My biggest problem in the 14 years since my felony conviction has been finding a job. I applied for about 20 jobs but I never got hired so I gave up and started my own business. I went back to school and got a welding degree, but I couldn’t get hired. I do landscaping now, and I drive for my family’s transportation business. I add other side jobs like pressure washing when landscaping is slow, but I’d love to have a steady job with benefits. I have a daughter in college and bills to pay, so I do what I have to do. I can’t cry. I don’t make excuses.
But it’s frustrating when my past keeps holding me back… My background slows down my whole career. I make a lot of connections through the clients I drive and do landscaping for, but when I apply for something new and they learn of my background, it’s like a brick wall… It’s like a forever cycle that won’t stop. But it’s been 14 years since I did something stupid and almost 10 years since I completed my probation sentence. I’m doing all the right things to better myself, but my record keeps stopping me in my tracks. It’s like the only forgiveness I can receive is in church. It’s rough.
I am not the same person I was in 2005… but once someone does a background check, it’s like that’s all they see. They don’t see me. They see my record. I was young and dumb then, but I’m 38 now. I’m going to hit 40 soon and I really want to leave my past behind me. I’ve been fortunate to be able to make ends meet most of the time by starting my own business and with my family hiring me, but still it’s not easy, and not everyone is that lucky.
If I could get my felony expunged, I could remove the scarlet letter, earn more, and help my daughter pursue her college dream.