Georgia, a white female woman with brunette hair and sun glasses on her head looking over to her right. She is in a flowery white top with mint dungarees over the top. There is greenery and a few red roses around her.
Cerebral Palsy

Is It Time to Take on New Challenges?

Is it time to take on new challenges? This is the question I’m facing at the moment and I’m not talking about career challenges, as I have quite the number of career-based adventure plates spinning at the moment, I’m talking about life-based challenges.

At the beginning of the year, I started not only my first job as a qualified occupational therapist but my first job ever at the University of Huddersfield (okay, I know I said it wasn’t career-related but stay with me I do have a point). This of course wasn’t a traditional job for a newly qualified occupational therapist and I spent a bit of time coming to terms with this and actually viewed the opportunity as a stepping stone. Yet, 6 months in and I’m absolutely loving it I no longer long for that traditional route as I know that it’s not made for me. I now take pride in the fact that I didn’t start my career in the traditional rotation route just because ‘that’s what everyone does’, nothing wrong if you did, I am just telling my personal story.

I’m loving work so much that I’ve actually started looking at places to rent in Huddersfield. I know, I can’t up sticks tomorrow, but once I know what’s happening this academic year timetable wise it will be something that I have a serious think about.

Yet as I say, I can’t up sticks tomorrow and like everything else, it would have to be carefully planned before doing so and I mean a lot of planning, for starters I would need a PA which I currently do not have. So, here comes the turmoil, mentally yes, I’m ready for this new chapter and although I love my parents dearly, I think saying adios to this house would be such a great thing for me. Yet, have I mentally got the energy to take on yet another battle and all the red tape that comes with it to move out?

I faced many unexpected battles in my life, so much that now they’re no longer unexpected and as every new chapter begins you brace yourself for the fight ahead. The outcome of the battle is always worth the fight and I live with no regrets. But when thinking back to last summer and how exhausted I was with my battle to register with HCPC and find an accessible job I think of how low I got and believe me I got low. There were times when I would cry myself to sleep. I can’t predict that this new challenge of moving out will weigh that heavy on me. Yet, I know it will be a battle because everything that a disabled person does in a society built on systemic ableism is.

Then I get mad at myself because I feel like I making excuses up just because I can’t be bothered. I’ll wait until I finish writing the book. Then I may go back to studying once I’ve written the book so I’ll wait until after that because maintaining a house and studying will be hard. Of course, it will be. But I’m still making up excuses, gaslighting and putting myself off it because of the systemic ableism I will have to endure to do this next step.

I love being my disabled self but gosh moments like these are wholly frustrating!!

I know, I’m not mentally ready for this move because of my internalised ableism and even if I was, I’d have to conquer other fears like city driving which isn’t going to happen overnight. One day, I’ll be ready and I would like to think that this day might be next year, I really would. But internalised ableism is always going to be with me and right now, its something that I need to work on so I can build up my energy and be prepared for the next battle.

Thank you for reading, 

Georgia x

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