Another year has passed since I posted in here. Just the busy-ness of school- rarely have time to think and reflect. And I knew at that time that I needed to do more of that, but at the same time, there’s already a million and one thoughts in my head, it was impossible to take them all away and to just sit and relax. And whenever I did actually have time to sit and take my mind away from school – my zombie/sleepless state would try to go to sleep mode. It was really bad, but at the same time, I’m not sure what else I could have done to alleviate that.
Now I have graduated (which still seems surreal a month later) from 4 grueling years with blood, sweat, tears (literally all of those). It’s amazing that God has challenged me in the most difficult experience, yet still has given me such joy and happiness. Looking back, I had many times I was doubting myself- whether I was supposed to be here, there were times that I was confident that I should be here – that I loved what I was doing, there were times when I was at my lowest of lows, and would just cry – just a rollercoaster of emotions. While I’m thankful that is over with, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I’ve learned so much, not just about architecture/product design, but just about myself as well and what I tend to enjoy. Where my passions are (even in the design world). After being on the computer so much for architecture – I really started to love doing analog design – such as screenprinting, lettepress, riso, xerox, printmaking, etc. I love just working with my hands, away from the screen (although interestingly enough I like to type more than write when journaling haha). Overall though, I learned so much about myself and loved every minute of it.
Now I am at this point in my life where I’m in transition mode from school to work. I’m excited for the work world. And this past semester, my thoughts were new york new york new york. And while applying, everything is about trying to get to new york. And how much I want to be there. And I was so set on that even till just a week ago, but now that is wavering. I knew I would miss Philly – it’s my home and will always be. And even if I didn’t get to enjoy it as much in the past 4 years, it definitely grew on me, more than defining it just as “Oh, I’ll love Philly bc its my home” but more loving as just for what it is – the quaint yet growing city – loving its imperfections. But as I just hang out more and more with people and trying to make the best of it – I am getting a bit sadder and sadder. Because I know I’ll be leaving soon and all these people I’m meeting – I won’t really get to know them well because I’ll be leaving soon. And something a friend (Danny) said, not in relation to this but asked me if was the closest I’ve been to these people – and I said yes. I mean, I never felt not close, but at the same time, I did feel distant at times because time is such a key factor in getting to know someone and having such time was something I couldn’t give out freely before.
And a friend I met a couple weeks ago said this- “Oh I see that you are a relational person”. I never thought of myself that way – but once he said it, it was true. I like to meet up with people – I like to talk to them – get to know them. Sometimes my introvertedness gets the best of me and I crawl back to my comfort zone. But overall, I like getting to know people and their quirkiness and their lives. Everyone is the way they are through their experiences and their stories. Everyone’s got a story. When my friend opened up the conversation with “What’s your story?” – at first I was taken aback bc I never approached conversations / people like that, but its true- everyone’s got one and its interesting to hear how people got to where they are now.
Back to the topic of work / job prospects. I haven’t applied to anywhere else but ny / dc. I didn’t even consider Philly – telling everyone I need to get out and that I want to be in new york. Now I’m not too sure. Just in the past 2 days, I’m beginning to wonder if I am making the right choice. To be honest, I haven’t been praying for where God wants me to be. I’ve been praying about jobs in general but I think I’m a bit afraid of asking God where He wants me to be and what His plan is for me. I guess in a way, I figure if NY door closes, then its a clear sign, but should be praying about it earnestly.
