I am most definitely an introvert. While I love people and enjoy spending time with others, I find that social time can be incredibly draining, and that I need quiet time to stay balanced. In addition to my natural introversion, I've struggled with social anxiety for as long as I can remember, which can make interactions that seem simple to others really painful for me. When I was in high school I had such a difficult time even speaking in front of people that I would have to count down in my head from ten to force myself to say something. (And this wasn't even in front of the class, just the girl I carpooled with to school every day. "Here's the gas money." That's it.)
I was able to get help for my anxiety at the end of my senior year of high school. I took a medication that made my anxious feelings less intense, went to counseling, and ventured many leaps outside of my comfort zone. It's so much better now. When I look back, the things that really kept me going through the hardest times were my faith in Jesus and my art. Knowing that there was a story bigger than my difficult experiences, and being able to express myself and escape into my artwork... that was so incredibly life-giving.
So I'm thankful for the quiet escape that art was throughout my youth, and continues to be in this busy (but lovely) life of mine.