A Year in Seoul - video by Maddy

Monday, February 22, 2010


My things peek out at me from boxes. Timid and nervous, they await their fate. It depresses me slightly how few things I own, especially considering I'll be getting rid of half the boxes barely taking up space in my tiny apartment.

My apartment, at first of symbol of my new found freedom, has become my confinement. I am a modern Rapunzel, 15 stories up, looking out at a landscape of endless glass and steel. Softly, I hum memories of the world outside, quietly building inertia. How I wish I could let down my hair...

I'm on edge now. My things are staring at me vacantly. They seem unfamiliar, as if they had appeared overnight. Who bought this blender? Who mopped this floor and washed these pots and pans for the past year? I feel disconnected from these things and eager to hand them over to someone else.

I own one week in Korea and a couple of boxes of junk.

So this is what I've made of my life, I think... But, then, something inside me swells up indignantly. Yes! That's right! This is what I've made of my life. I can pack it up in two suitcases and move it where I please. I can give much of it away without pain. I am not weighted down, I am not drowning in stuff.

I own two suitcases and a future filled with adventure.

The surge of passion quickly recedes to calmness tinged with confusion. I'm fairly certain that I'm living for something, but I still can't be sure what it is. I've often wondered over the past few years if it was possible to live life differently, and then whether or not it was entirely selfish. Now, sitting her among my boxes, I know the answers are "of course" and "irrelevant." Still, there must be some method to my madness. We humans continually seek patterns out of chaos, stability in the most volatile of existences.

So, here I sit, seeking meaning in the clutter of my boxed possessions, imagining that it matters one bit whether I have two suitcases or twenty. No, I suppose it doesn't matter at all.

Perched on the edge of uncertainty yet again, I can't help but feel a little frightened. I think back to that flight, over one year ago, from New York to Hong Kong. That flight where I verged on hysteria, clutching letters from home and spilling orange juice on innocent bystanders. This time the fear is different. This time I know it's so much more than okay to feel afraid. It's absolutely vital.

I don't know much about the future. I won't even venture to guess. All I know is that I want to watch the concrete crumble until it is fine sand. I want to trade city lights for constellations and I want to climb down from my enclosure on the fifteenth floor and feel the ground beneath me again.

And so, I'll turn out the lights and close the door one last time. I'll get on that plane and I'll live my life out of two suitcases. Who knows? Maybe I'll even whittle it down to one.

1 comment:

  1. Carry your camera and your computer wherever you go and please share your experiences. This world is small, but it is fresh through each new person. Let us continue to experience it through your eyes and your joy, whether it be Boston or Bali, Toledo or Tibet.