Some friends may not believe it but I was painfully shy as a kid. I was great at home but socially shy. Maybe from being an only child at the time where it was just me and mom all day, small neighborhood, cultural differences with mom being from South Korea.... probably all these things. I had high anxiety about going to school in Kindergarten but was ok in Sunday school with the small group of kids. It took my parents 3 days to get me to go and stay in kindergarten. I happily say, I made lifelong friends from that year despite being 1 of 2 Asian-American kids in the whole neighborhood, town for that matter. Entering middle school and then high school triggered it all over again each time till I got into a schedule and made a friend or two. It gave me confidence in school that I did well in art class throughout elementary and middle school. I didn't pursue art in high school although I wish I did. My dad felt I needed to learn real life skills such as business since I wasn’t good at math! Go figure?!
But this anxiety crept in every so often, remembering how to ride my bike after just learning one summer and being anxiously nervous come springtime when it was warm out. I'd make up excuses why I didn’t want to ride bikes until I felt brave enough on my own to privately warm up on the bike again without the fear of hurting myself. Through all these things creativity and art was my happy place. I'd draw, color in crayons, paint at school, and when I wasn't inside doing an art or craft I'd sit outside and creatively make up names and voices for the animals in the neighborhood with my bestie and make up their lives....
When I moved out of Rhode Island in my 20's to live w my now husband, I adjusted to living in Ohio, far away from my family and finding a new job, painting gave me calm. I always felt better and peaceful while and after painting. Usually a neighborhood house or something outside. Ohio was ok, I was more acquainted with my husbands family there but felt landlocked and became somewhat depressed. Art helped me out of that. Kept me going. I even made my own wedding invitations because no one had anything in the late 90's that was delicately pretty with floral mulberry paper and rose petals with vellum paper and envelopes. So I busied myself making my own! I also made a couple wedding invitations for other weddings as well!
Friends and majoring in Graphic Design instead of business at UH in the early 2000’s make me happy and busied me during the separations of my husbands deployments. Art makes me brave with confidence and saved me from depression or loneliness and comforted me in life transitions. xoxo