It feels like only days ago when I celebrated the arrival of 2013. I remember setting New Year’s resolution and promising myself to change for the better. The promises, such as losing 5kgs, reading more books, and exercising more, were written at the back of my journal where I keep all my day-to-day happenings. On the bottom of the now-faded list, is “appreciate and cherish everyone I come across.”
As an introvert, I had a difficulty in approaching a stranger for interviews and inquiries. I had to literally breathe in and out exactly three times before beginning a talk with any interviewees. I struggled hard, because I was born as a shy person and did not like talking or speaking, for that matter. Nonetheless, if I wanted to continue working as a reporter at The Dongguk Post, especially as an editor-in-chief, I had to face my fears. It was an unavoidable fact that I had to be the one to face people and speak up for “my” people. It was burdensome and stressful at first, for I did not know if the things I said were appropriate or not, especially towards people of older age. Because I was raised up outside of Korea for more than ten years, I did not know the exactly correct courtesy of speaking to people who are older than I am.
Regardless of all the difficulties, I gradually began to find joy in talking to people. What was once a stressful task became a mechanism that relieved my distress. Through various conversations with many different people, I received the so-called healing. Not only through people I met for articles, but also everyone I came across, including people of different careers and old friends I met when I went back to Bangkok, where I grew up. Everyone had different stories to tell, from his or her own perspective, which I could always find things to learn from, no matter how petite the talk was.
Apart from the stories people shared, what I earned the most through them is the generous patience they had for me. There were times when I was down and depressed by whatever the reason it was (probably the winter blues). I lost the enthusiasm to continue the day and would simply quit doing anything. I kept the story to myself, because I reached to a conclusion that nothing will get better and that only I could be the one to get over with the problem. But when I could not hold it anymore, I released it on my friends and colleagues. I was too sorry that they had to listen to me gibberish, but surprisingly, they expressed sympathy that greatly elevated my mood. I was sorry because I was supposed to be the strong one, being an editor-in-chief and all, but they warmly told me that it is okay to pour out my vulnerability.
Out of ten items on my list of 2013’s resolution, I am confident that I kept the last one (the only one, too). I learned to truly appreciate everyone around me, be it an aquintaince or a close friend. I have finally reached a new chapter of my life where I accept the differences in others and develop the relationship based on the understanding of the difference. I know I still have a lot of room to improve, and sometimes I lose my temper and foolishly return to the previous chapter of life, but this year, by sincerely cherishing people, I feel like I received a thorough healing.
Lee So-young firstname.lastname@example.org
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