Need feedback on below article from Fresno Bee's Valley Voices- want to write a book but don't know where to go from here.
CAROL LAWSON-SWEZEY: Learning about humility through unemployment
By Carol Lawson-Swezey
It has been a year since that hot June afternoon turned suddenly dark and I lost my job of 32 years.
In retrospect, all the clichés about being tossed to the curb, thrown under the bus, set out to dry in the scorching sun, they all seemed very fitting.
Being laid off from a job I expected to have until death or at least until my retirement, was perhaps the most humbling and jolting experience in my life.
In the year since, I realize that most of what I learned about humility, I learned from being unemployed.
In a short few moments, I went from productive, long-time employee to someone whose only identity was "unemployed."
I have gone from someone who derived purpose and dignity from her position to someone who didn't know where to turn or how to launch that formidable ascent on another path.
With your walking papers, the human resources person mechanically transmits that the layoff is not personal, it's just a business decision.
There is nothing about losing your job that is not personal. It changes the course of your life, your stature in society, your ability to be the CFO of your own family.
It heaves you on the uncertain path of dusting off and reinventing your life and the even more difficult task of whittling another place for yourself in the job market.
I've lost count how many resumes and cover letters I've sent out and how many jobs I've waited in vain to hear about. Somehow, my computer has become both my lifeline and a black hole from which correspondence goes out, but seldom comes back in.
For the first few months of unemployment, I became the person that people would avoid at parties -- they didn't want to hear my sad story -- just one of millions out there. I became just another statistic on the evening news.
I was fortunate to find a temporary position for six months but that ended and once again, I find myself drowning in the cesspool of job seekers. But this path has not been without frequent detours and unexpected joys.
Through a professional job searching network, Central Valley Professionals, I met incredible people who sought to help others rather than wallow in self-pity. I met out-of-work lawyers and teachers, store managers and administrative assistants who got up every morning, put on their finery and made their new work updating themselves and being a catalyst for change in others.
At my temporary job, I discovered joy, dignity and acceptance and a short reprieve from the abyss of uncertainty.
Each time I pass a beggar on the street corner with a sign, I now understand the personal significance of the words "If not for the grace of God, there go I." I got kicked off my high horse of disdain toward those I didn't understand or relate to.
I used to think that those who weren't working or supporting themselves were just mired in a self-destructive pattern. I now know that isn't always true.
For the lessons I've learned, the angels who have guided my uncertain steps along this darkened road and for my own stumblings, I am actually grateful. Humility helped lift the cocoon of superiority and arrogance that I had wrapped around me.
As those layers are torn off one painful film at a time, I know that I will not remain bleeding and powerless, kicked helplessly to the curb.
I understand what it's like to feel out of control and to need help. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. This is one dog that has learned challenging and difficult new tricks.
But one I will not accept is to roll over and play dead. I know one day I will not only survive, but thrive, and help others to do the same.
Carol Lawson-Swezey of Clovis is a freelance writer and resilient, hopeful