I think, as someone who has studied occupational therapy, that I’m allowed to say that I’m not an occupational therapist. Or rather, I’m not just an occupational therapist. My HCPC registration doesn’t define who I am, and my world does not revolve around occupational therapy.
I am seeking balance.
The past three years, I focussed almost solely on occupational therapy, studying to get the qualification I have today. Since then, I’ve had to calm down a bit. I’m not practicing as a therapist quite yet, and in a way, I’m glad I didn’t look for an OT job straight away. I’m enjoying this time, waiting for the right job to come along (and I may have finally found it).
In between my shifts at my part-time job in retail, I’m getting to explore the other interests that I have, apart from occupational therapy. I’m doing three courses through Coursera at the moment. These aren’t directly related to OT, and I think my brain is thanking me for expanding my knowledge laterally, not just going deeper and deeper into one subject area. I’m reading Greek mythology and learning even more about evolution, a subject I adored in high school – and still do!
I’m also learning more about myself, my strengths and weaknesses, my limits.
I believe that these months of exploration are necessary before I move on with my career. And I hope that when I do get an OT job, my employers will respect my occupational balance and allow me to be more than an occupational therapist.
Because I’m a collection of roles and habits and interests, not just an occupational therapist who does occupational therapy and studies occupational therapy in my free time.
This post is part of the Blog Carnival in celebration of World Occupational Therapy Day, run by Linda’s Daily Living Skills.