Warm Heart in a Cold World (Winter Intro Pt. 2)

What are you thinking as you look down on me?
Are you frustrated with my inconsistency?
Or intrigued that I can find the will to get back up
Or maybe all of this is simply amusing

Cause I’m reaching for you
But my arms aren’t long enough
And I’m running to you
If I could go a little faster
And I’m crying to you
But I can’t hear my own voice
And I am waiting for you
And trying not to fall asleep now

Cause I’m clumsily dancing away this fear
I’m stumbling closer to you
And I’m tumbling over my pride
I will be a fool for you

Fool by Lifehouse


Continued from Winter Intro Pt. 1

It was Friday night and we were set to go on an overnight outing with church friends. As I mentioned on the previous blog post, I didn’t want to go to the overnight outing at first, but I forced myself to go, and it turned out to be a good choice.

After the events and thoughts I recounted in the previous blog, I finally accepted my beautiful fate. Yet God did not stop there.

Here’s what happened next:

When we arrived at church for the outing, we greeted some of the 오빠들 and 언니들 there, including 진솔 언니. I have mentioned 진솔 언니 a few times in this blog before but I don’t think I ever really described her in detail. As a summary of what she is to me, she is basically my favorite 언니 in church. On the first time I went to 시찬 church, I was greeted by a bunch of really nice and friendly 오빠들 and 언니들, but the only face and name that stuck to me was 진솔 언니. Here’s why: I got slightly intimidated by her. Everyone else gave me a warm welcome but 진솔 언니 honestly sent chills down my spine. I was easy to tell that she wasn’t the type of person to give an energetic, friendly impression to people. Instead, she reminded me of Jessica from Girls’ Generation–a total Ice Princess–cold, yet pretty. Maybe it was the way she looked (her sharp-looking eyes gave off an intimidating stare), or maybe because she seemed introverted.

Despite that, as time passed, I realized she was actually such a sweet, caring, thoughtful and warmhearted person. She rode the bus with me often back then and made sure I got home safely. When I was new to the church, she guided me on church stuff, dragged me along to places, ate with me during lunch, and introduced me to people. She also could easily understand my introvert point of view (without me telling her) and made sure I wasn’t burned out by all the social activities. She looked after me a lot as if I she was responsible for this clueless child and worried about me when I hurt myself. Then she began to compliment me and often thought I was cute, and would even steal snaps of me when I wasn’t looking.

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Then there was this time when we went on a trip to Busan with other Chinese friends (whom now had stopped attending church btw). At that time, 진솔 언니 asked one of the other 언니들 to switch seats with her in the van so that she can sit with me. Of course, I was happy, because there’s really no other person in that van that I’d rather sit with. She found it so cute when I laughed, and found it so cute when I talked that I swear she really has fallen in love with me somehow. She also made sure I had my snacks, and fed me often. She also made me play with her phone in the van when it was getting boring in the Busan traffic.(Gosh at this point I knew I was becoming like Seohyun because of all the older females that are so into me). When we got to Busan in that crowded market and the crowded Gamcheon village, she acted like a mother the whole time. When I wanted to go to the bathroom, she personally held my hand like I was her little toddler and went to look for a bathroom with me. When 지은 언니 and I got separated from the group in Gamcheon Village, 진솔 언니 probably got a little heart attack. And I quickly caught on to the fact that she only treated me that way. She didn’t look for 지은 언니, but she looked for me and frantically gave me a bunch of missed calls. When 진솔 언니 finally contacted 지은 언니, the first thing she asked was “Have you seen Nina???” I guess something about me brings out the motherly instincts in women. Not sure if that’s a good thing or what.

Anyway, many months after that Busan trip, she still has a good watchful eye on me until now, although she doesn’t treat me like a complete baby anymore. She wanted me to come to the overnight outing last Friday and made sure I can come. At first, I was kind of upset that I couldn’t get out of this invitation because she was insisting it. I really didn’t want to go because I was tired and heartbroken. I even made stupid excuses to get out of it.

“언니, I promised I would go to this party tonight so I probably can’t go to the overnight outing thing.” I texted her.

“What time does the party end?” she asked. Oh no, I know exactly where she is going with this.

“Around 9 pm or something. I’m not sure,” I replied.

“You can go with 수현 at 10 pm then. How about it?”

Yeah, I couldn’t say no to that. Besides, everyone in our small group except Soohyun couldn’t come, so she probably wants me to go because there aren’t too many people coming. Jinsol Eonni usually doesn’t force me to do something I don’t want to do, and I could’ve said no, but I just felt bad for her. Besides, I already previously told her I would come so cancelling will make me seem like a jerk to myself (because she wouldn’t think of me that way).

Anyway, after meeting 나연 언니 and 종언, my attitude about the whole situation changed. I gladly went and when 진솔 언니 saw me there at church on time, she smiled so widely like she was so glad to see me and called out, “Nina!” Then she hugged me and swung her arm around my neck. This type of physical affection definitely says something coming from her because she’s not the touchy-feely type of person at all (most Koreans aren’t). The most physical affection I ever got from her was when she would sometimes play with my hair. So when she hugs me, it’s more meaningful. That’s when I thought, Wow, she must really be so glad to see me. See, I’m really not lonely at all. How could I forget this sweet 언니 who cares so much about me? How could I just say that I don’t have anyone when I have her? And bruh… I got hugs from two unnies in one night. Wow. It feels really warm all of a sudden.

진솔 언니 rode with us in 태환 오빠’s car on the way to the hostel where we were going to be staying. From that point on, 진솔 언니 made me her responsibility again. We were roommates for the overnight trip, along with a few other girls. During the games, 진솔 언니 and I were in the same team. Again, she slyly took photos of me without me knowing. I guess that has to be the weirdest thing about her. She always secretly takes candid photos of me like she is some ninja and then shows them to me later.

That night did not end so easily though. I was exhausted but, I did not even lie down until 4am. We (people who went to the overnight outing) played board games and just enjoyed the company until way past our bed time. I didn’t even think I could last that long but I did, and it was totally worth it. This was definitely my type of hang out. This is what I definitely considered fun. It’s like playing with family and waiting for the New Year. There was just something familiar and heart-warming about late night board games that made me feel so at home. At that point, I felt that I belonged.

