Never Want to Forget
I never want to forget the look on my mom’s face when the cashier rang up the sneakers and we realized that they were not on sale. I never want to forget picking up a TV that was thrown out on the street in Williamsburg for my first apartment in NYC, an illegal artist loft with no windows with a shared bathroom for eight residents. The TV got three channels: NBC, Univision, and Telemundo. I never want to forget reduced school lunches. I never want to forget taking all my coins to CoinStar. I never want to forget sharing a piggy bank with a coworker and going to a steak dinner after it filled up, twice. I never want to forget that I got to go to every school trip because my parents made sure that we sold enough chocolate bars or fruit baskets to pay for it. I never want to forget that mom told us to not say the name of the second kid she was babysitting because she didn’t want the first kid she was babysitting to start saying her name because her mom may find out that she was babysitting an additional kid.
I never want to forget how good my mom’s fried bologna sandwiches tasted after school. I never want to forget buying noodle soup for lunch, eating the noodles, saving the soup, and adding rice to the soup for dinner. I never want to forget planning my trips around the city so that I could utilize the free transfer from the train to the bus so that I would only be paying for one ride instead of two. I never want to forget how chubby my face got after college because my diet consisted of pizza slices, bodega sandwiches, instant noodles, and takeout Chinese. I never want to forget how we went to the clearance section then the sales section and never looked at the regularly priced section. I never want to forget working at a sushi restaurant at a food court when I was too young to work. I never want to forget my dad walking away from yard sales after he couldn’t negotiate 50 cents off things he really wanted. I never want to forget working in the dish room freshman year in college for work study. I never want to forget how I lied to my parents about how little my first job paid because I didn’t want them to worry. I never want to forget how rude people were to me when I worked at a laundromat in high school. I never want to forget seeing my parents filing papers at the music school office as a part of my partial scholarship that paid for my saxophone lessons. I never want to forget all the patches my mother sewed to the elbows and knees of clothes that I always ripped during recess. I never want to forget that my parents cried in private.
I never want to forget these things because I need to remind myself that everything will be OK. That things may not always be great. Or even good. At times. But that in the end we find a way. My parents may have never told us but they certainly showed us that opportunities were there for us. They believed that if a kid in subsidized housing worked hard, if you sold enough chocolate bars, you could go to a band trip with kids who had pools and tennis courts in their backyards. And things like that stick with you. You don’t just shake that off and forget things like that. We were free to feel as good about ourselves as everybody else felt about themselves. We were good enough. I need to remember because while to many I don’t have everything but to many more I have more than I need. I need to remember because while the future is unknown the past is set. And I don’t want to change that. I need to remember to appreciate. I need to remember so that I always know what got me here, what made me who I am. And to be proud of all of it.
Hyun Kim executes new ideas. In his 10+ years of work, he’s launched two marketing agencies (LTD+ and Seed Gives Life), three magazines (Blaze, Inked and Vue) as well as revamp existing properties (Vibe and MTV.com). Before DNST, he counted Mountain Dew, Capcom, Def Jam, etnies, Sony BMG, Estee Lauder, Reebok, T-Mobile and more as clients.
DNST, his company’s current and past work include Nike, Heineken, Samsung, Footaction, Timberland, TDK, fashion brand Public School, Eddie Huang’s restaurant Baohaus, Harlem Stage, and the SoHo event space 82Mercer. He has provided commentary for and made appearances on CNN, MTV, HBO, BET, VH1, NPR, AP, L.A. Times and more.
Born in Korea, raised in Ithaca, educated at Cornell, he currently lives in Chinatown, NYC.
Specialties: Content creation. Launching new products. Building teams. Trend spotting and reporting. Exploring the wild online social world. Marketing.