Even We Are Never Forever

I wrote this on a bus ride after work the other day, following the news that three of our school’s favorite students, and some of the best conversationalists, had left the hagwon. One was somehow getting bad grades in school and his mom pulled him, while two decided to go to another hagwon. Those two didn’t tell me until the day was over. The other one didn’t tell me at all, I found out from his Korean teacher, who also was not told about any of them until that day.

And while students come and go, after spending nine months here and seeing them literally grow up over that time (they’re about 12), it felt like a little bit a punch in the gut.

The early part of my time in South Korea had some sort of permanent feeling to it. We did our jobs and met new people and hung out with them and had a good time. But, then, people started leaving. And, they kept leaving. Then, even the kids started leaving. It’s all so obvious, but, I don’t know. It still can knock the wind out of you.

*

Even we are never forever
We, too, pass through lives
Ephemeral Will-o-Wisps
No matter how hard we hold
Whether or not we’re told
This will last forever or we should be ready for change
We still hurt either way, while we know
Even we are never forever
Leaving lights on in the night
For the next traveler.
Soon someone will turn out the light
As if we were never there.
But, if we never bother to flip the switch,
We will be worse than never forever,
We will be never.

Image
Why am I obviously sad but giving thumbs up? Clearly mixed messages here.
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