I belong here. I’m supposed to be here. I am wanted and loved here.

Throughout that really weekend, I oddly felt really warm. In fact, when we all went hiking the next day, I felt so warm that I even took off my winter jacket. I walked through the cold, woody forest with with nothing but a thin sweater on (and jeans… of course.) I was so sleepy that day though. Obviously I didn’t get enough sleep. I was trying to keep my eyes open the whole time and I had to “give 수현 a hug” every time I just feel like I was about to fall asleep with no warning. However, I still don’t regret any of it. I had a really great time. We even got to see the first “snow.” (More like little drops of ice that melts as soon as it hits the ground.)

When I got home, I was a changed person (again). I was no longer upset about being being separated from the people I love. Instead, I saw that I wasn’t separated at all. God wants me here and He doesn’t want me to be anywhere else. I realized how blessed I really am and how God is truly working in my life. This is actually the biggest struggle for me. I can tell myself that I accept my fate but deep down I actually don’t and still find myself dreaming of a life that could’ve been or would’ve been if my life had taken another direction.

Sometimes I wonder what God would be thinking as He is watching over me. He probably finds it annoying or maybe even amusing that I would swing back and forth from being an emotional wreck to being an ecstatic kid. One day I’d be thanking Him for my life and then one day I’d be crying and wondering why in the world He would make my life the way it is. And after I break down, even as I pick my broken pieces I clumsily hurt myself again and again. He probably thinks I’m stupid. I was always the beautiful disaster He had called as a daughter anyway. As chaotic and absurdly frustrating as I unknowingly tend to be, He still finds a way to show me that He loves me. If I was God, and if I see myself acting the way I am, I probably do not have enough patience to tolerate any of it. Thankfully, God is more loving and forgiving than I am.

To be continued…

Standing In Front of You (Winter Intro Pt. 1)

You say it’s easier
Alone and undisturbed
You said yes and danced before
And got your feelings hurt
You say most days you’re good
It’s not so bad this room
What chance it’ll rain today
Even though it’s clear and sunny
And you fight it, so hard
How to tell if it’s real or not

Take a breath and listen
Open up stop wishing
All that you’ve been missing
Standing in front of you
Everything you’re fearing
All the walls you’re building
Take a chance your reason
Standing in front of you

Standing In Front of You by Kelly Clarkson


As from my previous blog post, it’s safe to say that I definitely went from a high to a deep low all because of one person… even though I swore that there is no justification for my feelings. Writing that previous blog post only really served as a way to straighten out my thoughts–to remind myself what is right and what needed to be done. But hey, writing a blog post never really solved any of my problems. Even though it seems like I’m being a completely logical person in my blogs, well, not really. Remember that really old post I wrote ages ago about shipping? Yeah, I never really followed my own advice. No wonder I’m still an messed up person… until I somehow realized something:

I’m such an ungrateful idiot all this time.

Now let me tell you what had happened a week or two ago.

That Wednesday, after denying my heartache and laughing it off, I went down into a slump–getting upset and hating everything about how my life had turned out. It wasn’t just because the guy I liked got a girlfriend that I was upset, it was also because everyone seemed to be easily making deep connections and I can’t. And even if I do make friends, they always leave me right after (just like Yukari 언니). Is there something wrong with me? Am I really a cursed nomad–set adrift in the wind, unable to gain any roots? Am I really cursed to roam alone forever? When will I stop drifting off? When will I ever settle down and be with the same people or stay in the same place? I crave familiarity. I am sick of all this change. For once I’d like my life to be predictable. I’m sick of all the plot twists and all the drama. I’m sick of feeling lonely. Why can’t I have friends?? And so my thoughts were immersed in that familiar negativity. Oddly, even though everything seemed to change, my loneliness still won’t leave me alone. No matter how many new people I met, I still felt alone.

 

Then, Thursday evening came (Bible study day), and the pastor suddenly invited himself into my Chinese friend 종언’s house. Of course, the poor kid was surprised since he never expected the pastor to just hold our little meeting at his house. Even though I was still feeling heartbroken, I forced myself to go out there and meet them. And as we were there in 종언’s house with the pastor, 종언 lightened up and asked me, “Hey there’s that international students party thingy tomorrow and there’s free food. If you’re gonna come, wanna go together, 누나?”

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And I was like “Sure, why not?” He’s one of those people who brightens up my mood so I decided to go with him to that party thingy. Besides, I could use some cheering up after my dream boy unknowingly broke my heart.

So the next day after starting the day horribly, riding my bike in cold weather and going around looking for shoes on sale, came back to my room all tired and upset. Then not able to hold back any longer, I just broke into tears. Why isn’t anything going great for me? Why does my life suck so bad? Why is it so cold? Why isn’t anyone here to give me a warm hug? Why isn’t anyone here for me when I’m upset? I’m not asking for a boyfriend; I just want someone to be here for me! I want someone to want me and to care about me! God, please, I’m suffering here!

While I was crying, suddenly my phone rang. It was 종언. I immediately wiped my tears and remembered, Oh right, I was supposed to go to that party with him!

“누나, where are you?” he asked over the phone. Ugh, ever since he started calling me “누나” I just don’t know what to feel about it. He’s just one year younger than me and he never called me “누나” back then. Now every time he calls me that, I feel like I just got myself a freakishly tall baby-damulag little brother. Even though he acts like a kid most of the time, he actually takes care of me more than I take care of him. Really, why even call me “누나”…

“I’m at home,” I replied, feeling like an idiot forgetting the time we were meeting. I’m late.

“Well, do you wanna come or not?” he asked again. “Coz if you don’t want to–”

“I’m coming.” I didn’t want to break my promise with him.

“Okay, I’ll wait for you so we can go together.”

And so I went along with him that afternoon even though I was pretty emotionally and physically drained. I also promised my small group leader and very caring big sis, 진솔 언니 that I will attend the church overnight hangout thing, but after everything I just feel like I don’t want to go. I just want to rest after this party. Nevertheless, I already promised so I have these two energy draining events to attend in one night when I barely even have any energy in the first place.