One reason is yesterday, a friend told me why he thinks God wants him to be in Philly. And his reasoning – man, it made me ashamed of myself. Made me think, man, I’m so so selfish. His reasoning was to minister and evangelize to his parents. While my mom is Christian and goes to church, I’ve noticed over the years, some of her foundation views are skewed and doesn’t know the whole Gospel (I think partly because the church teaches more on Prosperity Gospel). I don’t doubt she is a Christian, but I do think her views could be more grounded on the gospel. And then there’s my dad. Who is the typical stubborn Korean father – that doesn’t speak much and even when he does, its about being successful, financially stable, etc. Even asking him what he believes in is hard for me – and when I have done so in the past, he would brush it off quickly and change the subject. Having a serious conversation like that with my dad is rare – almost to none. Its quite sad – I feel like at times I don’t even know him. So in the past, I have prayed for him – many many years. I think my heart has hardened to him changing – even the tinyist bit. It’s so hard to keep praying for 10+ years when you see almost little to no change. But God, you can do the impossible – you can change stone to flesh:
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Even though I know this is true to the core, it’s still so difficult. I wonder as well if my father is one of the chosen ones, but that is not for me to know and/or decide. This is in His hands and I need to trust and be obedient and pray. It’s been a while, but today I prayed for him. I prayed that his salvation be put into your hands and that I, as his daughter, would show him who Christ was.
When my friend said he was here to evangelize, I was thinking, man what have I been doing these past 4 years? I came to Penn – honestly to please my parents and make them happy. But have I really done that? Sure I accepted Penn but did I do anything else for them? I selfishly done many things over the years – and selfishly was working hard on my school, and not thinking too much about my parents. It’s sometimes so hard – as an only child – to carry the burden. Whilst I of course want to be there for my parents, I also am conscious of my own life and want to live it out and sometimes, being an only child means having to sacrifice those ambitions because of those burdens. I have sacrificed in the past and maybe I sometimes hold that against them (subconsciously), so I would get easily frustrated or annoyed. And not just that, but did I do any evangelism to them? I’m the best version of Christ they know and if my words/actions don’t show that, how can I be intentional/missional elsewhere? It saddens me that these 4 years were wasted in that sense. And made me think, maybe I should be in Philly too – to be that Christ to them. Ah I’m not sure.
And today too – another person I met from church – who was deciding between NY /Philly, but really wants the Philly job and would be satisfied with that. Also staying close to family (who are in NJ). And how they love Renewal. Man, Renewal was my 2nd reason for picking Penn – I knew Renewal was a gospel-centered church with a loving community and firmly grounded reformed theology. I’m wondering, man, am I going to find that in NY? I’ve been thinking about that alot lately – that I’ve been served so well at Renewal and now that I am able to – I want to serve. Well I still want to be served (as in being fed the gospel/being prayed for/loving community/etc), but I really want to give back what I have received and serve back, so I want to go to a church where I can serve in some way. And also maybe a multicultural church where I can invite anyone of any race. Church is such an important aspect in my life, that I am a bit scared/unknown what NY has in store for me. While I am a bit anxious, I know God will make the best of every situation and that I don’t have to worry, bc he’s here every step of the way.
Even relationships – I say I’ll start looking once I’m in NY, but I guess at the same time, who knows? Just talking about the future with an unni today about what we would like to see in a future husband. How to see someone so Christ-centered is so 매력있어…but we rarely see it and when we do, the person is way younger, or way older. We wanted someone socially adept (no deadweights pls, haha), someone “normal”- whatever that means to unni haha, someone that is close with their families…etc. And how timing is key. You would think finding someone like this isn’t hard, but man, it truly is. At the same time, am I ready to date? I have truly enjoyed being single and for the past 4 years, I’ve rarely, if all, wanted to date (mainly bc I wanted to focus on school). Now that I am getting more serious about wanting to date, I remember back to my relationships, I just wish I could just get married – go to the finish line first. Another sister and I were talking and wished God would just point out who we are marrying. Relationships can be so messy, so broken, and shed sometimes the worst in you.
Just so many thoughts running through my head at the moment. Nothing is really set, and everything is up in the air. Just feeling a bit bittersweet about my time in Philly.
And also re-read my last post and oh man, how I forget so easily. I’m so glad I wrote it down and am able to be reminded of it again.
That’s it for now with my random reflection ramblings.