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What's your Energy Equation?

New parents and about-to-be parents, listen up!

Let me tell you a story, which begins in 2015. I was working a busy full time job, spending 3 hours on the road every day commuting, and enjoying a fulfilling social life with my family and friends. With all of this, I was also making art like it was my life. I would surprise myself with how prolific I was! Every day I gathered new skills, learnt new techniques and truly felt that the possibilities were endless. I would paint every. single. day. Without exceptions.

For years, I got asked how I did it all. “How do you find the time!?”. And my answer was always, “How could I not!”. It was not a choice. All the energy in my tank that I drained doing everything else that I did, I filled it back up by creating. This was my energy equation. What drained my energy, and what filled it back up!

A picture of me from those early painting days

Come 2021, this whole equation of energy in and energy out fell apart. I became a mother. It was the most wonderful, life changing thing. It was sweet and tough and beautiful. It was also draining, not in the way other things were draining. It was draining just by the sheer physical and emotional effort it required to take care of another human. And surprisingly, as much as it drained my energy tank, it also filled it up. It was a self-fulfilling loop of energy that didn’t need anything external. The constant snuggles, the beautiful surprises, the kisses and hugs, the little games energized me. This became my new energy equation. I got everything from that single source. I didn’t need a creative outlet. And while this was beautiful, it was also uncomfortable and so unlike me! I was creating sustenance for another life. And slowly everything else stopped being a necessity.

A few years in, I’ve started feeling like my old self again. My daughter still drains and energizes me like crazy! There are surprises every day. But there are many other things in life that have become important again. I am able to find energy to put into my creative endeavours. Into painting, writing, even packaging and sending off paintings which had lost its charm, is starting to give me fulfilment and happiness again.

These days I take it easy. I paint when I know it will energize me. I make subjects that are pleasant to me. I share my art when I genuinely feel like it’ll make me happier to do so. Everything has become low stakes, which is immensely liberating. So to all the new or about-to-be parents, you’ll lose yourself for a while, but I promise you’ll find your way back. And you’ll be a happier, more fulfilled and less dependent on external validation version of yourself. It’s gonna be great!

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