As 종언 and I were walking and talking together on the way to the party thing, surprisingly I felt so much better. Then I realized, 종언 has actually been such a good friend to me for the past few months. He probably doesn’t know it, and I probably will never tell him, but I was really happy when I first saw him in church that summer. He used to be this idiot weirdo in class back then who liked to joke around with me, but ever since he broke up with his girlfriend and started attending church, there was this whole new side to him that was just, um, how do you explain it… human? I always viewed him as this funny, casual friend back when we were classmates, and that was it. But ever since I got to hang out with him more in church, I got to know more of this deeper thoughts and realized that he was more than those stupid jokes he made. He actually thinks about life, death, and God and has definitely gotten more serious throughout the past few months. Nowadays he talks to me about his life and how he’s doing, and he’s quite honest with me too. When he’s not feeling well, he tells me. When he is happy, he tells me. We also ate together and went home together a bunch of times, just the two of us (but don’t get the wrong idea just because he’s a guy). And that’s when I realized that I actually have made a really good friend: 종언. If he’s comfortable talking to me about more than just jokes and hangs out with me willingly, I realized that he’s actually more than just an acquaintance now. He also cheers me up and I enjoy being with him.

Then I thought as I walked with 종언, Why do I have feelings for the guy who is time zones away from me, and hasn’t talked to me in about a year? Why do I care about him when he probably doesn’t even care about me anymore and is busy being with his girlfriend? That guy–has he ever taken me to a restaurant and ate with me when I craved meat or when I had nothing to do on a holiday? No. Has he ever complimented me and told me that I looked pretty? No. Has he ever complimented me on my talents? Has he ever given me a gift on my birthday? No and no. And yet, 종언, who I consider as nothing but a “very good friend,” has done all of that. Hey, aren’t I in love with the wrong person? Why am I an idiot? Not saying I should date 종언 but really, why am I still in love with someone who isn’t a part of my life anymore?

Anyway when we got to the place of the party, the most annoying thing in the world happened to be there as well. One of our old classmates and her annoying-a$$ American boyfriend were there. I actually have nothing against that classmate because she had always been nice to me, but I cannot stand her freaking boyfriend. Tell you what, I am definitely not jealous that they’re in a relationship even though I just got hurt after seeing my crush with someone else. That American dude is so annoying, like who would even date him? He’s such a flower boy (prettier than his own girlfriend tbh) and is so hyper and crazy and so all over his girlfriend and makes stupid jokes that I don’t find funny. Really, I don’t understand why she would even date him. Well, she has said that she wanted to marry a white dude so I guess this freak is her dream guy. But man, I’d rather jump off a cliff than be in the same room with a guy like that for an hour. I think there would be higher chances of me surviving that jump off a cliff than trying not to kill myself while being in the same room with that moron. Anyway, 종언 is good friends with that guy since they attend some classes together and the guy is really good at basic Chinese (coz his girlfriend is Chinese duh). 종언 even whispered to me that that guy taught him about “sexy stuff” and I’m like “Dude why are you telling me this?” (See, I told you 종언 is weirdly too honest with me.) So when they were chatting I was just there, trying not to roll my eyes so badly. I didn’t want to give off an attitude in front of them. When 종언 saw that I was feeling out of place, he smiled at me, and patted my shoulder. I’m glad he remembered I still exist, but I’m not glad when that American idiot started to giggle after 종언 paid a little attention to me. For goodness sakes, I know what you’re thinking, American boy. But 종언 can be nice to me and affectionately pat my shoulder as much as he likes, and I don’t care what the likes of you think about how he acts around me because to me he’s my friend and I like it when friends are nice and considerate that way, whether they’re the opposite sex or not!

Then after a while that white freak probably thought it would be funny if he left me and 종언 alone so he and his girlfriend left to buy whatever at the nearby convenient store. Thank goodness they left because I’d really rather be alone with 종언 than having to feel out of place. 종언 and I are totally comfortable with each other anyway and we’re not awkward at all. While we were waiting for this party to start, 종언 and I decided to talk about the coming overnight church outing. I decided to change my plans and go with him in 태환 오빠’s car so that I wouldn’t have to worry about how to get to church that night. And so as we were just waiting there, 나연 언니 contacted us. She usually comes to Thursday Bible study with the pastor to explain things better in Chinese for 종언 but she wasn’t able to come this week due to her Master’s studies. Now she wanted to take a little break and see me and 종언 even for just a short while so she contacted us and asked us if she could join us in this free meal. We then ran out to meet her by the west gate of Yeungnam University (near the dorms) so she can join us. It was a really cold evening that day, and yet it surprised me when 나연 언니 ran to give me a long, warm hug.

“Nina!” she exclaimed while holding on to me. “I’m so cold!!!” I guess at that point I can safely say that winter–what I realized to be ironically the most heart-warming season of every year in my life–has finally come.

I warmly hugged 나연 언니 back. I was absolutely delighted to see her. She’s so nice and fun to have around. In fact, she was the one who started the Thursday Bible study, (which was originally a Wednesday dinner), and that’s how I got to know her more. She is very friendly and liked teasing our little 종언 often so we always got a good laugh every time the three of us were together.

The three of us then walked back to the party and waited for the free food. Of course, we were only there for the food, so after eating, we immediately ran out and walked back through the university campus. We talked and laughed and had such a good time even though it was short. While I was laughing and with them that cold evening, I thought once more, Why was I even upset earlier? I’m not lonely. I have these good friends who go on these eat-and-run adventures with me. Being with 나연 언니 and 종언 is such a joy. Everything I really need is right here with me. Not just standing in front of me, but right here, walking and laughing beside me.

At that point, I knew I had no reason to be upset. My joy was rejuvenated. I giddily smiled, not just because 나연 언니 had another funny remark about 종언, but because God has given me friends.

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After meeting 나연 언니, 종언 and I bid her goodbye and went off to our homes to prepare for the church outing. As expected 태환 오빠’s car was already parked near my building, waiting for me to arrive so he can take me to church. I quickly packed my stuff and headed out.

