I sit out on the ledge outside of my window, and breathe in the sweet humid air. The house is always kept so cold, and often I prefer to feel the warm air against my skin at night. Nights like this, where it would begin to pour, and never stop were always the most romantic to me. The yellow street lights would flicker on and off as the rain steadily increased. Pools of water would form where drains didn’t exist, and the pavement would shine and glitter into an array of neon colors. Out in Itaewon, distant spotlights would shine back and forth into the sky, illuminating the mesh of deep purple clouds overhead. Cars and motorcycles sped past, breaking the ever steady beat that follows on. I grabbed my earbuds, and listened to music, something melodic matching the rain. Nights like this never last long. Though the mosquito bites that I am gifted with afterwards last much longer.
However, this time will be the last time that I sit in this house and live here for what will seem a lifetime. It’s been a long time since I have travelled back to college, but after my semester abroad in Vietnam it’s as if I am brandished a new person with a more focused goal in life than I had ever had before. In previous years at MICA I had been trying to match what my peers were doing, laughing about how much I loved economics and debating. But in reality I now know that I was never a pure defined artist; I was a mix of logic and creativity, and a part of me every day at MICA hungered for any form of analytical thought. In a sense, I was excited to come back to MICA to focus on what I wanted to do as part of my career, but nervous to confront all the people that would try to drain the hopeful determination I had gained abroad.
As I was ready to move, and all of our possessions rolled away in big trucks, people would tell us how lucky we were to go ‘home’. I would force a smile on my face, claim how much I’m looking forward to going back and finishing school. Smile through my teeth. It’s hard to be excited moving from Seoul to Baltimore.
So thus as the rain falls this late August day, it’s hard to admit to myself that a whole summer has past, and now I am sitting in Baltimore getting ready for college. It is a sickly sweet nostalgic feeling.
Meandering through streets where I am just another person of millions, stepping over puddles as a couple across the way hold each other tenderly. Hearing the beat of the speakers of make-up stores recruiting customers. Smelling the distant sweet scent of baked bread and coffee. I smile to myself and sink into the hopeful optimism again, assuring myself that I must remain determined and retain what I had learned through the past half year. Seoul will always remind me of that.