“We are all like books.
We wait for someone to find us and open us to see what's inside.”
In life you often see something or you read something that resonates a little strongly with you than with anyone else. And you wonder why this piece or medium is affecting you like this? What part of this is striking such a strong chord in your heart that you not only relate to it, but you also begin to see how you can learn from it.
And to me, sometimes it’s in the books I read, sometimes it’s the things I watch, sometimes it can be the people I meet. But more often than not, it’s the story I understand from it and how it makes me feel.
So, as a first on the blog, I’ll be talking about two of such stories that not only managed to make me feel all the feels, but interestingly, they both derive meaning from words, books and writing. How thematically appropriate! :)
The first story will be a review of a Korean Drama (KDrama) called “Romance Is A Bonus Book.”
Now don’t go rolling your eyes at me, it’s more than meets the title. And if you’ve been a reader long enough, you’d know that the review comes with the things that have resonated with me in such a way where I have learned something from the show.
(P.s. as usual, its spoiler free!)
Romance Is a Bonus Book
Snap Summary: Kang Dan-i has recently divorced her long time husband. Now after a long period of neglecting her own needs to selflessly keep her family happy, she is now forced to get back on her feet, find a job to support her child and rebuilt the confidence she thought she had once lost. Accompanying her process of self-discovery is Cha Eun-ho, a childhood friend who (as predicted) is in love with our protagonist but she doesn’t know it yet.
Lying on her resume to look like she has no work experience, she manages to get into the same company Cha Eun-ho works for, which is a book publishing firm. And so begins her daily adventures in finding herself, realizing the value of good friends, learning how to forgive and trying to be happy despite whatever life throws in her direction.
And so here are 10 things I learned from this wonderful KDrama:
1. It’s important to have people who support you, it’s great to have that emotional push. But sometimes, you need to believe in yourself first before other people start believing in you. No one is as big a cheerleader for yourself, than you are. And sometimes, no one can cheer for you louder than you can. So before you tell yourself that you will only be able to achieve this feat if someone is by your side, maybe you need to rethink the value you give yourself first.
2. “The word, “stranger”, carries a sense of distance and unfamiliarity with it. But the truth is, we’re all strangers to each other after all. Distant but close. Unfamiliar but familiar at the same time. That’s us. And that’s probably why all of us carry an array of unfold stories in our hearts.”
3. Sometimes you need to un-learn and start over, to proceed further. The experience you have gathered through the course of your life is great, but it often formulates impressions that cement beliefs. To build the change you wish to see in yourself only begins if you aren’t afraid to start from the beginning. A new chapter in your life.
4. “Dream. And yearn. Love deeply and lastingly. We rest, and dwell in our momentary joy to recharge ourselves so that we can return to the world full of pain. So that we can have new dreams. Yearn for new things, and love once again, deeply and lastingly.”
5. The best way to show someone you care, is to give them space. And only if they realize your value in their life, on their own, will they truly know your worth. Cha Eun-ho does the same with Kang Dan-i. He says that this love isn’t an ultimatum. It’s easy, and not self-consuming. It’s about respect for each other and waiting patiently for what unfolds.
6. ”When something leaves, it leaves a hole and you get to decide what to fill it with.”
7. What you initially consider important, may not take the same priority later on. And sometimes, that’s okay. When your life goals are changing, your outlook does too. And you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
8. “Special moments come during very ordinary moments.”
9. When you love what you do, it shows. When you’re passionate about something, it shows. And more often than not, someone else’s passion towards their work, can motivate you to do your best. All you have to do, is observe, listen and be open to learn. The results may just surprise you :)
10. “People are like a book. As we flip each of pages, we know more about them. And it's really exciting. Whether they are good or not, nevermind. It's just a story written for them for us to learn.”
I love referring to people as books, because it’s true. We are all like books at the end of the day. Some people love our unique life story, which is why they stick around to know how the story continues. They stay in our lives, through all the chapters, endure all the other characters and become an even important part of our personal adventure.
If we’re all like books, then it’s better we make sure we write the best possible life story.
So the 2nd story that really moved me was once again, another KDrama (Yeah, I know. I’m on a roll that makes me crave kimchi ALL the time.)