To be continued…

Enough to Let Me Go

(Note: This was previously on private but I have revised it in light of my recent thoughts and experiences.)

Nowadays, I often think about the novel Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. To be honest, it’s been years since I read that book and I only ever read it once so I don’t remember most of the details. However, I can never forget the ending. That ending had me thinking, “if I was in John’s place, would I have been able to do what he did?” Now what did John (the protagonist) do exactly?

WARNING: BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD

Here’s what he did from what I can remember:

John had this girlfriend that he really loved, but then due to some circumstances (I don’t remember anymore exactly why) he had to join the military and was stationed somewhere in the Middle East. Throughout that time that he and his girlfriend had a long distance relationship in which the only way they could communicate was through letters–hence, the book title. But after a while, his girlfriend’s letter had did not seem too enthusiastic and as time passed their letter exchange just had no “spark” anymore. Later John found out that his girlfriend had fallen in love with one of his friends and even resulted in marriage. Ugh, my heart… (FS… anyone? ㅋㅋㅋ) Yeah, typical sad love story where the dude’s heart gets broken coz someone steals his girl…yaddah yaddah… but the ending was definitely something else.

Here’s how it ends:

They find out that her husband had some life-threatening disease that will be the end of him. It was upsetting for her and for John too, because that guy was his friend. When they were expecting the worst of outcomes, that guy (who married the girl) told John to just take good care of the girl when he dies. That dying friend knows the past relationship between John and his wife so he knew that John would be the perfect person to take care of his wife. So basically the dude was implying, “Here John, I know you love my wife, so you take her when I die, okay?” (He didn’t really say that in the book.) But John–GOOD GUY JOHN DAMMIT–well I don’t remember the details, but he did something that made his ex-girlfriend’s husband survive the sickness. It was crazy. John could have just let the man die so he can marry his ex-girlfriend, but instead he helped his ex’s husband survive! Of course since the husband survived, in the end John never got the girl but instead watches his ex and her husband live their happily ever after. Pretty sad, huh?

But that’s not the point. It was sad, but it struck to me that what he did was true love. He loved her so much that he did the most selfless thing for her: he helped her husband survive a fatal sickness instead of letting the guy die and having her all to himself. If you truly loved someone, would you be willing to throw away your desires for that person’s best? Lately, it’s what I’ve been thinking of.

Now I’m young and I don’t know much, but I have had strong feelings for someone that I still hold in a special place in my heart. He may have not reciprocated the feels for he never knew about them, and I never told him how I felt. I was an incredibly shy idiot back then. I haven’t seen him or heard from him in a long time, but I still think about him often. I always regret not being able to do anything about how I felt because now I miss him every time people would ask me stupid questions about boys or ideal types. I’ve never had any feelings for anyone else except for him, and I’ve never met anyone else like him. I always swore I will only date someone like him or better, but I guess a guy like that is not easy to find considering I haven’t met anyone who comes close.

Sometimes, I want to tell myself to be realistic. We were young kids from two different worlds and now we’re two adult-ish college students at two different worlds. I have more chances of getting shiny Pokemon with a perfect nature, perfect IVs, perfect ability, and pokerus than meeting him again. And yet, I’d rather think we’ll meet again someday, and hopefully by then he’ll like me… somehow. But who am I kidding? I was that kid who wouldn’t say more than three words to him because I was so shy. I was that kid whom he sat next to and said hello to but was too shy to make conversation. I was that kid whom he always made an effort to be friendly to but still was to shy to socialize. Whenever I look back, I always think, “What was I thinking? He’s just human, you could have smiled widely and made conversation! Besides, you both have the same dry humor!” But yeah, I can’t turn back time to redo my regrets. Now, (after casually stalking his social media earlier this morning) I just found out that he has a girlfriend and damn, I can easily tell that he really liked her and looked very happy. I bet you he doesn’t even remember me. And as much as I liked seeing him smile widely, I just felt my throat dry up at the sight of seeing someone else causing him to smile that way. I should be happy that he’s finally back to being the sweet, bright-eyed boy that he originally was considering he seemed to be going through a rough time during high school. Now he’s all happy and smiling again, but I’m here trying to be happy for him in the midst of my stupid heartache. I mean, I always prayed that he would be alright and that he would be happy. I should be happy too, right?

“Do you love me enough to let me go?” This is one of the lines from one of my favorite bands, Switchfoot. Whenever I think of him, I always ask this question. It’s a yes or no question, yet both answers are sad replies. If I say yes, I can let go and move on and let him be happy with his own life without me in it. But if I say no, I guess I just don’t love him or myself enough to get rid of this burden of liking him and feeling sorry for myself. Unfortunately, every time I examine my heart for an honest answer, that answer… is a no. I’m sorry. I’m selfish. I don’t know how to just let go yet. I don’t think I could have done what John had. I always reason with myself that I may end up not dating for a long time if I don’t let go of him but I just can’t let go yet. I don’t know why. I still think about him. I still get dreams with him in them, and I just had one of those last night! However, I do know that letting go and moving on is best. And I’m still working on it.

But even if I do let go of him someday, he’ll probably always be special to me. He was the first and only boy I ever liked up until now after all. He made me realize that I can have these sorts of feelings for someone. He made me realize what characteristics I want in a guy. I liked how he sat next to me when he saw that I was lonely. I liked how he naturally helped me out when it seemed like I had no idea what I was doing. I like how he would look straight into my eyes and listen closely when I shyly spoke. I liked how he cheered me on when I was having a hard time. He was a very positive influence to me back when I really needed him so I am still very thankful that I met him. If our story ends at that, I guess I can’t do much about it, but I know for sure that I will never forget him.

I guess this is why I listen to “Good in Goodbye” by Carrie Underwood so often nowadays. I hope that one day I can definitely say that there is good in goodbye like how that song describes it.

Music Questions

Got this from my sister's old blog and decided to do it as well. Okay, let's start!

1: Top 10 favorite songs of all time 
This is a tough question considering how my music taste has evolved so much 
over the past years.. But here goes...

