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hello seattle by Joonho K. '20

i'm on the west coast!!

seattle felt foriegn to me as i walked its avenues, but i wasn’t comparing how foriegn it felt from my hometown in long island, new york, but to boston, and to cambridge, and to MIT. they have successfully replaced the definition of ‘home’ in my subconcious.

i’m in a completely different mindset compared to three weeks ago. then, i was still in MIT mode, thinking about final assignments and projects for the semester, thinking about 6.033, being with a community of friends i lived with and saw daily. i turned 21. the semester finally ended, and people started to slowly move out. by friday, when i left, 2 east was a ghost town, stripped and boxed and stored away for three months. i moved back home01 real home for a week, where i was mostly alone, besides the two days i met some of my high school friends02 playing smash, and also, letterkenny problems: when post-10pm half-off-apps-dollar-rita applebee's is the standard for meetups. and the two days i spent with joanna.03 going to the city, and to round one, probably one of the best arcade/game center chains imho the other days were alonely spent consuming media04 watching anime, playing league, playing overwatch, playing osu… , brushing up on javascript and python05 i'll most likely be working with node.js this summer , reading books06 some manga, and also i want to start pachinko by min jin lee , and being bored. i’d been surrounded with people for an entire semester, and now i had to entertain myself with no psets, no meetings, and nothing due. i wanted to spend a day in nyc from sheer boredom, but it rained consistently throughout the week, which was enough of a deterrent.

now, i’m in a simple but generous apartment in kirkland, washington, about to start my first day as a software engineering intern at godaddy in 9ish hours. here, and in seattle, there are hills – so many hills. the people act different. the HOV lane is often on the right. streets are more rigid, unlike the loopiness of boston. it feels so much larger. the east coast is three hours behind.

i always entertained the idea of living and working for an extended period of time on the west coast almost like a romanticized dream, even while aware of its cons. as someone who was born and grew up on the east coast, the west coast is so far away that it might as well be another country. 07 a significant portion of non-americans would balk at the fact that it took me 5 hours on a plane to get from one point in the country to another. the west coast had an allure to it that was due to not having experienced it. now that i’m about to start that experience, i’m not sure how i feel.

i feel contradictory emotions that are somehow able to coexist: the happiness and contentment of where i am right here and right now – and the lingering doubt, the sinking feeling of you didn’t deserve this. although the happiness wins over this doubt by a longshot, if i dig deep, it’s there. it’s a very human reminder that i still subconciously have a little impostor syndrome, and that’s okay.

fun fact: my first iPod ever was the first-generation iPod shuffle, the one that looked like a late-00s 256MB USB stick. the first album i downloaded to it was Ocean Eyes by Owl City.

♫ hello seattle, i am a mountaineer… ♫

all that being said, i’m really excited. :) i should probably go to sleep, so here’s some photos. 08 being a tourist here is really fun. but i also want to be more than a tourist eventually!

  1. real home back to text
  2. playing smash, and also, letterkenny problems: when post-10pm half-off-apps-dollar-rita applebee's is the standard for meetups. back to text
  3. going to the city, and to round one, probably one of the best arcade/game center chains imho back to text
  4. watching anime, playing league, playing overwatch, playing osu… back to text
  5. i'll most likely be working with node.js this summer back to text
  6. some manga, and also i want to start pachinko by min jin lee back to text
  7. a significant portion of non-americans would balk at the fact that it took me 5 hours on a plane to get from one point in the country to another. back to text
  8. being a tourist here is really fun. but i also want to be more than a tourist eventually! back to text