This prompt is a bit difficult for me to answer, because what I do for a living is not necessarily by choice. It would be my dream job to write full time for a living. As that has not happened (yet), I am currently employed elsewhere. But that’s not to say I don’t love my job, because I do. My current occupation can be described as event planning. What that means for me is that I get to appease and leave all of my neurotic list making, detail planning, technical troubleshooting, conflict resolution, logistical thinking tendencies at work.
I would also like to point out how extremely lucky I am to have stumbled upon this job. Not only because it appeals to the creative side of me, but because it has allowed me to learn and grow as a person. Because of my job, I have so much more confidence in myself and my abilities, which is saying a lot for someone who, just six years ago, didn’t know how to turn a computer on or off.
When I was a boy, my parents never allowed my brothers and sisters to attend school, and for a long time they got away with it, as it was under the guise that we were all homeschooled. All of that changed when my parents were arrested, and at the age of fourteen I was placed in foster care. During my placement in the group home, I attended public school for the very first time. I was released from custody soon after, so it ended up being the only year that I ever attended.
It was finally Renee who encouraged me to work towards obtaining my GED, which I did, and in doing so, allowed me to land my current job. I think my coworkers would be surprised to learn that I never received a formal education. My lack of education is not something that I openly discuss, and there are very few people in my life who know this about me, as I do not wish for it to become a crutch, or a reason for someone to view me as less capable.
Despite the circumstances of my childhood, I think I’ve done alright for myself. But like I said earlier, I consider myself lucky. Most former foster children do not experience the same good fortune that I have. I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am at today, but that doesn’t mean that it was always easy. I know how exhausting it is to work harder than anyone you know, and still look like a high school drop out on paper. It’s not fun, and despite what it may feel good to think, hard work doesn’t always pay the bills.
So, to sum it up, if I had to give a reason why I chose, and continue to choose work at my current job, it is because I like to work hard and I love to learn. More importantly, I like who I have become.
Peter Combs is a 28 year old husband, writer and former foster child. He currently lives with his wife, Renee, in Atlanta, Georgia. Peter is the author of the blog Home.