1. Come Back Down - Lifehouse
2. Needle and Haystack Life - Switchfoot
3. Say (All I Need) - OneRepublic
4. Annie - SafetySuit
5. You and Me - Lifehouse
6. Just A Kiss - Lady Antebellum
7. Say When - The Fray
8. In Heaven - JYJ
9. 처음이었조 (Love Sick) - TaeTiSeo
10. Dancing Away With My Heart - Lady Antebellum




2: Top 10 favorite songs at the moment
1. 11:11 - Taeyeon
2. Half Moon - DEAN
3. Umbrella - Far East Movement ft. Hyolyn (Sistar) & Gill Chang
4. Good in Goodbye - Carrie Underwood
5. Bad Day - Daniel Powter
6. See You Again - Carrie Underwood
7. Lost In Love (유리아이) - Taeyeon & Tiffany
8. 울어도 돼 (Go Ahead, Cry) - Jo Bok Rae
9. If You - Big Bang
10. 길을 잃은 아이 (Lost Child) - Han Seo Yoon



3: Top 5 albums of all time
Life Left to Go – SafetySuit
Own The Night - Lady Antebellum
Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson
Purpose - Justin Bieber
Ghost Stories - Coldplay

4: Top 5 albums at the moment
I don't listen to albums as a whole these days.

5: Top 10 favorite bands of all time
Lifehouse
Switchfoot
Lady Antebellum
Vertical Horizon
The Fray
Girls' Generation & TaeTiSeo
CNBLUE
Daughtry
DB5K/TVfXQ
Coldplay


6: Top 10 favorite bands at the moment
None in particular at the moment


7: Top 5 favorite male solo artists
1. Dave Barnes
2. Billy Currington
3. Ra.D
4. David Nail
5. K.Will

8: Top 5 favorite female solo artists
1. Taeyeon
2. Jessica Jung
3. Kelly Clarkson
4. IU
5. LYn


9: Top 3 genres
Ballad
R&B
Alternative Rock


10: 3 songs that make you happy
Sadie Hawkins Dance - Relient K
Russian Roulette - Red Velvet
I Swear - Sistar


11: 3 songs that make you sad
What Hurts The Most - Rascal Flatts
I Never Told You - Colbie Caillat
Good In Goodbye - Carrie Underwood

12: 3 songs that make you nostalgic
Souvenirs - Switchfoot
Realize - Colbie Caillat
Dancing Away With My Heart - Lady Antebellum

13: 3 songs that make you energetic
Fashion - Taeyeon
Why - Taeyeon
Russian Roulette - Red Velvet

14: 3 songs that make you calm
오랜만이죠 - Ra.D
그럼 됐어 - Brother Su
Eat (꺼내 먹어요) - Zion.T

15: 1st song you remember falling in love with
I'm not sure but it's probably
Rainbow -South Border


16: 2 songs that hold meaning for you
Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson (signifies new beginnings)
Not Alone - RED

17: 1st band you remember being a fan of
Daughtry

18: 1st vocalist (M or F) you remember being a fan of
Taylor Swift probably

19: A song you hate
Any song with Lil Wayne or Pitbull in it 


20: A band/artist you used to love and are now embarrassed about
Taylor Swift (still like her old songs tho)

21: Oldest record you own
Who We Are - Lifehouse (2007)

22: Newest record you own
With Love, J - Jessica Jung (2016)

23: How often do you buy music (irl)?
Rarely

24: Least favored genre of music
Opera or children's songs probably idk

25: Name one American band/artist you like
Lifehouse

26: Name one English band/artist you like
Coldplay

27: Name one band/artist you like of which nationality is neither 
American or English
South Border (Filipino)

28: Favorite soundtrack
Run Away (From Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Red/Blue Rescue Team)

29: A song that reminds you of a loved one
Complete - Girls' Generation (I was listening to this on a plane when I broke down crying because of my grandfather's death.)
Dear Mom - Girls' Generation

30: A song that best describes you
Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson

31: A song you’d like to marry on
You and Me - Lifehouse
or All That I'm Asking For - Lifehouse
(I always swore my wedding song will be a Lifehouse song)

32: A song you’d prefer for your funeral
Learning How to Die - Jon Foreman

33: Most unknown song you like
Memories of Fireflies and Stars - Ninzzz127 (it's a song I made lol)

34: Most unknown band/artist you like
Vilray

35: Favorite vocalist
Taeyeon

36: Favorite guitarist
Andy McKee

37: Favorite bassist
Tim Foreman duh or Brad will kill me

38: Favorite drummer
I'd have to say David Chops, our Wildfire drummer from Youth Group
But as for aesthetics... KANG MINHYUK 

39: The toughest band/artist you like
What kinda question is this even... like the noisiest? Heaviest(rock)?

It's either:
Thousand Foot Krutch
Red
Fireflight

idk tbh these bands aren't too heavy to me but my parents 
can't listen to them XD

40: The softest band/artist you like
Vilray probably

41: Top 5 songs of which lyrics you like
Death Bed - Relient K
Divine - Girls' Generation
Good In Goodbye - Carrie Underwood
Not Alone - RED
Eat (꺼내 먹어요) - Zion.T

42: Top 3 instrumental songs
怎麼辦 What To Do (Instrumental) Loving, Never Forgetting OST (戀戀不忘 電視原聲帶)
Waiting - Calum Graham
Roaring Tides - Clannad OST

45: Ever cried on a song? If yes, which one?

Death Bed - Relient K (probably the only song to ever make me cry NOT 
because I'm depressed or anything)
Dear Mom - Girls' Generation (because I moved to Korea alone and I missed my mom)
Not Alone - RED (idk I'm just lonely and going through separation anxiety)
Complete - Girls' Generation (because my grandfather died and this song 
triggered the tears)

46: A song you can’t take seriously
Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley XDDDD THAT MUSIC VIDEO OMG

47: Which bands/artist were mostly played during your childhood by your parents?
Mariah Carey. My mother has a shoe box filled with old cassette tapes
and there were like 3 or so Mariah Carey cassette tapes I think.

48: How important is music to you?
Back then it was an obsession and a hobby, but at this point it's my comfort

49: Would you like to be a part of the music industry?
After watching The Entertainer (Korean Drama), I changed my mind, so... no. XD

50: Something you like and something you despise in music these days
I don't even know what kind of music they have these days coz I'm outdated and 
only listen to the stuff I like so I can't really say.

