4 01 2011

Sometimes the only thing I can count on is change. For better or worse, the last five months have been difficult adjusting to a life outside of my warm suburban playground. The holidays in particular were a reminder that thousands of miles separated me from the warmth I remember in decorating a tree, baking banana muffins, feasting with family and exchanging gifts. But had I not felt so departed I might have never known the true value in the season: being close with the ones we love. This Christmas, Korea offered little to compensate the emotional connections I have to childhood tradition surrounding the holiday spirit, red, green and white. The lights strung up on buildings, the carols heard inside a cafe, the desperate attempts to advertise an American holiday, all rendered a cerebral spirit void of context outside my reach. But sharing this empty space the best I could, I found myself delighted in the little things that made this Christmas unlike any before it.

Few living in the symmetrical spaced apartments of Ilsan, own conventional ovens, but this didn’t stop my attempts to recreate one of my favorite activities during the yuletide season. My friend and I worked quickly to move in and out the instant chocolate chip cookies from a 12 by 12 inch tray that fit perfectly inside a toaster oven. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but 7 to 9 minutes later each puffed masterpiece came out golden brown in batches of four. It took several hours to complete a few dozen, but it was well worth the effort: the apartment filled with the aroma of something we both felt familiar to. Experiencing snow on Christmas was both romantic and novel; the idea of bundling up considerably before we stepped out to the street shed new meaning on the various holiday jingles that filled our space from a laptop set by the window. The holiday party was enjoyable, so much so that I barely noticed that I was probably missed at home, but things change, so we make the most of it. For better or worse, the holiday season came and went, the dawn of new year rose up and I was happily present in that moment. Though some things we hope never change: the warmth of family, laughter with friends, being in love, inevitably we walk the linear life course that in it’s very nature requires us to adapt, evolve. But knowing that we can believe in change reminds us that we are human and we are alive. At no other time during the year does this seem more important, when we commit ourselves to better, to achieve, to change. For this I resolve.

Would any one like to share their resolutions?




One response

14 01 2011

Hi Whitney, I hope the new year has started off with a bang so far. As far as resolutions go, I’ve decided to stay in school for another year or so. It turns out that I have more time left on my GI bill benefits than I thought, so the mad rush to graduate this spring has turned into a slow coast into graduating next year with 2 minors on top of my mass media degree. In this economy it just makes sense because the job market isn’t exactly jumping. So there you have it…

Think you got the guts?

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