“I used to smoke a ton, like two packs a day. I even smoked the ones without filters, because I just liked it better. After sometime, I started to feel a big pain in my lungs, as if my lungs were bursting. It hurt so much that I quit. Honestly I regret ever smoking in the first place. Even now when I see something like, ‘young smoker’s lungs images’ it’s so scary.”
“It couldn’t have been very easy to quit smoking. How did you do it?”
“There is only one way for me to stop smoking. Throw away all of the cigarettes at my home. Students don’t have very much money, so they can’t buy more cigarettes.”
“Nevertheless, quitting seems difficult.”
“It’s incredibly difficult. However, if I speak frankly, since I quit smoking I could be, you know, more dignified. As a young person, I could do something better and gain dignity. I also could improve my relationship with my parents. I think it’s the best source of pride for me, although that’s the only one I have.”

“제가 원래 담배를 엄청 폈었거든요. 하루에 두갑씩 폈었어요. 필터까지 빼고 폈어요. 그냥 좋아서 폈어요. 그렇게 피다보니까 폐가 너무 아팠어요. 폐가 터지는 느낌이었어요. 너무 아파서 끊었을 정도에요. 솔직히 담배 핀게 후회되요. 지금도 ‘청소년 흡연인의 폐.jpg’ 이런거 보면 진짜 무서워요.”
“담배를 끊는 게 쉽지 않았을텐데 어떻게 끊었나요?”
“끊는 방법은 한 가지밖에 없어요. 집에 있는 담배를 다 버리면 되요. 학생이라 돈도 없으니 더는 담배를 못 사거든요.”
“그래도 끊기 힘들었텐데요.”
“엄청 힘들었어요. 하지만 정말 솔직하게 말씀드리면, 담배 끊으니까 좀 뭐랄까 당당해질 수 있었어요. 청소년으로서 뭔가를 더 잘 할 수 있다는 당당함도 생겼고, 부모님과의 관계도 나아질 수 있었어요. 그게 제 하나밖에 없지만 최고의 자랑거리인 것 같아요.”

“I’m an engineering student, so I’m not a very eloquent speaker. It’s easy to memorize an answer or give a short answer to something, but it’s difficult for me to answer something on the spot.”

“이공계생이라서 말주변이 없어요. 답을 외우거나 단답형으로 대답하는 건 쉬운데, 즉석에서 대답하는 건 되게 어려워요.”

Sometimes, being so far away is so difficult. A feeling of loneliness often creeps in. Want and desire to be near that person becomes almost overwhelming. The thought that it might be easier to walk away may sink in. But sometimes, you just need to close your eyes and imagine your life without that person. How do you feel now? The distance may be gone, but so will the person you’ve been waiting for. & losing that person because you can’t handle the distance, would just make everything so much more difficult in the end.
—  Me (the distance is difficult, but losing her would be even worse)