51: Do you listen to old music? If so, 5 favorite bands/artist
lol define "old music"

Some younger kids think the stuff I listen to is old. Older people think
my music is new. Like Coldplay. Is Coldplay old? What about Switchfoot? Maybe. 
They came out 20 years ago.
I'm gonna go with stuff that are obviously old:

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
The Eagles (formed 1971)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Johann Strauss (1825-1899)

52: Do you own any band merchandise? If so, what and of which bands?
A Switchfoot shirt
A huge TaeTiSeo Dear Santa poster
SNSD compact mirror thingy

53: Do you have tattoos related to bands/artists?
I don't ever wanna get a tattoo

54: Which bands/artists have you seen LIVE?
Carlos Santana

55: Best performance you’ve ever been to?
Idk

56: Tell me something, anything, personal about you and a song/band/album
Back then when we used to live in the Sarawan Building in Abu Dhabi, I used to
get sleep paralysis very often. At that time I didn't know what those episodes 
were but they were SO SCARY. I often got so scared that even if I was too tired 
to stay up, I didn't want to sleep. I tried telling my family about them but
they brush it off as if it's just a dream. I guess they just don't understand how
scary it is to have sleep paralysis almost every time I sleep. So whenever I wake 
up from an episode I would listen to "Joshua" by Lifehouse on repeat so that the 
fear will go away. 


57: Is your music taste familiar to your best friend’s? If no, what do they 
listen to?
My sister and I used to listen to basically the same thing but now we're slightly
different. She keeps on downloading new music while I only download if I really
like something. Like nowadays she listens to stuff like Charlie Puth while I
don't even know who the heck Charlie Puth is.

58: Do you judge people based on their music preferences?
Sometimes lol

59: Bands/artists you still wish to see LIVE? 
Michael Jackson BUT I CAN'T COZ HE'S DEAD
DB5K as five... BUT I CAN'T COZ THEY SPLIT UP
SNSD as 9... BUT I CAN'T COZ JESSICA IS NO LONGER A SOSHI MEMBER


60: Put your music-player on shuffle and write down the first 20 songs (no skipping, be honest)

1. Fiancee (피앙세) - ZE:A Five
2. Behind Your Eyes - Jon Foreman
3. Scraf Dance (From Avatar the Last Airbender OST)
4. That's the Way Love Goes - Janet Jackson
5. Intro (End of Silence) - RED
6. Vitamin - Girls' Generation
7. Hard 2 Love - Lee Brice
8. I Have and Always Will - Dave Barnes
9. What Am I Gonna Do? - Dave Barnes
10. Tabula Rasa - Calum Graham
11. "Minute" Waltz No. 6 in D flat major, Op. 64/1 - Frederic Chopin
12. High - Lecrae
13. 사랑하지마 - Winner
14. Maintain Consciousness - Relient K
15. Way To Go (힘내!) - Girls' Generation
16. Mixed Up - Miley Cyrus
17. Breakeven - The Script
18. Claire De Lune - Claude Debussy
19. Complicated - Avril Lavigne
20. Never Again - Kelly Clarkson

Some Anime List

Here’s just a list of anime that I have enjoyed watching during the past year or so. If you haven’t seen any of these, I SUGGEST YOU DO. I’m really into drama and slice of life, so most of the anime in this list will be in that genre. I won’t spoil too much in my descriptions so don’t worry. (This list is arranged in no particular order.)

Orange (2016)

orange-anime

This is the most recent anime I watched and I really liked it a lot. It’s about trying to change the past and trying to live without regrets. The whole plot revolves around saving a friend from suicide, so there are definitely sad parts throughout, but it ends really well. Also, the characters’ friendship and teamwork is #squadgoals.

 

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (2009)

tokyomagnitude8.jpg

The summer before the earthquakes raged around Gyeongju (felt throughout South Korea), I watched this depressing, heart-wrenching anime that really broke my heart. It’s about two kids who survived a strong earthquake in Tokyo, and a woman who decided to help them get back to their parents. This anime is so sad and yet so good. If you love tragic stories, you must definitely watch this.

 

Kokoro Connect (2012)

kokoro-connect

This anime was fun to watch. Five friends are part of this totally useless high school club until strange things start to happen to them that puts their friendship to the test. Because of the strange, supernatural “trials,” they all end up getting so much closer and getting to know each other more. This anime puts #squadgoals and teamwork to a whole new level.

 

Love, Chuunibyou, & Other Delusions (2012)

chuunibyou.jpg

Okay, this anime started off as fun and kinda ridiculous, but as it progressed, it was actually deeper than I expected it to be. It’s about growing up, and discovering who you are. Let’s face it–we’ve all imagined ourselves as some character in some weird delusional fantasy world when we were younger. But in the end we all have to grow up and face the reality that our fantasy worlds weren’t real. (I haven’t seen the 2nd season though.)

 

Hyouka (2012)

hyouka.jpg

I absolutely enjoyed watching this one. I understand that some people might find this anime boring, but this one is definitely one of my favorites. This is actually a mystery anime, but it’s very light and mostly involves a lot of curious mishaps and theoretical thinking. I would watch this series again to understand the deductions more. The more you watch the more interesting it gets.

 

Erased (2016)

erased.jpg

Once I started watching this anime, I really couldn’t stop until I finished it. So many cliff hangers! It’s another anime that involves changing the past and saving someone from dying, but in this anime, mystery, crime, and murder are involved. Though it’s mostly a mystery, thriller anime, lots of the scenes are quite heart-wrenching as well.

 

Clannad (2007) / Clannad After Story (2008)

clannad.jpg

This is probably one of those anime that I won’t ever forget. The first season (Clannad) revolves around high school life and the characters’ own stories and problems, while the second season revolves around changes and hardships after high school. I watched this anime bit by bit while I was living my life in the dorm. Life wasn’t easy at that time and watching this anime got me thinking a lot about life and people in general. There are a lot of really good themes and lessons in this anime, so I highly recommend it you’re into the slice-of-life genre.

