When I finished my college degree in exercise biology, the only prerequisite I had left to take to get into grad school for my master’s in occupational therapy was 5 units of art. Art history didn’t count - it had to be a class where you actually MADE art. I thought it was a dumb requirement and was annoyed that it was slowing me down.
“I have 2 years EACH of 'the important stuff' like OChem and Bio and Physics and Math and Psychology and Physiology and you need me to take an entire semester of ART before you will look at my application?!”
It happened again in grad school. We had to take arts and crafts classes. We made macrame wall hangings and carved wood and sculpted clay. I had fun, but definitely would have spent that time studying my anatomy textbook and neuroscience notecards if given the choice. If you are as confused as I was about why OTs need to learn about art, you can read more here.
I was pretty sure I would get an OT job in something like stroke recovery or orthopedic rehab or ergonomic assessment. When I pictured my future, I saw myself using OT interventions with lots of weights and therabands, and very few beads and paint brushes.
I was so wrong.
My first full-time OT work was in a skilled nursing facility. I loved the clients, but I hated the work (a deep bow to all the people who do work in this setting and similar settings, it is such important work). I cried everyday on the way to the center. I hated the therabands and the weights. I hated the crossing midline exercises and the grip strength testing. I hated the sit to stand repetitions and the weight transfers. I tried to like it, I really wanted to like it, but I was *literally* bored to tears. I thought I had made a horrible career choice and wasted years of my life and thousands of dollars on so many years of school.
My next job was in a therapeutic high school for teens experiencing mental illness and at risk of dropping out of school. Luckily, I loved the clients and I LOVED the work. At this school, math, English lit, and science came second - mental and emotional health came first. We planted gardens, made soap, created photo journals, practiced yoga, and cried and laughed together in a circle. And it WORKED. The students healed (and so did I). They found things that brought them joy, created deep friendships, got to know their bodies, fell in love with the natural world, and found creative outlets to let emotion move through them. And in case you are wondering, most of them did graduate high school and go on to college or vocational school, because it turns out that when we feel good we are more motivated, have more clarity about what we want to do, and work more efficiently towards our goals.
This is all a very long-winded way to say that if you are a recovering overachiever and productivity junkie like me and are too busy doing "important" stuff you might be missing a lot of the magic of your life. And I don't know about you, but it is my worst fear to wake up and realize that I had it and I missed it.
p.s. I would love to practice yoga with you! Check out my free practice bundles HERE.