That Moment...

My niece is a big fan of BTS, a Korean boyband. I started listening to Kpop so I could relate to her. Don’t worry, I am not about to discuss Kpop. That’s another blog.

I am a big fan of music. I literally give every genre a chance and it has lead me to discover surprising finds, from the unexpected musicality of Nick Jonas (Close was on my repeat for two days) to the gem that is this man.

It wasn’t hard for me to give Kpop a chance. BTS has been, along with a few others, been a pleasure to watch. They are one of the few that write their own songs, came from a small agency and came from the bottom before climbing to the top through sheer hard work.

Yesterday, I watched a video of the youngest member, Jeon Jungkook, witnessing a group of street dancers do a cover of their dance, I Need You. Fans approached him but he asked them to wait because he wanted to watch the whole performance. Witnesses said Jungkook looked like he was in a trance, as if watching a group of street dancers cover their song and dance hit him in the gut. He was in complete disbelief. Fans said it is as if he felt so shocked that someone would bother to cover their song and felt so undeserving and embarrassed.

A little bit later, he tweeted. He confirmed he was in the area but didn’t mention he watched the street performance. He did say, somewhat out of the blue, that he will work harder and that he misses their fans.

It just hit me. Jungkook is not even legal in US standards. Yet, he is already living his dream with the world ahead of him. Many other young people got their moment earlier in life but it is rare for that moment to be caught on camera.

That’s probably why Jungkook’s moment inspired and enlightened me.

They never denied that their journey is hard because they came from a small entertainment agency. That meant they had less influence on TV stations, which is a huge part of a celebrity’s success in Korea. They had to compensate by working twice as hard and exhausting other marketing channels such as Social Networks. They spit out new songs three times as fast as the biggest boy bands in Korea, create new contents for their social networks they would put Ryan Higa to shame and come up with new choreographs almost monthly.

They are all aware that they are practically giving up what may be a “normal” youth but they have long accepted that it is the price of their ambition. They are all aware of the alternative youth they could be living but they choose the one they are living. It’s not just about recognition or money, it is what they want. It is what they chose. It is the life they wanted.

It may be that it is the first day of 2017 but the story pulls me in so many different directions.

I don’t remember much of my youth anymore. In fact, I hardly remember anything but work. For some odd reason, I define my youth though the works I have done. I liked working. I still do but I am not quite sure whether the kind of works I did is my passion. I have always wanted to be a writer and I was. To a certain extent, I still am but writing has always been “a second job” for me, a second priority, a "by the way". It was my passion but not my priority.

I was way too concerned about bills and stability to risk everything for my dream.

I bought a house and cars instead of spending money on travels and experiences.

Before I know it, I was too far gone. I had responsibilities I didn’t even know I took. Turning my back on all these would still be possible but not without hurting people and their pain would be something I will never be able to bear.

I wouldn’t call myself a failure. I did manage to have the money to grant the people that I love some luxury and create memories with them in the process.

I am not a success either, not in ways that matter to me - writing, discovering and traveling.

I realized, in an absolutely brilliant moment, that I cannot change the past. What I can do is make sure to not look back at this moment 20 years from now and regret that I didn’t act on my moment of genius.

Since I already spent two decades of my life securing my future, I might as well capitalize on that. No matter what happens, I will never be homeless. I can always go back home. I only need to worry about the food I will eat. What better time to prioritize my passion? I slightly fucked up my past, I am not about to do it twice.

I have now. I can write more now and expound on the ideas I have in my head. I have characters that want to come alive so bad, they sometimes take over me. The mental institution doesn’t sound attractive to me. Pages of a book sound better.

I have the people the I love. I have a niece who is more like my daughter. She loves traveling. I can give her the chance to do what I regret not doing. I could take her with me to travel until she is ready to start a career and start her own journey towards a world all her own to create or discover.

I have what is left of my time. I have places to visit, words to write, people to meet and things to learn just because.

Two years from now, maybe five, maybe ten… I will have that Jungkook moment when I stand in awe as I realize that I made it. I am finally the person I want to be in a place I wanted to reach.

As Park Jimin, also of BTS, once said, if you keep on working hard, despite failures, beyond sacrifices, you will get what you want, or at least, what you deserve.

K.G. Raymund

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