 

Your Lie in April (2014)

20184.jpg

This is another anime that ends in a sad note (literally). It’s a story about never giving up on dreams and living life to the fullest, even when the odds are against you. Since it revolves around classical musicians and music, I really enjoyed watching this anime. So much feels for this one, especially the very bittersweet ending. ㅠㅠ

 

Cardcaptor Sakura (1998)

sakura.jpg

It’s an old kids anime from the 90’s but hey, it never gets old to me. The series is cute, fun, and light, although slightly repetitive in most parts–exactly what you’d expect from a kids anime. As much as it is a light kids anime, the character development and slowly evolving plot is what makes this magical anime definitely worth watching. It gets more interesting and you’ll get more attached with the lovable characters the more you watch.

 

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (2011)

ano-hana-1

 

anohana

This is probably my favorite anime of all time. Until now every time I hear the ending song of this anime I feel like crying. Basically, this anime is about childhood friends that have drifted apart after one of them died. Since then, each of them carried around grief and guilt until years later, when they all learn to let go and forgive themselves and each other.

Music Update

I feel bad that I haven’t been updating on my life more. I have time; I just did not want to write I guess. There have been lots of thoughts in my head. If just wrote them down I could look back and see more of my thought train. Rereading entries have been enjoyable. They take me back to the actual experiences themselves; that’s why I know I need to write in this journal thingy. Anyway, this is just a music update: an update on what I listen to nowadays. The last time I published something like this was years ago… Anyway, here are some good jams that I have been into for the past year.

Winter (January – February)

The New Year started off really well. Winter was cold and new experiences were about to start. I also moved into a new house and went on a vacation to AD. This was a very emotional time. I couldn’t believe that I last 6 months in Korea. My music selection consisted of cool winter jams and cozy ballads during this time.

Top Albums:

Dear Santa – TaeTiSeo

2gether – CNBLUE

How Much Love Do You Have in Your Pocket? (당신의 지갑에는 얼마의 사랑이 있나요?) – Park Yoochun

And… (그리고…) – Lee Seung Gi

Let It Snow, Let It Reindeer – Relient K (This is always my winter/Christmas jam.)

Special Songs:

시선 둘, 시선 하나 (What If..) – EXO

이별의 길 (Farewell My Love) – SHINee

Don’t Forget (잊어버리지마) – Crush ft. Taeyeon

Scream (소리쳐) – Lee Seung Cheol (Our karaoke jam haha)

Rice Fragrance (稻香) – Jay Chou (Our New Year’s Talent Show song)

Rain – Taeyeon

Secret (비밀) – Taeyeon

Sing For You – EXO

불공평해 (Unfair) – EXO

Hello (입김) – Jung Yonghwa ft. Sun Woo Jung Ah

Still (여전히) – Ra.D

Goodbye – Ra.D

It’s Been A While (오랜만이죠) – Ra.D ft. 신지수

우리 함께한 그 모든 시간 – Lee Seung Gi

밀리언조각 (A Million Pieces) – Kyuhyun

Promise You – EXO

Divine – Girls’ Generation

UR – Taeyeon

Promise – Girls’ Generation

감기지 않는 마음 – Park Yoochun

당신의 지갑에는 얼마의 사랑이 있나요? – Park Yoochun

재연 (An Encore) – SHINee

Life – SHINee

Just Once (한번만) – Kyuhyun

7 Years Of Love – Kyuhyun

Complete – Girls’ Generation

 

Spring (March-May)

Received new easy-going music from my sister fitting the new season! It’s spring, and plants are starting to grow back again. New start, new friends, new adventures, yet still unsure about what’s in store. Living alone in my own house was kinda boring most of the time so I started getting into Soundcloud and watching more anime during free time. Also, school life was difficult. The lessons were more advanced and very groan-inducing but spring was like a breath of fresh air. Hello, Cherry Blossoms!

Top Albums:

사이 – Brother Su

With Love, J – Jessica Jung

Summer Forever – Billy Currington

Crush On You – Crush

Special Songs:

Hug Me – Crush

Serene (평온) – Hyuna

Butterfly – BTS

Whalien 52 – BTS

Eat (꺼내 먹어요) – Zion.T

커피를 마시고 (Café Latte) – Urban Zakapa

보통의 연애 – Urban Zakapa

그럼 됐어 – Brother Su

왜 하필 – Brother Su

뻔한 멜로디 (Feat. Crush) – Zion.T

봄인가 봐 (Spring Love) – Eric Nam & Wendy (Red Velvet)

7 Years – Lukas Graham

Here’s my emotional feels/chillstep playlist:

And here’s my really cool remix playlist:

Summer (June-August)

The weather was nice and warm, and my birthday was up. This season was not only filled with fun summer jams like Taeyeon’s Why album, it was also filled with struggles and times of trying hard to stay positive amidst negative emotions. July was really a depressing time for me. Because of that, I couldn’t help but look back to old music to keep my sanity.  By August, I started feeling so much better, so the songs I listened to got more cheerful as well.

Top Albums:

With Love, J – Jessica Jung

Purpose – Justin Bieber

Why – Taeyeon (on repeat almost all summer long)

I Just Wanna Dance – Tiffany

Summer Forever – Billy Currington

Act. 7 – 4Minute

Special Songs:

No Other Name – Hillsong Worship

Tear Down the Walls – Hillsong United

Broken Vessels – Hillsong Worship

The Rock Won’t Move – Vertical Church Band

From the Inside Out – Hillsong

Hate – 4Minute

Crazy – 4Minute

Monster – EXO

Summer Forever – Billy Currington

Should’ve Been Us – Tori Kelly

Dear No One – Tori Kelly

Cry – Mandy Moore

Fashion – Taeyeon

Shut Up – Unnies

Only One – Tiffany

별처럼 (Like a Star) – Taeyeon

Come Back Down – Lifehouse

If You’re Not the One – Daniel Bedingfield

You’re Beautiful – James Blunt

Story of Us – Taylor Swift

红豆 (Red Bean) – Yoona

홍두 (Red Bean) – Davichi

그 여름 (0805) – Girls’ Generation

전활 받지 않는 너에게 – 2AM

웃픈 하루 – g.o.d.

