Walking Together / by Stella Kim

Washington Square Park, fall afternoon

Washington Square Park, fall afternoon

One night this past weekend, we went to the Kimmel Center at NYU and sat to the side of a long set of stairs looking out the main glass doors to Washington Square Park, wondering. It was raining, and the monument was lit, providing the only source of light over the strangely vacant park. We decided to sit and wait for the rain clouds to dissipate.

**

I thought to myself: I never appreciated, until much later, the opportunities and excitement the city had to offer, largely because I was sick and didn't have any remaining energy beyond my studies to socialize and explore. I spent one of total five years as a university student abroad in Korea recovering from a number of health issues that deterred me, not only in furthering my academic studies, but also in living my life. 

And yet I'm sure that every alumnus feels the same way about those years... and it's okay. It's normal to have that lingering thought about how "I could have..." or "I should have...”
I strongly believe that dwelling in the past is not a problem. It keeps us grounded and wary of possible shortcomings. It keeps us grateful and humble at the same time.

**

Nighttime walks are quiet, peaceful, and, for me, reflective. I would deliberately make the long trip downtown to sit in the park, hoping subconsciously that I would pick up the parts of life I had left behind there, in an attempt to mend the voids and blanks in my story. Each visit was like reading through an old book with previous comments scribed in the margins and creases on the edges of certain pages - I never entirely remember what these notes meant at the time, but each interpretation thereafter complements every preceding notion, and I would slowly fill in the blanks from there.

This time, though, walking, sitting, and wondering together made a world of difference. There comes a point when none of those ambiguous details seem to matter anymore, and you feel so peculiarly liberated from… well, yourself.
 

A warm, close mood took hold as we talked and shared, 
and I found myself wishing that the rain would keep on falling.