Usually, I would say that spending this much time on social networking would be really counter productive. However, I've spent a lot of that time looking back through pictures. Pictures have an awesome way of capturing not just memories, but also feelings. Looking back at all these pictures I've taken or been tagged in, I feel so full of nostalgia.
The pictures that stuck out the most were the ones with people that I had a "falling out" with or at some point or another had negative feelings towards. Those pictures are the hardest to look at. It's hard to look and truly recall a happy memory with someone who, at last encounter, left such a foul taste in my mouth. Then I realized.... my current* feelings towards a person should have no impact on my recollection of a happy time with them. (I'm not sure that sentence structure made sense, but I can't really think of a better way to put it).
For example, I came across a series of pictures with a group of girls with whom I had been close with throughout university. Towards the end of my time at my university some events transpired and I more or less cut off communications with two of those girls. I didn't want to, but I felt like it was what I needed to do. I still feel a little.... bitter? upset? maybe jealous? that I was unable to sustain any kind of friendship with either one of them, however the wound has healed and just the memory of the pain remains. Looking at the pictures of us, it would be wrong to let any kind of negativity seep in... because at the time of the picture, things were perfect.
Just because I'm not currently friends with them does not erase the good times we had together. Period.
Once I actually gave it a little thought, I realized that I will need to apply this in several ways once I get home.
I have been gone for four years, and hopefully I will be reconnecting with old friends-- some of whom I will have kept in close contact with, some with sporadic contact, and hopefully some with whom I've lost touch completely. For the most part, everyone I plan to see will be people that I have only had positive experiences with, but I know that it will come up where I will encounter people that I have negative feelings towards or more likely, had negative feelings towards me.**
I should choose to remember the good, and just forget the bad. If and when we meet, we will be at least four years older and hopefully four years wiser. Everyone changes, and instead of walking into these new-old social situations scared of being judged for past situations or behaviors, I should walk into them with the confidence that like myself, other people have chosen to move past them (and if they haven't.... would I really want to spend time with someone so stuck in the past? Would that really help me grow and move forward? No way!).
I'm extremely sad and anxious to leave Korea and the friends and family I've built for myself here, but I'm also excited to go home and build new bonds and friendships.
*By "current" I mean the residual feelings of hurt or negativity that I have towards someone.
**Looking back on how I was/felt in university versus how I am/feel now... there is a HUGE difference. I realize that I may not have been the easiest person to be friends with. I know I've gone through a huge transformation since then, and it is definitely evident through my current awesome friendships and better relationships with my family.