Regrets are oftentimes a result of a decision that entailed a huge sacrifice on our part or things didn’t happen the way we wanted to. It’s not bad to have regrets but I believe that a lot of us also acknowledge that not all regrets stay as regrets. We come to realize that the struggles and pain brought about by certain choices made us stronger and better human beings. That perhaps if we were given a do-over and can make a different choice, we’d still make the same decision just like we did before.
18 Again was such a great family kdrama about hardships, healing, and realizing that just because you’re a family doesn’t mean you know everything that your loved one is going through. I’m glad that the actor who portrayed the teen Dae Young, Lee Do Hyun, got his breakout role here. After seeing him not get Jang Man Weol in Hotel Del Luna, he finally gets (back) the girl this time! The comedy moments, sweet flashbacks, and lightbulb moments of love made this korean drama such a memorable one for me.
There have been a couple of the getting younger or getting a reset kind of korean dramas throughout the years. I kept comparing this show with a similar-ish kdrama, Familiar Wife, where the husband & wife were also going through a hard time and the former got a do-over with his life. It was a good show but I felt like they didn’t give the wife enough credit in having her fair share of mistakes and that it was primarily the husband who needed to realize his mistakes. What I like most about 18 Again kdrama is that they showed that both sides, the man and woman, had their respective shortcomings towards one another.
The things that I learned here aren’t just for married couples as these reminders are applicable to one’s family, friends, co-workers, and other relationships as well. Do read my first impressions about 18 Again kdrama and fall in love with the Hong family and their heartwarming journey!👨👩👧👦
Unnie Life Lessons
1. Make an effort to communicate and understand what your loved ones are going through with their daily lives. Respecting one’s space is not bad but misunderstandings and conflicts arise from assumptions that exist only in our head.
- Da Jung had no idea that Dae Young was struggling with work and even discovered that he had given up a chance to play basketball again after she gave birth to their twins. She regrets not having this knowledge as it could have prevented arguments between them that ultimately formed cracks in their marriage. Granted Dae Young could have voluntarily told her this, but I understand when a person just wants to unwind and not have to talk about their problems at once. Their marriage crumbled further because they weren’t properly communicating their feelings anymore.
- Communication is a two-person effort, but I believe that your loved ones will open up at the right time as long as you make them feel valued and safe when they share with you. Sometimes, you have to be the bigger person to understand first for a good conversation to flow between you & your loved one. Although Da Jung was livid at first when Si-A told her that she wasn’t going to college and instead attend a make-up school, our ever wonder woman mom took the time to listen to Si-A’s reasons and supported her decision in the end. Si-A also apologized and admitted that she was wrong in thinking that her parents saw her as a burden all this time.
- A lot of the Hong family’s conflicts came from not telling each other what they truly felt and assuming the worst in each other. Though it can be tiring at times, we owe it to the people we care about to not judge them and offer open arms (and ears!) when they need someone to talk to.
2. Our actions can mean something else to other people. We might think it’s okay in our own perspective, but it could actually have negative impact especially to our loved ones.
- Da Jung advised Woo Young that if he was serious about having a basketball career, he ought to stop with his drinking & smoking habits. I’m all for respecting one’s privacy and just like the life lesson above, we cannot assume what goes on in a person’s life. But it doesn’t hurt to listen and think about our loved ones’ opinions because they only want what’s best for us. It may seem harmless to us because we know our own limits, but a different person’s perspective could be a way for us to grow & improve more.
- Unbeknownst to Da Jung and Dae Young, their kids felt disappointed for witnessing them smoke and drink respectively. In Da Jung’s case, she was trying the electronic cigarette as she was curious on how it would feel since her husband loves to smoke. Meanwhile, drinking was Dae Young’s way of coping with issues at work. These reasons are not bad but nevertheless, it gave the wrong idea to their kids. These deeds done in moderation are not bad, but we have to remember that not everyone will understand our actions.
- We have to be mindful of what we do, especially when there are people counting on us or look up to us like a role model, because we might set a wrong example to them unintentionally. Just like with the first life lesson, talking things out is the only way to resolve uncertain thoughts and musings.
3. Happy endings don’t equate to a picture perfect life. It is however, a beautiful mess comprised of cheerful moments entwined with arguments and frustrations. What’s important is growing through the tough times and relishing the bright & uplifting experiences together.
- It was such a nice and realistic ending knowing that although Dae Young and Da Jung had resolved their major issues, they still fought and bickered with each other after getting married again. Conflicts are a normal part of any relationship, but I don’t blame anyone if they say that they’d want things to be pleasant all the time. Heck, who wants to feel discomfort & awkwardness right? 18 Again korean drama reminds us that not getting along all the time is okay, it’s a natural consequence of our unique identities as humans.
- We grow through our mistakes because we learn things that we shouldn’t do anymore or find ways to improve on ourselves because of such experiences. Because of this, we are able to enjoy both the good & difficult moments of life with a contented heart😊
It’s been so long since I wrote a life lessons post and I really wanted to write this one because this year has been so devastating — I, we, need a reminder that things will be okay even if our situation isn’t at its best✨ No matter how young or older we get, it’s never too late to learn something new, do the things we always wanted to do, and cherish the moments that make us happy.