Childhood memories in Korea

So here’s a bit of my story. I was born in Seoul, Korea and lived there (well, “here” now that I’m back) until I was 8 years old. Until then, I thought I was going to live like any other normal Korean kids. Never in my short 8 years of life, did I think that I’ll be moving away from my “home” and live in different countries… for 15 years!

Because of this, Seoul to me was more of a place of nostalgia than somewhere I would call “home.” When I lived abroad, I could look back at those years in Korea and recall the sweet, sentimental notes of childhood memories. Those memories always felt dreamlike and brought a smile on my face.

Coming back at the age of 23, I was disillusioned and confused. Not only because of repatriation, but it was the feeling of having an old memory in mind, and realizing that everything has changed with time. The feel-good nostalgias from my 8 years of childhood had to face the harsh realities of change. You know when you meet a good friend from childhood for the first time in many years, only to realize that she isn’t that same person anymore? Yeah, something like that and I felt completely misaligned.

Fast forward to today, I am now 26 and feeling more settled than before. Thank goodness. Every once in a while, I like to give myself a pat on the back for how I’ve adjusted. I can’t say I have fully adjusted as a local Korean would nor does my life resemble anything from my childhood memories, but it has evolved and took form of a new chapter. I see this place with a more mature outlook.

What do you remember from your childhood?

-M

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