, not so much for a neuro-typical, and I did not like that it kept me from KT as much as it did. 

Tuesday, KT, Flat Ruthie, and I went over to the Ollie Webb offices where my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor, along with my job coach and the supervisory lead at Ollie Webb met to talk about what we learned from this experience.  I told them how I was stunned but not completely surprised by the outcome, as there are performance measurables that I was not able to achieve.  Even in saying that, I did do some really good things and I acquitted myself very well, CONSIDERING…

While some of my strengths were independently confirmed during my short employment stay, the woman from Voc Rehab did acknowledge that I did show some promise but that the work experience seemed to confirm the findings from the evaluation that I had taken earlier in June.  I said that I was “Surprised but not ‘surprised’” as I explained how I have given myself the power to believe in a delusion that I am as capable as I was, otherwise I do not think that I would have the ambitions that I have.

We discussed where my job path will go from here and the session did come up with leads and a plan of action.  After the meeting, my job coach dropped me and the girls off in the Old Market.  I took KT over to Anytime Fitness to meet the owner and see where I train.  KT was impressed at the photos of the owner’s win in Detroit that gave her a world bodybuilding title.  She asked about how she came to body build, and then both the owner and I repeated how important it was to focus and commit to fitness.  There also was a “T.V. workout”, with different exercises for different types of television commercials.  KT was impressed and we then got on the bus and headed for the Henry Doorly Zoo, took a few pics and showed off Ruthie, who was mistaken for her cousin, Flat Stanley!

Finally, I got a nice haircut so we will be going to get photos maybe tomorrow, for sure on Thursday.  We just did catch my “Barbette” before she headed off for the night.  She got me nice and tight!  One of the things that I have liked the most about hanging out with KT is how EVERYONE she meets speaks as if they know her, because I do talk about her the most out of all my daughters.  As to why that is, well… I may go through why that is for those who may not know why that is.  It is a tangent to the substance of the post.

Having received “the high sign” and being willing to “leavebehind the things I valued”, which were worth to me “half as much as things Inever knew”, I feel extremely comfortable here in Omaha.  Walking down Leavenworth from the 11-Worth Café, we passed the bar that I saw in my first week in town.  I told my daughter how when I saw this place how the sensation that I would be able to find what I needed to build on here grew stronger and why that was.  Though I was not as aware as I am now of the tolerance that permeates Omaha as I am now it now that I am here, it was a hope of mine after what I had read and heard about the town from a number of sources, chief of which being my own heart.

As much as I had designs on a epic loveship between Nebraska and me, the relationship thing was simply not the chief reason for why I wanted to be here.  Believing in my wyrd as I do, that Omaha was to me what the cornfield was to Ray Kinsella, I have had my difficulties but I have had more positive episodes take place here, some of them that seem to have almost been scripted.

For instance, the on-the-job coach that was with me during training had nothing but the best to say about me.  Second, the supervisor at Ollie Webb was familiar with the organization that I was employed by and was super-understanding of the concepts and performance-issues and successes that I did have while I was there.  Having had the evaluation in hand to contrast with my experience allowed the meeting to be less about my weaknesses and more about where I am strongest at.  Also, KT being present allowed her to see for herself how hard I work and have a tangible image of how I interact with the world as I deal with my condition.  And believe me THAT was something I was super keen on exposing her to on this visit.

I had wanted her to see on this visit, particularly, how I push on with my life without consideration of the injury that I have.  This way, I think, she will be able to understand the expectations that she will be held to by both me and her Mother.  Yet, I know that I should not worry much about that, as she has her own expectations of herself, and she is a fine young woman.

With what I had hoped to accomplish as a parent checked off the list, this week will be/has been one where we resuming/ed sight-seeing with Flat Ruthie.  The Joslyn Museum and the Joslyn Castle are on the “to do” list, and I look forward to taking pictures and posting about our experiences.

Omaha is the furthest west I have ever lived.  I used the Interpol song, “The HeinrichManeuver” as the theme song for the “Nebraska Concept”.  The bittersweet quality of the song had seemed appropriate for the personal division of my ideal of my life here in Omaha.  I did anticipate that Nebraska and I would get on famously and fall in love with one another, but it simply was not to be.  And the “bitter” that I feel was comprised in the Interpol song was the truth of Nebraska and my relationship.

“How are things on the west coast?” is a line that is meant as a snide comment, feigning a legitimate interest in how a woman who has left an old boyfriend back home.  She has gone on, moving beyond where she was when they were together, driven by ambition and expectation.  And that is how I saw Nebraska, as a woman who was moved by her architect towards a goal that did not include a cat like me.  This was something that was not “new” to me; this was part of our knowing each other always.

She was a person whom my “guardian angel” revealed to me and because of this, I was obligated to pursue.  It was never a smooth relationship and while I do not necessarily believe in the awkward “what do you see in him/her” kind of thing at the beginning of the relationship, Nebraska is a person that had that glow of “special” to her, and that was enough.  What took me such a long time to aim for her and Omaha, well, that owes itself to my “Era of Discontent”, or my high school years.

People are jaded and cynical.  They often want to know why a person is smiling, as they inhabit a corner of life where happiness for no sensible reason is an alien emotion, and is usually to be looked upon with suspicion.  I think that in high school, where the “tender mercies” of politeness and human kindness runs thinnest, was where I decided to tint my “outlook lenses” a shade of rose.

But this is running long and I STILL have “Flat Ruthie and KT” pictures to sort through and post.  So I will end here and I will continue on with what essentially defines the relationship that I have with Nebraska.


That corgi :) said...

Sorry that one employment didn't work out, Mark, I'm sure it is a series of win some, lose some as you/vocational counselor explore options of what could be a good fit for you or not. But great attitude you have in that it will give you more time to spend with KT as she is visiting with you.


Thomas Alice said...

I'm sorry you lost your job, but it sounds like it was always more of a stepping-stone than a destination.

I don't have any doubts that you'll eventually get where you want to go.

mrs.missalaineus said...

i think being in NE, esp. omaha has been great for you. you and i both know it would of been much more challenging to work the job situation here in the motor, even with the assistance of ARC or a similar organization.

there is no shame in starting a job and finding out it's not for you. i am glad you are working with the job coach to find a better situation for you cognitively. being active in that manner is more beneficial than many people realize.

i'm most glad to keep hearing such wonderful things about your visit with your daughter.

be well- we are all rooting for you here at dojo larsen!


FrankandMary said...

Exactly what Thomas Alice said. And~your road is formidable, but you marshall your resources well. Over time I've learned of a series of fortifications you've thrown up against your disability, & we can all see the undeniable progress.

Ken Riches said...

It is important to learn your limits, so the job was a great first start.

* Ashleigh * said...

<3 Interpol references. Sorry things have been rough, but you have always been a survivor.