How creativity helped me find myself again.

Life can be intense sometimes. Actually it’s full on most of the time.

Photo of Mikaela.We throw ourselves into our work, sport, being a parent, etc. and balance goes right out the window.

Now working hard and being passionate are definitely not bad things but there can be side effects and losing yourself amongst these other parts of your life is one of them.

I am a secondary English and Italian teacher and I love teaching. I love helping young people figure something out – seeing the pride on their faces is the best reward. I love being a part of their development into capable, passionate young adults who can confidently journey out into the world outside of school.

But, for me this is an intense job. It takes a lot of my time and energy to be the teacher I want to be, to give my students what they deserve.
I am Miss Bates even out side of school hours as I plan lessons, mark work, help students set goals and give feedback that will help them get there.

 

Then I became a Mum. And being a parent is even more intense! And even more rewarding.

 

Mikaela and son.After being home with my son for 6 months I went back to work part time and somewhere in between being Mum and Miss Bates, Mikaela went missing.

I didn’t even realise this had happened until after we moved interstate and my life slowed down.

I wasn’t working so Miss Bates got put into storage. I was just Mum and it was wonderful. But without family or friends nearby I had more free time, especially while my son was napping. I began to feel, well, lost is the best way I can describe it. I didn’t know what to do with myself in those quiet moments when I didn’t have to be Mum.

I read, listened to audiobooks, did the housework, cooked, watched tv but none of this filled the space that had appeared in my life, the space where Mikaela used to be.

 

Then Christmas rolled round and I was on a tight budget, so I decided to make gifts for my family. I made wholegrain mustard and other things from scratch for BBQ hampers for the guys (not that only guys BBQ!) and I made hand painted gift box sets to fill with little bits and pieces for our Mums.

My workspace where I painted.Damn it felt good to have a paintbrush in my hands again!
I wanted to do it again, so I made more gift boxes and started working on a few small paintings. I suddenly had something to look forward to, something to be proud of that I could look at and say “I made that.”

I saw a change in myself after that. I was more energetic, happier and more productive. I would get the housework done so that as soon as my son went down for a nap I could work on something creative (painting or crochet).

I was a better Mum as I had energy and I was more present. I was more relaxed when things didn’t go quite right and I had more to talk about with my partner when he got home. I had found Mikaela again.

 

Being creative was the vehicle that allowed me to find something outside of my other roles.

 

Heart in Bloom motif.

A creative pastime lets you use the different experiences and parts of your life and express them in a way that is uniquely you. It enables you to explore your world and expand your comfort zone, to learn new things and honour your past. And it does this in a way that is satisfying and fun.

This and more is why I feel that creativity is so important and why I want to explore the benefits of creativity and help you find that creative space in your life too.

Has creativity helped you find yourself amongst the many roles you play?

Tell me about it below or send me an email, I’d love to hear from you.

3 thoughts on “How creativity helped me find myself again.”

  1. My path to the lost place came through a different direction, but I ended up in the same space. An illness that most people have never heard of, including me at the time, took me suddenly out of my normal existence.
    With no warning I was unemployed and deep into trying to juggle medicines, and appointments. All while under the influence of mind clouding meds. The last of my kids had just moved out when I became ill. I lost the mother, employee, co-worker, and friend roles all at once.
    It was many years before I came back to (almost) myself. Last year I really began to feel the weight of unproductivity, and time on my hands. I don’t remember exactly when or what triggered me to pick up crochet hooks that had laid mostly unused for decades. Whatever it was, I’m grateful. Much like you they seem to be giving my life a direction, a purpose.
    It does let you use different experiences and parts of your life as you said. It also lets you use a different part of your brain. Which becomes more important as you age.
    Thank you for sharing your story. And for allowing me to share mine with you!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story Deb. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it would have been going through what you did. I’m glad to hear that you are finding a way back to yourself and I hope that continues for you.
      I definitely agree that creativity allows you to use different parts of your brain – this is something I plan to explore on the blog in the future – and it is a powerful technique in learning and keeping your brain healthy and active.
      Thank you again for sharing and I wish you well in the future.

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