Reporter Column: Shower Thoughts
Reporter Column: Shower Thoughts
  • Reporter Kim San
  • 승인 2023.05.19 09:59
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Reporter Kim San
Reporter Kim San

 For those who have been following my opinion piece over the past couple of years will know of my slight dissatisfaction with my current mode of life. I feel as though I am not doing justice to my youth by spending it in lecture halls every day frantically jotting down notes as if the words might run away. Meanwhile, there is nothing I am doing to prevent my youth from running away. There is so much in the world to see, to experience, and to live. There are so many emotions to feel, and so many lives that could have been but did not. 
 I have always wanted to be a writer, but I guess I found my passion a little too late to take the exit off-ramp. I was always that guy in high school math class, but in hindsight, my stereotypical persona might have obstructed me from seeing the other version of myself. I sometimes envy those with vast words in their pockets. I suppose the size of one’s lexical field determines one’s ability to process and feel a wide variety of emotions. I wonder if the world would be a happier place with so many ways to experience euphoria or a sadder place with equally as many ways to suffer from heartbreaks.
 I got lucky with my room this semester as it is right next to a mountain. I get to enjoy the beautiful view of nature at work on my desk just out the window. My laptop would often be playing La fille aux cheveux de lin. It is my favorite music, and I can listen to it for hours on end. The music is like those 10-second videos on social media where the ending seamlessly segues into the beginning, so perfectly symmetrical I lose a sense of time listening to it back-to-back. Because I am confined by the narrowness of my emotional diversity, the most I will ever feel is a sense of tranquility. I imagine, though, an emotionally intelligent individual might be inspired by the very view and experience a plethora of emotions that I cannot even conceive of. 
 The concept of loneliness is quite bizarre and antithetical in its own right, as my favorite writer said: never discuss loneliness around other people. It is rude as it cancels out their cherished existence, which is not your intention nor your truth. Experience loneliness as it is meant to be – alone. 
 In the context of high-income countries, South Korea is one of the unhappiest nations on the list. I argue that there is a large discrepancy between what is shown to the outside world about Korea – which is full of dynamism, color, and culture – and what is actually like to live here for an extended period of time. The widely accepted stereotypes of Asian parents are characterized by strict rules and high expectations of their children. My point in bringing this up is not to under-represent them but to say that the mere existence of such stereotypes can be seen as a microcosm of Korea’s societal atmosphere. To achieve the levels of economic success our country has over a concentrated time span, the hard-work mentality has definitely paid off. My question is, though: at what cost?
 Going back to my initial dissatisfaction, I have come to realize that it might not be because of my escaping youth – which, to state for the record, I am still very young – but rather from the societal atmosphere I sense both directly and indirectly to excel at whatever it is I am doing. Consequently, I have come to a cliché realization that knowing to balance one’s professional ambition and personal well-being is important. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive but neither do they go hand in hand. More and more I start to realize with a sense of repose that living here might not be as bad as I made it to be because beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.