There’s a really cool survey going around in Facebook and we’re supposed to write our answers on a status post. But 21 was a turning point in my life and I felt like it deserves better answers so I would always remember.

Age I was given: 21 by Janna

Where I lived: In a co-ed dorm with my housemates-turned-soulmates, Billy and Roro. It was a 20-minute walk to the university and was right beside a bustling and vibrant campus town where you can find cheap eateries, karaoke bars, nightclubs, hair salons, kitschy craft shops, street food, and a 24h convenience store in every block. It was paradise.

What I did: Tried to master a third language, which I successfully did within six months… only to have 80% of it wiped out from memory in the last 8 years or so. On my free time, I lived the greatest adventure of my youth, as I rightfully should.

What I drove: A borrowed bicycle to school until the owner confiscated it. I took bus 190 to go to Unhaeng-dong downtown, bus 220 to church, and the cab home when I am too drunk. There’s an irony in there somewhere.

Who had my heart: Daejeon City, my spiritual hometown that taught me everything. It was where all my dreams were formed and my lifelong friendships bonded. Each time I go back is always bittersweet. Daejeon will remain, forevermore, my first love. But at the end of the day, a city is just a place. It has no obligations whatsoever to love me back.

Now: I am adjusting beautifully to another “home” – my third one. It appears to be more kind, more generous, and therefore difficult to trust. Yet with this realization, I still feel very fortunate, blessed, and humbled.

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