Editor’s note: This is one in a series of profiles in the Humans of Wausau series, which is funded in part through a grant from the B. A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation. Follow the Humans of Wausau Facebook page here.

By Kelli Oligney for Wausau Pilot and Review

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Emily Komosa, 35

Q: Where are you originally from?

A: I’m originally from Wausau, but relocated when I got married and lived in Lac de Flambeau for 12 years, but have been back for four years.

What brought you back to Wausau after Lac de Flambeau?

I went through a divorce and needed to be back home by my family as it was the best option for me.

What has been one of the most memorable moments of your working career?

Working in the special education field as an assistant was very memorable for me. It was fulfilling and I could see what could be done for kids and what a difference you can make and it felt amazing.

How long did you do that for?

I worked with kids since 2007 in different aspects. The last few years, before I stopped, I was working at a middle school in the special education department.

You don’t work there anymore?

No, I had a hard time with job security in that position because I never knew if I would have a job from one year to the next and made it difficult.

What advice would you give to those that want to work with kids?

You need to be patient. I had a lot of people say, “I would never be able to do what you do.” I think it takes the kind of person who has a lot of patience, takes it slow, is understanding, and listens.

What is something you learned about yourself from working in the special education department?

I learned that it’s easier to work with other people’s kids than my own. When you’re working with kids during the day and then come home and have to do the same thing, it makes it harder.

What was one of the hardest moments of your life?

Dealing with an abusive situation I learned about involving my daughter. That was the most difficult time in my life.

Was it someone you knew?

It was a friend of someone we knew; someone we trusted.

Was it physical abuse?

It was sexual abuse and this person had been doing it for a long time to many people and no one knew until one child finally came forward. I knew that we had been spending time with this person so I had asked my daughter and she came forward too.

Were they convicted for their offenses?

Yes, he was convicted for two or three of the charges, but he’s sitting 20 years. It’s hard knowing you can’t always protect your kids and it makes the world more scary.

Is your daughter doing okay now that he’s been convicted?

Yes, we had her in counseling and got her the help she needed. She still has her difficult times, but I think having a big family helps. We are all here, close, and have a lot of support for each other. That helped get me through a lot of the situation.

What was one of your hardest ages?

About the same time; being in my 30’s and going through a different part of my life where you realize your childhood years are over and have to grow up and do the adult thing. I feel like I’m that old person and I thought I’d never be an uncool older lady. I don’t know what’s in style anymore and my teenage daughter is like, “Mom, you are not cool.”

What’s a hidden talent of yours?

I’m a good listener and at reading people; which helps make me a better listener. I feel like people like talking to me because of it.

What was one moment that changed you as a person?

It would go hand in hand with the hardest moment of my life. It opened my eyes to who is there for you, who matters to you, and to be aware of others and realize you can’t trust everyone. I’ve learned to go with my gut instincts because those tend to be right.

What has made you stay in the area?

My family and it’s an amazing area. People say there’s nothing to do, but there’s a ton of options. We grew up with our parents always doing things with us such as going dirt biking, four wheeling, and snowmobiling. No matter what season, there’s always something to do.

What do you do for a living?

I work at a factory currently.

What brought you into that field?

I have a family member that also works in the same factory and it intrigued me to be able to stay physically busy and I enjoy it.

Do you work different shifts?

I work swing shifts.

Are those shifts harder to do and get used to?

The difficulty is with my kids since I’m a single mom and figuring out their schedules with my schedule.

What are hobbies you enjoy in your spare time?

In my free time, I like to ride; I have a Harley Davidson. I do that as much as I can.

Do you do certain rides or trips you go on during the year?

I like to go on Fall Ride up in Tomahawk. Otherwise, I go on little trips with my family and go to shops here and there.

What is your favorite memory of living here?

Being able to live where my family is has allowed me to create a lot of memories. My family and I are really close; I have seven siblings, and a lot of nieces and nephews.

What was your birth order?

I am second to oldest. It’s great being able to have the opportunity to do things with my family all the time. Since it’s Fall, we will all go to the apple orchard and we plan a lot of fun things together.

Does everyone live in the area?

Between Wittenberg and Wausau; pretty much.

It sounds like you all are very close.

We are and pretty much do everything together.

What changes would you like to see in the community in the next five years?

I’d like to see the growth with community based things. I like what they did with building WOW and the playground/exercise area. I think if they keep expanding on things like that, people will want to stay and live in this community.

Are you talking more children based activities?

Yes, children, family, community; everything to keep it going in that positive direction.

What’s your favorite local spot?

Wausau on the Water is great because I can take my kids there. We are able to get out of the house and go for a walk and do more physical outdoor activities.

What’s your favorite quote?

“Take everything one day at a time.” I have to tell myself that everyday because I get ahead of myself with my responsibilities and what needs to be done. I try to tell myself, “What needs to be done today” and take it one day at a time. I get overwhelmed too much sometimes.