I Swear – Sistar

Fly – Got7

 

Autumn (September – October: Present)

After I finally got out of the depressing rut I found myself in during the summer, I got into a fresh, new music selection. My music selection for this season has absolutely nothing to do with my emotional state at this point, and I’m back to just enjoying music as it is like I used to. And now I don’t listen to sad songs because I’m sad, I listen to them because they fit the fall season. Autumn always reminds me of Forgotten Season.

Top Albums:

130 mood: TRBL – DEAN

Gentlemen’s Game – 2pm

Special Songs:

Russian Roulette – Red Velvet (my earthquake jam lol)

Dumb Dumb – Red Velvet (another earthquake jam XD)

Never – 2pm

Giv u Class – 2pm

Half Moon – DEAN

All With You – Taeyeon

If You – Big Bang

That Man – Baek Ji Young

I See You – Kang Minhyuk

길 잃은 아이 – Han Seo Yoon

울어도 돼 – Jo Bok Rae (OMG this was the most emotional part of the whole drama ㅠㅠ)

Unjustified Negativity

Last Friday I started off the day complaining about how the day was going to be awful and wishing that I never woke up in the first place, even though the day hasn’t fully unfolded yet. I just knew my schedule for that day had groan-inducing, possibly-headed-for-failure activities that I didn’t want to participate in, thereby judging it’s level of crappiness before anything even happened yet. But guess what? I was completely WRONG.

So it all started a few days earlier, when I received a katalk (Kakao Talk) message saying that pretty much most of the worship team was not playing this Friday. Back in Abu Dhabi, worship leading with just me on the instrument department is good enough, but here in Korea, I’ve never played with just me on guitar before. I’m pretty new to most of their songs, their worship music style, and I ABSOLUTELY HATE the INSANE and UNREASONABLE chord changes. It’s very different from playing with my old band back then especially since the worship team for the Friday prayer service are all in their 40s (around middle age probably?) except for me. And ever since I joined the worship team, I always played with another guy on guitar so I can definitely cower behind him when I get confused–which I do so much more often in these old Korean hymns than with the familiar English worship songs I used to play. But this time, the other Guitar Uncle was out and it was just me and the Piano Uncle. So I got to thinking… WHY DID I MAKE A STUPID EXCUSE LAST FRIDAY? I excused myself out of the band the week before because I was just too lazy to learn the songs and my confidence has been lacking lately due to the fact that I find the songs more difficult than what I’m used to. But I didn’t want to be absent for two weeks straight because nobody needs to know that I hate my job as a musician sometimes. I mean I love being a musician and I wouldn’t trade it for anything since I personally asked God for this gift, but I don’t like taking gigs that I think are destined for failure–either because of me or because of some other person. Like the week before that, I just didn’t want to learn the songs and if I didn’t I know I’ll fail at playing anyway so I lied and told them that I had a headache just to get out of my responsibilities. I couldn’t possibly pull out the same excuse this time. And so since I do not have any more decent excuses, I just agreed to take this gig. Better do my best and still suck and be embarrassed on stage than be deemed that kid who doesn’t live up to her word. I actually really want to do my best for this band, not just because I want to play for God and He gave me this job that I promised Him I’d do, but because 진솔 언니 was the one who recommended me to the worship leaders. I never volunteered unlike what I did back in Wildfire. She was the one who got me into this, and I want to make her proud.

Then Friday came and it started off with an exam to ruin my mood even more. The moment I woke up, I kept saying “today is gonna suck” over and over in my head. Yes, the exam sucked, and I mostly flunk most of the upper level questions and even wrote a totally sarcastic essay that I’m not even required to write. Then after that, my class and teacher went to eat 찜닭, which was good, but it just makes me kind of sad that our class is still not close to each other even though the semester is almost over. Well then, free food is always good so it really doesn’t matter. When I got home, I had to practice the songs at home because we don’t really get any decent practice time except for that one hour before the actual worship. What’s worse is that I just received the songs a day earlier, so I don’t really enough time to fully familiarize myself with the songs. I had to practice well and so I did my best, even though I still feel uneasy.

And then the time has come. I came to church and it was just me and Piano Uncle. But instead of feeling nervous, his very kind and humble disposition calmed me down. He’s definitely a lot less intimidating that Guitar Uncle, so I felt less pressured. He was pretty awkward about leading worship as well because he used to be just on piano so I was very empathetic about the whole situation. Ironically, worship turned out to be so much better than I thought it would. And since I was alone on guitar I could hear myself properly, and I was definitely assured that I’m doing quite well and that I’ve still got it. I’m still a good musician. Lately I’ve been too hard on myself for the times I get confused and get chords wrong. I’ve been telling myself that I’m just not good enough when I actually am still pretty good. And that day, I did the same thing. I didn’t want to play because I thought that I couldn’t do it and that I would just embarrass myself. I’ve been playing guitar for six years for goodness sake! And to top that off, I’ve been playing worship in church with a close-nit band for four years and have played in front of hundreds about ten times! I’ve also mentored a few band mates and helped arrange songs and prepare set lists and fix chord sheets! I’ve been trusted by my previous band members to read the leader’s cues and deliver the strong build-ups and emotional calm-downs! I belong to this job. This was my calling. I was trained for this. There is no other reason for me to keep my guitar other than this.

That’s when I realized: God doesn’t want me to quit this job. No matter how useless and awkward I feel playing with a bunch of old people and playing songs that I don’t even fully understand, He gave me this job because He wants me here and He thinks I belong here. I’m a lot like Jonah. God had a job for him that he didn’t want to do, and yet he had to do it. I tried running away by thinking of excuses and lying as well. If I didn’t play guitar this time, Piano Uncle would be all alone and a lot more awkward. In the end, I was very glad I came.

As an added bonus, I ended up eating chicken with 진솔 언니 and her friend at her house after the prayer service. If I didn’t attend the prayer service, I wouldn’t even get to eat with her either. And so the day ended with me feeling very happy after spending time with her. What I thought was an awful day, was ironically a great day after all.