I consider myself to encompass different colors in different situations. At home and with friends and family where I am comfortable I would most consider myself yellow, warm and bright. However when I am alone, I can be blue- cool, calm and subdued. When I am working on something I can be purple- confident, thoughtful and responsible and I can definitely be red sometimes when I experience strong feelings such as love and anger. I see myself as so many colors in different situations but I suppose others looking at me can associate me with the color light blue- quiet, kind and easy to be with.
It was one of the most comfortable, easy going, fun photoshoot I had this year so far. Probably because Hana is the person I have shot most in my life. Remembering back my first times when I had my camera and just started to photograph people in a creative perspective, Hana was willing to volunteer for my photographs. And strongly, I can confidently say that my photographs were able to express my artistic abilities more and deeper when I felt a stronger relationship. I always had a curiosity, attraction to humans; both because I grew up fighting loneliness and low self esteem. And Hana let me start express and capture that through photography and the 'time' we spent together.
I am lucky to have such a broad depth of understanding. Minsung calls it my worst and best trait but I think it's my best. My understanding has helped me come into terms of situations which have hurt me and that equals to less stress. My very open-mindness helps me to learn new things, to be more creative and have more ways to think. My desire to understand something or someone has broadened my mind and makes me more curious, and more knowledgeable.It helps in all facets of my life.
It was such a natural process to prepare for her shoot, I knew how it was going to look even before I got her interviews. The years we have together between us was deep enough to connect that to her photoshoot; I was glad that there is someone next to me that I am so close to, not far away, who I can appreciate her inner and outer beauty through my talent.
Being a Korean
I appreciate the culture of Jeong (정) the most. This quality is embedded in me by my mom, my family, my growing up in korea and around korean people in America. This helps me to love and care easily, helps me to not be alone and vindictive, and just makes me a better person.
Even after 11 years, it is still very much limiting and difficult. It frustrates me when I can’t do simple things that others can, it annoys me when I have to plan extra for when I go out or travel, it makes me self-conscious when I meet strangers or think about doing new things, and makes me sad when I imagine what could have been if I did not have a disability.
However without it I would have not known the extent of strangers, and really everyone around me’s kindness. The simple goodness and helpfulness, really the kind nature and the beauty of humanity that everyone possesses. I would have not known the extent that I can be so able, how resilient, cunning, and adaptable that I can be. I also believe that it has helped me to love and care more, to hold precious simple things, and find happiness in the smallest places.
Ever since I met her she was on a wheelchair. I am not sure if I am responding to it so immaturely, but I have never thought that it was a hinder for me to distract my perspective to see her, to spend time with her, to travel with her, and to share my own vulnerability to her also. Actually, I felt selfish and sorry often for not thinking about how she would have felt uncomfortable as sometimes I would nag her to go on trips with me. I still remember the first time she opened her story of how she got on the wheelchair, it was our trip back from Arkansas. Back then I was like a lonely island shaking all the time not knowing where to rely my emotions and tears to. The fact that she shared her story to me meant that I was worthy enough to take her burden. Not that I could replace all her past but, just the simple fact that I am known and I could listen to that without any prejudice, she made me realize I was not alone, I had a friend. Furthermore, that meant I could open my heart to somebody as well. I never compared my sadness to hers, because sadness or trauma do not exist to be compared, but to be listened and empathized. And I believe, starting from that night, I was able to slowly and little by little rely on to her and become released from my own isolated island.
There have been some notices these days of people passing away recently so mainly for the health of all who I love and care about. Health is the most important and time is not guaranteed for anyone so I want to make sure to make all time that I spend with my people to be positive and good ones.
I have many relationships around me and I have to be honest that I do have some kind of expectations to each one of them. I want that person to become more confident, I want that person to get a better job so it brings more comfort in life, I hope that person learns how to apologize with integrity, I hope that person will care less about what other people say. Here and there, I have small things that may accumulate that I wish and pray for them, as in terms of in my side of the relationship. But thinking about Hana, I wonder if all the expectations I have for someone is meaningful. Because when I think of her, whatever she does for her career, whoever she chooses for her spouse, how successful she will become is out of my boundaries. Those are secondary, I just simply want her to be herself and live everyday with peace. I wonder, if my expectations for others are just a result of my anxieties crawling over their lives which is unnecessary at all. And I realize that what I feel for her should be real love. Real care. If she is okay and happy now, I do not want to ask anything else for her, but just to live, and stay as my friend today as well.
I think of her as a wide, deep lake. It encompasses the sunlight of the day and the stars of light. It lets the grass grow and animals come and rest under the shade. I am so thankful to her for letting me capture her again, herself at the age of twenty eight. Thank you! Miss you.