Back To Top

It’s the little changes that keep us going

It can be said that most people want to live a life that gives them some precious meaning. Even from their sorrows, they learn a lesson and find happiness. However, when we feel that we live every day losing something important in life, there seems to be almost nothing to help us realize the value of life. For the entire last year, I experienced exactly the same feeling, and I couldn’t find anything to tell me why I have to live. Then I found this book by chance at my aunt’s home, and I began to read it on the spot, attracted by its title.

It was quite hard to understand fully since it dealt with philosophical themes about what life is really about by showing true communication between a little girl and a concierge. What attracted me the most was that little exceptional girl named Paloma, who had never thought of her life as meaningful. What is worse, she thought people wasted all their energy, persuading themselves that there are things which are worthwhile, and that is why life has a meaning. I can’t even imagine how pessimistic her mindset is.

She was unusual as she was a 12-year-old genius. Unfortunately, her intelligence couldn’t make her happy. It rather made her want to commit suicide on the day she would turn 13. There was no way to stop her plan. One day, however, she met Rene, a concierge in her apartment, who was 54 years old. Despite the disparity in age, they became kindred spirits. They were the only people able to understand each other. In the end, Paloma changed her mind, deciding not to commit suicide due to Rene’s death in a car accident. By losing her best friend whom she loved, she questioned herself about what she should do when she was faced with “never” but looked for “always.”

Her answer was finding the moments of always within never in life, and it looks really simple. But, as we all know, it’s not. Maybe our lives are the journeys to find what the meaning of always within never is, or what life is really about. Destinations may differ from person to person, but one thing is sure. The moments of always within never are true and precious, so they tell us our lives are valuable. They are eternity in changes, so we can remember them all the time though we cannot go back to those moments.

Often in life, we are so exhausted and weak that we want to give up everything. We sometimes become skeptical about the value of our lives. However, we already know that the true beauty in this world is not anything, but people themselves who are finding the beauty in life.

Thus, I will not live a dreary life spending all day long regretting the failures and grieving in the abyss of despair. Instead, I will live my life with people I love, making memories, wishes, future dreams, and happiness together. Why? It’s because I promised Paloma that I would search for the moments of always within never with her. This is beauty, in my life and in this world. Someday, when you read this book, I hope you will be with me and Paloma in a journey to search for always within never.
Koh Kyung-jin
Koh Kyung-jin

By Koh Kyung-jin

The writer is a second-year student at Mokdong High School. ―Ed.