4 years. It took me that much time to write about it— and I’m just getting started. Even if I have great faith in the magic of words, some experiences just takes time to be processed, more than others. Especially something with life-changing magnitude such as this.
4 years. The length of time needed to finish most college degrees. The length of time for a baby to learn crucial life skills such as walking, talking, eating solid food, and studying basic academic concepts. The length of time that enables so many changes.
Even with the awareness that many things will inevitably change in this long time, I still find myself surprised every now and then.
Recently, while I was browsing through my Facebook feed, I read a status of one of our American dorm managers in my former dormitory in Cheonan. They are now moving back to United States, more than 8 years since they first moved to South Korea.
I clicked “Like”, but shock is my real reaction. I don’t know why, but I always kind of expected them to stay there ’til they grow old.
When people are a huge part of our memories, we sometimes expect them to remain the same forever.
With this, I recall comments from my relatives whom I haven’t seen in a long time, things such as, “Wow, you’re all grown up!”, “You’re so tall now!”, etc.
Before, I want to roll my eyes and say, “Of course I’ve changed! You haven’t seen me in YEARS!”
Now, I understand them more.
My special memories are carefully preserved in a corner of my mind. The places I’ve been and the people I met there will always be the same.
Of course, this cannot be true. Now, most foreigner friends returned to their country of origin. Most Korean friends have graduated for college. Some are even married and have children.
Even I had changed a lot. I have graduated from school and had my first job. I found an amazing guy who later became my boyfriend. I now wear red lipstick almost everyday.
The first few months I came home from Korea, my bones ached from the heaviness of nostalgia. Longing for the surprises that later became my comforts. But as news of changes reached me bit by bit, I realized it’s the nature of everything to change. And it’s an inevitable, necessary, and even amazing thing.
Time flies— and we should use its wings to take us to greater heights.