This one was based off a real story and it’s called “Hymn Of Death”
I know, it sounds pretty grim, but there is so much more to it. Since it was just 3 episodes and the whole thing ended as quickly as it began, there wasn’t much to pick up to formulate into a big list.
(Don’t worry, this too is spoiler free!)
Hymn of Death
Snap Summary: Yun Sim-deok is a western classical singer. In a college in Tokyo, she comes across a very quiet and introspective writer named Kim U-jin. And as fate has it, they begin to develop feelings for each other. But it’s very short lived when secrets are uncovered and the difference in their lives pull them further apart. Of course, they learn to still find a way to endure whatever misfortunes life brings them, in order to find a way to be together. And sometimes… no matter you do, your fate is sealed.
So it’s better to give into it, come to terms with it, and then, make peace with it. In a way you think might bring you solace.
I’m going to leave it at that. And I’m not going to lie, this show was really, really heart wrenching. And that gorgeous OST was just adding so much more feels. It gives you a completely different perspective on how cruel life can be sometimes and no matter how hard you try to be happy, sometimes things just don’t go your way.
This goes against my principles of always trying to find a solution to a problem, as opposed to resigning to your fate. But it also makes you feel grateful for having something in the first place. You tend to value it more. No matter how long it lasts.
But what hit me the hardest was Kim U-jin’s beliefs about writing. He’s been forced to stop writing, as his strict father believes it’s a waste of time. And he should focus his energy in taking over the family business. But with each day he is unable to write, he feels as if he’s suffocating. He can’t breathe. And his soul is dying.
And that made me realize something.
Sometimes I feel like I’m meant to be a writer. Or basically someone who can’t help but express how they feel, no matter what it is. And if I choose to hide how I feel, then it slowly begins to roll up in a ball of confusion, and I don’t know what to do with it. There is this feeling of heaviness, like something is weighing me down. And I need to find a therapeutic way to communicate all this into something that I hope would be an interesting outlet or perspective.
So, sometimes I feel like I’m meant to be a creative. Because is it normal to pick up the simplest things and derive some…. inspiration from it? Is it normal to want to write as much as you want to breathe?
I’ve always said that I’ve loved writing, but this made me want to create more. This inspired me to want to write down what I feel a little bit more honestly, without having to wonder (too much) about how grammatically correct, or purposefully descriptive it is.
I just want to write how I feel. And sometimes I may not get the words right in accuracy. It might not mirror what’s in my head, but as long as it makes me feel alive, then who cares?
So these were the things I learned from KDramas and honestly, they were just so beautiful. From the soundtrack, to their acting, to their scenarios all made me want to write this piece for you. It inspired me in an interesting way and I’m grateful for it.
Will it make me watch more KDrama? Heck yeah! I already have a list ready that may or may not include Lee Jong Suk, coincidentally.
So, when was the last time you watched or read something that inspired you?
They say you were like a closed book.
You were a thick, leather bound book, dusty and your jacket worn.
They say you were a heavy book and very hard to open, but also hard to read.
You’re pages were so thin, and yellowed with time, one was afraid to hold you for the fear the paper might crumble between their fingers.
And if they did, the words written within you were so faded, that letters couldn’t be read. But despite that, you wanted someone to make an effort to read those words.
They said you wanted someone to pick you off the shelf and read you. You wanted someone to flip your pages and read the light calligraphy no matter how incomprehensible you were. You wanted someone to read you chapter by chapter, till the last page.
But you’re old outward appearance and your delicate, pale pages turned everyone’s head away from wanting to read you. So they left you untouched, closed and alone.
You grew accustomed to the loneliness didn’t you? You were used to the fact that people would hardly look at you, or pick you up, leaf through a few pages only to put you back down with disinterest.
You were used to the fact that no one wanted to read your story and actually liking the journey of knowing you. At one point, you preferred your jacket covered with the settling dust of days and months of being untouched. You preferred it if no one would touch your pages and make an effort to read you.
At one point, you did not want to be read anymore.
They say you’re like a closed book.
You were a thick leather bound book, dusty and your jacket worn.
They say you were a heavy book and very hard to open, but also hard to read.
But I want to read you.
All the way to the last page.
May you find something that makes you feel alive,
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the visual and audio media properties used above. All rights and ownership are reserved with the original creators. Neflix/tvN