As a care leaver, many of us get asked a question by our social worker, personal advisor or even our lectures in college and university, which is the following…. ‘Where do you see yourself in the future’. For many of us, we always answer this question with the words of ‘I do not know’, as for a lot of us who are in care, we do not think that far ahead as we don’t know what tomorrow would hold for us, as being in care and being a care leaver can be extremely hard and emotional as every day is never the same.
For me, being in care, I never knew what I wanted to do in the future, as I was always scared of what was going to happen tomorrow as every single day I was watching over my shoulder encase something bad happened but also if I was ever going to be moved which luckily for me when I was in the system, this never happened which allowed me to feel relaxed and settled after a while, but this is not the case for many other care leavers across the country and even further afield.
I remember very clearly that when I entered my second year of college, I felt that education was the best place for me, as I was feeling secure and most importantly, I was doing what I loved which at the time was my extended diploma in photography. This for me, was a gold mine of chances, as it allowed me to channel my emotions into something better than what I was, but also allowed me to develop and expand my passion of the subject effectively and professionally.
For many of us who are in the system, we never know what we like doing, as a lot of us never give stuff ago for long enough to know either due to not feeling that it is for us, or not liking it all together, so for myself as a care leaver to find something that I was enjoying was a miracle, as for the first couple of years in care, I always felt that I was never going to be good at anything which for a lot of care leavers, this is sometimes exactly how we feel.
Since, finding out the photography, was what I wanted to do, I was able to practice and expand my knowledge within the subject more effectively, which I really found interesting as not only was I able to learn about the subject, but I was also able to use my experience and knowledge within the field by helping out my local authority and other charities and organisations with projects and documenting events what we’re being held for them.
I found out that when doing this, I was able to use my experience of being in care effectively by turning my bad experiences of the system into something good and fun, as I realised that my experience didn’t need to define my career, but I wanted it to give me the strength to do chase the career I wanted, just like many other care leavers want as well….
So, from one care leaver to another, I would like to say, never let your history of being in care define the career that you want because yes, you might have had a traumatic history, but don’t let this effect you, use this experience to prove to people that just cause you have been in the system, you are still able to get to the career that you want, because the experiences you have, they should not stop you doing the stuff you want, they should encourage you to chance them just like mine have for me….
By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger.