Category: Unnie Life Lessons

Unnie Life Lessons: 4 Woman Empowerment Tips by Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, empowerment is defined as “the granting of the power, right, or authority to perform various acts or duties.” I believe though that empowerment is not about just taking action, but it’s also being able to listen and realize when your deeds are wrong and doing something to correct it💪🏻

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung gave women a voice — an influence and power that one can only dream of in a dynasty such as Joseon. Not only Hae Ryung, but supporting characters such as the Queen Dowager, Mo Hwa, Sa Hui, and even the Crown Princess, who stood up for themselves at one point in time and didn’t let other people deter them from speaking their mind when it was necessary. The men here (Prince Lee Rim, Crown Prince, Officer Min, etc) were also nothing short of gracious and respectful to our heroines — without their help, a woman’s revolution at the time would have been impossible.

I cannot emphasize enough my high regards for this because of the unique angle given to women, the romance, and the overall fresh storyline💞 Read about my recommendation post for this kdrama if you’re interested in watching this. My recaps for this show is also available for your reading pleasure!

Unnie Life Lessons

1. Just because you know and speak the truth doesn’t mean other interpretations or opinions are necessarily wrong. Sometimes, understanding the reason for such actions can open our eyes to an issue/perspective.
  • Hae Ryung is a smart and knowledgable female lead who rarely hesitated to voice out worldly facts. I appreciated the fact that she loved to read books but it also isn’t wrong if someone has a different opinion about a particular topic.

  • In the historian exam, Hae Ryung wrote that a solar eclipse was a natural phenomenon and that it’s not something that a King can control simply by performing a ritual. But when the Crown Prince explained that not everyone in Joseon can have a good education like her (Since Hae Ryung is a noble), they wouldn’t know that fact. There are poor people all over and the ritual is meant to calm the villagers nerves and assure them that everything will be okay.
  • Yes, what Hae Ryung answered was true but it also makes sense that not everyone can have access to that information. I know that back then was a different time because now, information is readily available for anyone to peruse. But we can’t expect everyone to perceive an issue the same way — there could be different solutions to a problem and both could either be right or could be improved upon.
  • Even when it doesn’t make sense to us, putting ourselves in another person’s shoes can give us more insight on their situation giving us clarity about their actions.
2. Doing the right thing is not always met with everyone’s approval. Be prepared to take responsibility for your actions and be mindful if your decisions can affect other people too.

  • Hae Ryung submitted a petition that got her into trouble because it involved palace politics. She was made to do all of the tasks left by the assistant clerks and was frowned upon by her male historian peers.
  • Like Officer Min pointed out, one must be ready for the responsibility of such deeds. Don’t complain or lament that you only did the right thing because every action, no matter how good the intention, can elicit a consequence that you must be ready to handle.

  • Doing the right thing is not a crime, but we must consider the effect our actions can have on other people and try exploring other ways to deal with a problem. Hae Ryung could have approached the stipend corruption in a different manner and pondered some more about how the petition can affect her coworkers as well.
  • All throughout the kdrama, Hae Ryung insisted to help and divulge the truth and true enough, she humbly accepted any praise or backlash (if there was) that came along with it. Like her, Sa Hui was bold enough to make her feelings for the Crown Prince known even if it meant people would gossip about her. I know this example is not a “right thing” per say but the fact that she was ready for any punishment is owning up to her actions😁
3. Accepting the fact that there are things in life we cannot change and that this shouldn’t stop us from continuing to live our best days.

  • Mo Hwa comforted Hae Ryung when the latter found out that her decision led to a child’s death. She felt responsible because she could have taken the child with her back to Haeju, but because of Hae Ryung’s concern that the kid might already have smallpox and infect others, she decided against bringing her there.

  • Death is a permanent part of life. Hae Ryung thought of what was best for everyone but it doesn’t mean that if she had decided to take the child with her, that the child would have survived either. If someone we love passes away, we mourn and feel sad about it. But we don’t let such an event weigh us down forever, we have to make good use of our time and do what we can to live well.
  • It would be unfair for us (the living) to deprive ourselves of what life can offer, both joyful days and hardships, by blaming ourselves for things that are out of our control. Let’s use the time we have to continue to work hard and pursue the things that make us happy🦋
4. Be true to yourself and don’t compromise your values just because there are people/situations who/that put you down. Your sincerity and honesty will attract good karma & people into your life.
  • Hae Ryung’s character was never shy in speaking the truth and fighting for what she believed in. She fought tooth and nail to be heard and ruffled up a few government feathers along the way but eventually won over the good graces of people. In the scene below, she was bold enough to persuade the King to stop hating the historians because their role is not to criticize the Royal family, but rather, to write their good traits as an example for the next generation.
  • Even when the King had given her a hard time, she was still perceptive enough to impart such a realization without compromising any values as a historian.✍🏻

  • In relation to tip #2, when Hae Ryung submitted the petition to request for a special investigation regarding the past, she was supported by her fellow historians. It was a risky move but because it was the right thing to do and she did it properly, everyone backed her up and they were eventually rewarded with a happy ending.

Like I mentioned in my last episode recap for the kdrama, Hae Ryung was an imperfect character that also learned a lot from her experience as a historian. In the end, I do think that she and the other women have come a long way since the 1st episode. They are now respected and treated as equals who possess thoughts that matter as well✨

Just like the traditions of the past, it’s not always easy to speak one’s mind and have the courage to be ourselves now in a world where social media triggers comparison and hateful comments. But I believe that as long as we’re mindful of our words, don’t treat mistakes or odd comments as a negative but rather a learning experience, we’ll live an empowered and loved life😊💕

Unnie Life Lessons: Signs of Adulting by My First First Love

When does the line blur between being a young adult and becoming a full-fledged grown-up? Do we draw the line at making sacrifices and taking more responsibilities? Or do we simply reflect on our lives one mundane day, and just know that things are not how they used to be…?🍃

Running away from home, meeting new people, and fighting for what you want in life, My First First Love is a rite of passage for five people getting their first taste of adulthood. This has been one of the more lighthearted kdramas I’ve watched this year. It had its heavier moments, especially with our main characters’ family and lovelife problems, but the overall storytelling and tone of the show was fun and easygoing.

Check out my ending recap post for this kdrama and if you’re interested in starting this show, please read my first impressions post 😊

Unnie Life Lessons

1. Setting boundaries between you and your loved one because you need to. Whether you’re feeling upset, awkward, or just need space from them, it’s okay if the time apart clears your thoughts and offers you clarity.

  • Asking for space shows that you’re mature enough to know that spending more time with a person you’re not comfortable with, no matter what the reason and despite how close you are, is unhealthy. It’s hard to be apart from someone we care about, like Tae O to Song Yi, but he knew that they needed it so he could figure out his feelings for her and not inflict any more pain to their respective partners. Doing the right thing is so hard to do😅
  • I know that his statement kind of defeated the purpose because he accompanied Song Yi on a trip to see her mom not too long but I’m certain that if Do Hyun was with her at that time, he would have backed off.

2. Rejecting a career opportunity because it can hurt other people and you want to make it on your own.

  • Hoon’s father set him up to get a role in an upcoming musical. He refused the offer because he knows that someone who worked hard and legitimately passed the audition will be replaced by him. He expressed his concern that he had already commited such an act (Telling Ga Rin’s family where to find her in exchange for money) and it didn’t make him feel happy at all.

  • Hoon could have accepted the offer and never look back — let’s be honest, if he could swallow the guilt of someone else losing their job because of him, then by all means. But if you can’t do it due to your pride, fear of karma, or because you’ve experienced this yourself, don’t waver with your choice👊🏻
  • I can’t argue that it’s the right thing to do because if you’re already desperate, then choosing to forego such a chance may seem stupid. But I believe that wanting to carve your own path through your own merit will surely amount to something. Choosing not to step on anyone makes you a person with integrity –and that’s not a bad thing.

3. Knowing that people can let you down but you assess the situation well enough to have thoughts other than just getting angry.

  • Call it thinking positive or having a soft heart but I believe that growing up means being able to sort out your emotions and know that you can feel conflicting emotions even in lousy circumstances. Song Yi was still glad to see her mom despite having every right to feel just enraged at her for living a life with another man and leaving her by herself in Seoul.
  • There is no excuse for Song Yi’s mom abandoning her but I think she understood a little bit of what her mom was going through. It would be easier for her to just spite her mom but admitting that she felt relieved and listened to Tae O’s comments without protest is a sign of maturity.

4. When you need to set free someone you care about because staying with them doesn’t feel right anymore.

  • At first, I didn’t understand what Do Hyun meant when he talked about love’s depth and direction. I realized that it means even if you care for someone dearly (Song Yi to Do Hyun), but their care and attention is directed at someone else most of the time (Song Yi to Tae O), then something is not right. I know that Do Hyun is not accusing Song Yi of cheating or anything, I think he just accepted the fact that Tae O was the one who Song Yi truly loved.
  • Letting someone go without any bitterness is also a very grown-up thing to do because if someone we care about hurts us deeply, it’s only natural that we feel upset or angry. Do Hyun realized something good out of his experience and realized that there’s more to life than just studying and working hard but that he wants to have dreams and goals too. It’s not easy admitting your insecurities but embracing these and making an effort to improve is a pursuit to one’s own happiness.

I think that being an adult is a continuous learning process that will bring about fields of great days, cold winters of problems and uncertainty, and warm comforting moments. Like the natural changes in seasons, our dispositions and responsibilities in life will simply occur and change overtime.

Although we can’t pinpoint the exact day or moment where we fully mature, My First First Love sets up a lovely picture of a time in one’s life where we can experience such changes — it’s beautiful, exciting, and messy…but everything has a purpose🌷

Unnie Life Lessons: Do’s and Dont’s to have Healthy Relationships by My Absolute Boyfriend

Love is such a complex and elaborate subject that can’t be explained in just one or two definitions. I’m no relationship expert but the conversations/advices that My Absolute Boyfriend conveyed seemed valid and objectively correct. I admit that I’m not a fan of the robot-human relationship genre but watching this kdrama showed the good effects and learnings a transcendent kind of love can give✨

Even though I almost gave up finishing this because of my disappointment with how the story and characters progressed, I’m glad I pushed through and absolutely watched all 40 episodes.

Because I wanted to say so much more about My Absolute Boyfriend and interpret its ending, I wrote a separate post about it. Do check out the recap if you’re interested on what the final scene was and my thoughts on the human-robot love triangle! 🤖👨‍🦱

For a brief overview of this kdrama, check out my first impressions post!

Unnie Life Lessons

DON’T: Supress your feelings when you feel sad or upset. There’s only so much we can take as a human being and keeping sentiments bottled up is not good for the people involved. Trust that your partner will be able to understand what you feel.

  • This is a tricky set-up because the argument seems to favor no one: To the person complaining, they don’t want to come off like a whiner but they genuinely feel upset for having to put up with their loved one’s absence or shortcomings. To the person who is genuinely busy, they can feel unfairly judged because their reasons are valid and can be excused. BUT this is where Da Da got it wrong as she should have at least tried to tell Wang Joon how she felt even if it might lead to an argument.
  • We can say what we feel in a way that doesn’t come off like we’re looking for a fight. Tell them what and why you feel such emotions because keeping it bottled up only prolongs your agony. Regardless of how your partner reacts, don’t feel bad or think that your feelings are invalid. Talk it out, listen to each other, and react only when both of you have had time to really think about what has been said.

DO: Loving someone means looking out for their well-being and wanting what’s best for them even if that means you’re not always by their side or able to comfort them all the time. 

  • When you truly care about someone, isn’t it second nature for you to want to see them happy? I felt like this particular conversation between them was a foreshadowing of the future that if Da Da decides to dump him or if something goes wrong, he’ll be able to let her go because Da Da’s happiness is what matters most.

  • It’s a selfless kind of love that we can all aspire to but find hard to do because our natural instinct when we care for someone is to fight to keep them around. Prioritizing someone else’s needs can also be interpreted as you loving yourself as well — by letting go of someone you can’t keep, you are releasing yourself from the burden/pain you feel of seeing them get hurt by being with you.
  • Letting go, at least for me, can also mean not being too controlling or restricting to your loved ones. Let them have their space to pursue hobbies on their own, go on trips without you, or hang out with other people and still feel secure that your relationship won’t be affected by it. Trust that the connection you share is a different kind but is just as valid and significant like others.

  • The scene above is a testament that Want Joon has finally let Da Da go. Even if he admitted that he didn’t want their relationship to work out, the mere fact that he still helped them means that he values Da Da’s happiness more than his own. He may not have gotten Da Da back as a girlfriend in the end but he still has her as a friend — and that’s still a relationship worth cherishing.

DO: Acknowledging how you feel and owning up to it even if you don’t understand why you feel that way or uncertain of how other people might react. Being true to what you feel is a good thing because it means you are aware of what makes you happy.

  • I know I said that I’m not a fan of Da Da and Young Gu being together but her owning up to what she feels for him is a courageous confession of how he understood her feelings. I know I said in my recap post that she could just be fixated on the fact that Zero Nine gave her everything Wang Joon couldn’t anymore but if her character concluded it as romantic feelings, I can respect that.
  • We may not understand why we feel the way we feel, but we usually know how we feel in situations. We know we feel happy or uncomfortable, if we feel burdened or if we’re genuinely enjoying someone’s company — just like how Da Da felt being with Zero Nine even if it seems illogical because he is a robot. Not everything we feel is true though so take the time to sort out your emotions and don’t act out based on fleeting moments.

DON’T: Insist your own opinions and constantly barrage your loved ones with negative wisdom. You may be speaking the truth but don’t forget to be open-minded and give them a chance to explain their side. If it’s something you can learn to support, be there for them. If you really can’t, let your friend know respectfully. 

  • Da Da’s friend, Kyu Ri, kept convincing her that dating Zero Nine was absurd. To be fair, I would also be highly skeptical if my friend was dating a robot but once we air out our sentiments, we should also be open to hear our friend explain their side. 
  • We are individuals who make decisions and live our life the way we want to. We owe our loved ones the same respect and boundaries that we expect them to give to us as well. More than once, Kyu Ri lectured Da Da harshly and even set up a situation where Wang Joon and her could spend some alone time.

  • Kyu Ri was eventually able to accept their relationship as she saw Zero Nine’s genuine care for her. BUT even if she wasn’t able to support them after giving it a fair chance, it would still be okay. She shouldn’t force her opinions any longer though and respect Da Da’s decision. 
  • We may not understand or agree with everything our loved one say or do, because we are unique individuals, but it is possible to still maintain a good relationship with them. Sometimes, the best support is being honest enough to let them know that you have a different point of view, but that you can respect and not influence their minds to your favor.

DO: Stay together for the bad times. Every relationship will encounter problems and getting through these tough times will make a relationship stronger.

This has been one of my longest posts to date but I’m glad that I was able to share my thoughts on My Absolute Boyfriend’s life lessons. It may not have been the best kdrama but I still enjoyed it in my own way. Give it a try and who knows? You might appreciate it more than you think😊

Just like how love abounded with our main trio, I wish you the best in your relationships with your family, friends, and/or significant others. Be honest and talk about what you feel to each other, learn to compromise, and forgive one another. May we grow closer and our values become better each day we spend with our loved ones🌸

Unnie Life Lessons: 4 Missions Accomplished in Angel’s Last Mission: Love

Are we merely fulfilling the destiny laid out for us or can we change our fates depending on our actions? Angel’s Last Mission: Love shows us that we have the power to alter our destiny but it is not without sacrifices and hardships.

The lead actress (Shin Hye Sun) and lead actor (L) were superb in this kdrama and I hope that they will be catapulted into further stardom because of this kdrama!💫 It was such a high intensity show with all the shouting, rage, and cat & mouse angles certain episodes brought. Balancing out the tense moments were the comedic chops of our angel, Kim Dan, and the subtle but growing love he shared with Yeon Seo made the show more enticing to watch.

For a brief overview of Angel’s Last Mission: Love, please read my previous post to get to know this romcom melodrama a bit better!

Unnie Life Lessons

1. Yeon Seo was able to find love and live a life overcoming her scars of losing loved ones and being unable to dance because of her blindness. She emerged a stronger and happier person because she enabled herself to do so💃🏻

  • Yeon Seo was so used to being alone and miserable she never thought about how other people might feel of her coming back and automatically getting the lead role in Giselle. She didn’t take Kim Dan’s advice like an entitled heiress but rather, she even suggested to hold an audition to be fair. It shows her willingness to compromise and work with others sincerely.

  • Although Kim Dan was highly influential to her path to recovery, it was still her choice if she wanted to listen to him. It was on her own accord to reach out to the ballet corps and sincerely compliment Ni Na of her amazing audition as Giselle. She remained temperamental and wasn’t the most approachable person around but people learned to appreciate her true nature as well.

  • It takes a lot of courage to open up and try to get along with people who clearly don’t like you. It’s not easy to think of others given what Yeon Seo has been through herself but she understood that her dreams and hopes are not hers alone; other people get upset or have the same aspirations like her. We can feel as if our own pain is the worst and most brutal compared to others but we can’t compare what we feel to another’s because we’ll never know the magnitude of what one is feeling unless we are them.

2. Our resident angel upheld good values and preached the teachings of God to practically everyone he met. Even if Kim Dan got entangled with human business and rebeled against the norm, his intentions were pure and his actions consistently reflected that of a good person.

  • Never one to be quiet about his feelings, Kim Dan said what he wanted to even if it’s toward an audience that didn’t want to hear his opinion. He told Yeon Seo what she needed to hear and fought for his mission to help her find love again. I think he also learned that humans get frustrated and fixated on things that may not make sense for his angel persona but he adapted well enough to give Yeon Seo the space she needed because she was overcoming her own fears and insecurities.

  • He saw with his own eyes how evil crept its way into Yeon Seo’s life and by falling in love with her did he start to doubt God’s grand plans for her. Angel’s Last Mission: Love imparts that it’s okay to be confused and angry with your faith — I think that only by questioning your beliefs will you slowly realize the reason and purpose of your struggles. In the end, even if we are tempted to commit a sin, we are anchored to our core values that remind us of what is right. Even when we make mistakes, our beliefs will tell us to repent and ask for forgiveness.

3. We will probably never fully comprehend the reasons why tragic events happen in our life. Not defying what is morally good despite questioning the events of our life is a sacrifice we should strive for. A better tomorrow will come even if we can’t imagine it.

  • Kim Dan felt frustrated and confused as to why he can’t save Yeon Seo because saving someone from murder is good right? But it also makes sense that as an angel, he can’t meddle with human affairs especially with matters of life and death. He almost killed Ru Na as the person responsible for Yeon Seo’s attempted murders to desperately prevent any more harm to come to her but he stopped himself because he knew that it would be a grave sin to do so.

  • I’m not saying to blindly follow a set of rules established by an invisible deity and hope that by not breaking any of them, you won’t have a hard time. Even if you don’t believe in God, you still follow a set of guidelines that tell you what is objectively right or wrong. Things happen for a reason and I believe that once we get past the confusion and pain, we’ll find this life worth living for✨

4. Yeon Seo and Kim Dan were given a miracle and can spend the rest of their lives together as human beings. They don’t know the exact reason why this was allowed and it didn’t happen immediately but this could be God’s plan for them all along.

  • Kim Dan was forgiven for his sin of falling in love with a human and remained an angel. Yeon Seo became the chairman of Fantasia and continued to live her life well despite Dan’s absence. It was then revealed that Kim Dan was allowed to be with her all this time but he was invisible to the human eye. One fateful day as Seo Yeon was contemplating on the bench where they first interacted, she was finally able to see him as his handkerchief (Identity to be an angel) disappeared.

  • We pray and hope for good things but when we experience unforseen bad moments, we clamor for the fairness and balance God claims He is. I believe that when we live diligently and trust in a higher power, God will bless us with the very thing we prayed so earnestly for or maybe something more. Miracles can happen in our lives… or it won’t. We can’t give up and let time take away our remaining days as a mortal being because even if the pain seems unbearable now, I truly believe that the feeling will pass and reasons to live will find its way to us.

We’ve always been taught that God is all knowing and that He already knows what will happen to us. Thanks to Angel’s Last Mission: Love, I’d like to believe that if change is the only constant thing in this world, then our unpredictability as humans can also move His heart, forgive us, and bring about changes in His plans for us❤️

Unnie Life Lessons: 3 Ways to Live a Colorful Life by Her Private Life

I’ll forever be a fan girl of this korean drama🙋🏻‍♀️ Once again, true love has prevailed over pettiness and past mistakes proving that we can get a picture perfect happy ending if we work for it. As Her Private Life showcased its last episode with flying colors, we’ll forever have an etch of this kdrama’s best and heartwarming moments.

Our titular fan girl (Played by Park Min Young) was a delight to watch here. And for Kim Jae Wook to play his first leading role in a romcom, he was very charismatic and of course, unbelievably handsome😂 I liked the flow of the story and how natural the love between Deok Mi and Ryan developed, although they could be in a “honeymoon” phase, how they supported and gave ample space and time for one another to deal with their respective problems is a trait that any couple can aspire to. I especially adored Ryan when he smiled and slyly observed Deok Mi with her fangirling ways, this is a man who is truly intrigued and interested with his potential partner’s interests.

I honestly didn’t want a childhood connection between Ryan and Deok Mi because this story didn’t need that kind of plot device to work. Them falling in love as 2 random adults who got to know each other is more epic for me because in today’s world, dating can be messy. The predicament that Deok Mi’s mom was actually the one who left Ryan for adoption did add more drama and depth to the show which lead to further character growth for the characters involved. But even if this wasn’t the case, the show would still be a masterpiece.

For a brief recap of Her Private Life, please check out my previous post to catch up.

Unnie Life Lessons

1. No matter how hard your day can get, you are still a living, breathing, dynamic human being. Your work, although to some extent describes you, it does not define who you are.

  • Deok Mi had a hard day at work and although she loves being a curator at an art gallery, the presence of bad days and unfair judgement never escapes work life. It’s easy to say these words but actually doing something about it is a very different and difficult matter but try.
  • This life lesson is not meant to mock art or any other profession but it’s no secret that we value our jobs as a standard of our worth. We can be a loyal and loving person who enjoys listening to music and exercise. We enjoy the company of our friends over coffee or hanging out at a party and still be diligent enough to budget and make the monthly rent — such aspects and characteristics are what make you a worthy person, regardless of work or life problems.
  • Let go of the worries and blames (if there are) and know that there is a next time for you to further improve and do better! You can’t beat yourself up on making a mistake at work or plunge into a “victim mentality” state of mind as both are unhealthy. Just like Deok Mi, believe in your worth and live a good life💫

2. Let your loved ones know you care about them whenever you can. Declare it in words, show it thru your actions, or a simple conversation is enough to show someone that they matter to you.

  • Deok Mi and Ryan were upset about a painting that was damaged and ended up in a storage center. She urged him that they shouldn’t end up like that and encouraged them to adore and take interest in each other.
  • We can show our loved ones that we care for them in many ways. One doesn’t need to be overly affectionate or use social media to declare their care (not that there’s anything wrong with this), but small everyday acts such as informing your parents about your plans or a question about your friend’s life eventually leading to a conversation is enough to show that their presence matters to you.
  • We can get caught up in our own turmoil & misery that sometimes we forget to think of others. Although there’s nothing wrong in taking care of ourselves first, remember that your family and friends are people you can lean on to for help or just have a random chat with. Take a breather and show someone their importance in your life; time is fleeting, don’t let the days take away your opportunity to be there for others.

3. Everyone has a unique perspective on things. A setback for someone can be seen as an opportunity for someone else, as a problem can be approached by anger/fear or compassion/calmness, there’s always a choice to look and act on things differently.

  • Just because we interpret events or circumstances in a distinct manner doesn’t mean that another person’s thoughts are wrong. Ryan viewed the paintings of bubbles above as sad and ready to burst at any moment but Deok Mi saw these as a symbol of hope that can fly up at the sky instead. We ought to respect how other people view things even if it is a grim or sadder approach, we don’t know the root of such thoughts but there must be a valid reason for their way of thinking. But personally, I think it’s okay to encourage people like them (If you are one yourself) to try and look at events in their lives with a more positive outlook. 
  • Positive doesn’t mean ignoring the emotions of hardships to focus on happier thoughts but rather trying our best to not stay in a place of fear and worry. Being sad is okay, it means that we are aware of the unpredictability of life and that not everything goes the way we want it to happen. Give them (or yourself) time to process their own emotions and even if you still don’t see things eye to eye, you are still unique individuals who respect each other’s thoughts and enjoy one another’s company. 

  • The life lesson above also applies to Ryan respecting Deok Mi’s fangirl devotion. He may not fully understand her passion for Cha Shi An (A kpop star who happens to be his stepbrother), but he never once let her feel humiliated or belittled because of this. We may not comprehend another person’s interests but we can learn to appreciate & respect these because our loved one’s admiration for it. 

*Bonus:

Deviating from our main couple, Her Private Life also highlighted the importance of forgiveness. I think Ryan tops the ranks for apologizing in this kdrama as he was never prideful to not say sorry when it was needed. I was surprised given how his character was set up to be high and mighty especially when it came to critiquing different artworks.

Saying sorry is a hard thing to do because you’re admitting to your mistakes but Ryan didn’t hesitate to say it. If he can forgive his real mom for years of abandonment and Deok Mi’s mom for giving him up for adoption, we certainly can learn a thing or two from him.

**

Her Private Life has all the makings of a romantic comedy with great leads, an equally talented supporting cast, humorous scenes, heartfelt moments, and that hint of drama to spice up the story. Our lives are filled with different and contrasting colors: Some shine bright while others have little light, but when painted together, it emanates a beautiful and unique entity that makes you, YOU👩🏻‍🎨

Unnie Life Lessons: 4 Ways to Laugh and Live a Good, Mistake Filled Life from Welcome to Waikiki 2

Welcome to Waikiki 2 is fully booked and had a good run but it seems like the gang will be forever entangled with money problems, career struggles, and making mistakes. The show ended with everyone still trying to find success but the promise of them being all together for the ride is the heart of this show.

Honestly though the 1st season was perfect as the kdrama wrapped up each character’s story beautifully. Although there were open ended arcs and a few more details we could have been fed, there was no pressing curiosity that needed to be further explored. Welcome to Waikiki 2 wasn’t as good as the first one and I felt like they recycled some of the plot devices used previously as well. I felt that the last episode was rushed although kdramas naturally have a 16 episode run, this one felt premature.

Welcome to Waikiki 2 did a good job though like the first season in featuring the 6 characters lives individually and as a group. You get to know little by little who each person is and get to know their highs and woes equally. But if I have to be critical, the characters of Jung Eun and Soo Yeon weren’t really explored. I felt that the show focused Jung Eun liking Jun Ki only and although it showed that she was a good friend to him, her own character didn’t shine through. Soo Yeon had more emotions to show because of her father’s bankruptcy and romance with Woo Shik but she always had a doe eyed look and bland personality. But all in all, every chatacter got a chance to be seen and heard enough to support them in whatever emdeavor they embarked on.

It’s up to our imaginations to think of what kind of future life has in store for our beloved gang. For a brief overview of the show, please read my previous post to catch up.

Unnie Life Lessons

1. Pursuing something you love and having a hard time is worth the effort and hardships. At the end of the day, at least you know that you’re working towards a dream/goal that you truly are passionate about.

  • Jun Ki was telling Jung Eun that auditioning for minor roles and not knowing whether he’ll get the part is exhausting but he would rather keep trying than doing something else that he doesn’t love. Not everyone is lucky to do something they love for work or even just a hobby because of financial or physical hindrances. His character in this kdrama has always been sure of his love for acting, optimistic, and can endure humiliating and low key roles that it makes one root for him to succeed even more (Although he had already found success in the 1st season as he portrayed an important character in a kdrama but for story purposes, he’s still struggling in season 2).

  • Knowing what you want and actually taking action for it is admirable in itself as any endeavour takes sacrifice and money. There’s the added pressure of time too because as we grow older, it’s natural that we fear to take on more risks especially if our decisions can affect the lives of others. This may not be realistically probable for everyone but know that doing something you love, even if others may look down on you or disapprove, is okay 🙂
  • You don’t need to have everything figured out because it takes time to sort out what you really want to do. If you’re someone who is pursuing something they really want to do but is having a tough time, don’t give up as your conviction for following your dreams will yield good results. For those who are working hard for a job that they don’t necessarily like (but have to) and have other interests, find the time to do it on your spare time. You never know what could happen if you allot even a few hours of your day doing something you love.

2. The famous quote in the movie Forrest Gump goes:

My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You’ll never know what you’re gonna get.

  • Ki Bong was let go in his baseball team because his shoulder injury had recurred again. He became obsessed with a box of chocolates that tasted so delicious to divert his attention elsewhere. Yu Ri told him that life isn’t comprised of good moments only but that there will be sad and bitter events too.
  • Each day is a surprise and we won’t know the wonderful things or struggles that will occur — if it happens, then it happens. I just felt bad for Ki Bong because he loved playing baseball ever since he was a kid so it is extremely difficult for him to go through this. Regardless though of how hard or manageable our life can get, we must pick ourselves up and not avoid the difficult times. A sweet chocolate will pop out soon enough.

3. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you can forgive others or vice versa, have the courage to forgive yourself too and start over.

  • In the middle of this season, Jun Ki felt ashamed and guilty for accepting a role that his hoobae (Junior colleague) helped him get. He was berated by the fact that being righteous won’t get him far as an actor and using connections to get a role is no big deal. When Jun Ki saw the actual actor who auditioned & got the role before him beg the director for another chance, he decided to quit acting for good.
  • Jung Eun helped Jun Ki ask that same actor for forgiveness and in turn, he was able to cheer up and forgive himself too. We are often harder on ourselves than anyone else because we build certain expectations on ourselves or carry the blame of knowing we did something wrong to heart. Admitting our mistakes & accepting that fact to move forward should go hand in hand.

  • We are imperfect human beings. This is not an excuse to just give up and not try at all, it’s just that we can breathe a little easier knowing that when something we work hard for doesn’t work out, we don’t have to blame ourselves severely. We can get a fresh start, improve, and have a burden-free state of mind.

4. Life doesn’t always go the way we want it to, we will always make mistakes and have bad days. We can’t let the thought of failing stop us from living or taking chances to improve our lives.

  • Welcome to Waikiki 2 has no shortage when it comes to financial and career problems. Even in season 1, the balance in trying to run the guest house while pursuing their individual goals and getting into relationships showcased a realistic slice of life problem. But time and time again, the gang was able to continue with the flow of their lives and found reasons to smile despite their dilemmas.

  • We musn’t forget that we can seek comfort and advice from our family and friends when things get too tough for us to handle alone. Ki Bong helped Yu Ri open a food truck business, Soo Yeon got a chance to be a reporter with Jun Ki’s help, and Jung Eun was encouraged by Jun Ki to not quit acting altogether.

  • Living in this day and age will never be a smooth sailing journey but we can always bounce back from our hardships and move forward. We have to at least try and do something as to have no regrets.

As the guesthouse closes for a 2nd time around, I’m happy I got to watch this chapter filled with new tenants. If the Welcome to Waikiki series has proven anything, making mistakes is okay — learn from the experience and live to fight another day. In the immortal words of Jun Ki, “Kenchana, kenchana!” (It’s okay, it’s okay) 😊

Unnie Life Lessons: Learnings from Romance is a Bonus Book

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” — this is the best way to describe Romance is a Bonus Book as a korean drama. I initially thought I wouldn’t like it and will just watch it because of Lee Jong Suk but as each episode progressed, it was impossible for me to stop watching this show. Honestly, I think it was because the first few episodes were brutal and it showed how miserable our main female lead, Kang Dan Yi, was trying to get her life back together. I’m glad that I stuck it out until the very end and watched my way to a happy yet believable ending.

I loved writing and reading books ever since I was a kid so this kdrama opened my eyes more to the world of publishing and criticism. It’s not easy creating content that other people will find interesting as you do or have your thoughts published for everyone to read, but seeing the process and effort that go into this industry is admirable. I loved seeing how the people at Gyeoroo Publishing (the publishing company where our characters work at) made the collective effort in marketing, editing, and designing a book — it solidifies my appreciation that I’d still buy and read a physical book rather than an e-book.

Before I delve into my realizations for this kdrama, I just have to air out my love hate relationship with Dan Yi. The main reason why I thought I wouldn’t love Romance is a Bonus Book is because of her! I love that she doesn’t give up easily even when the challenges are stacked against her, but her attitude in asking for help sucks. She needed a place to sleep, food to eat, the basic necessities to live — she sneaked around in Eun Ho’s house to do all that and I get that there was a comedic approach to it, but when Eun Ho finally caught her, she wasn’t even apologetic. It’s like she feels entitled to have ate and lived at his house because of her homeless situation. Why couldn’t she have just expressed her thankfulness instead? She’s a little rough around the edges, but that could be because of what she’s been through (Divorced, being a devoted housewife/mom who forgot to take care of herself in the process, no luck in finding a job for more than a year already), but why take it out on your best and only friend? I appreciate the fact that even though she’s 37 years old here, she’s still eager to try and work hard especially with her job. She didn’t conform to what was only asked of her (Clerical work), but she wanted to learn or rather, re-learn, an industry that she was good at before (She was an advertising executive before she quit work). I know I’d become cranky and moody when I put myself in her shoes but I wouldn’t direct it towards my closest friends if ever.

On the bright side, her character does get better and waaay more tolerable as her experience in going to work again peeled Dan Yi’s protective layers one by one to reveal her true, forgotten self. A kind, loyal, and brave woman who can admit to her mistakes, be compassionate, and fight for a good life that she deserves.

For a brief summary of this show, please check out my previous post to catch up! 🙂

Unnie Life Lessons

1. We get cold feet or wonder if we actually get the very thing we want, would we actually live up to the expectations that such an opportunity entails? As long as we do our best and make an effort, everything will be okay. The end result doesn’t matter as much as the experience we get from taking risks/chances.

  • I can relate to this sentiment.. feeling ecstatic that I got something that I truly wanted (Ex. A job) but suddenly feeling scared because I might screw up such an opportunity because I lack in many ways. I agree with Dan Yi that if we decide to take a step forward, we’ll somehow find the strength to continue and enjoy the very thing we we’re afraid of in the first place. We can still be scared at times or go through challenges but we’ll find a way to deal with such matters because we already took the leap.
  • We can’t just sit around and do nothing with our life because we’re afraid of failing or making mistakes. We have to try, in any way, to achieve our goals and dreams even if it means facing some rejections and setbacks. It’s scary, believe me I know, but we can’t let these fears intimidate us from working hard and making an effort 🙂

2. What we feel towards a particular person or experience years ago, months, or even yesterday can change. We see them in a new light because we have changed internally.

  • Dan Yi was telling Seo Jun (the 1/3 of the love triangle) about her feelings for Eun Ho thru a metaphor. She thought that she had him all figured out but lately, she realizes that the book she’s known and cherished for so long (Eun Ho) suddenly had new lines (Her noticing his romantic feelings & she realizing she has those feelings too) that she never read before. This is such a nice way to represent how people’s sentiments can change overtime even on something familiar.
  • Just like a past book that we reread years or even just a few months later, the words can impart a new & different meaning because we ourselves have changed. Change meaning we’ve been through more experiences and our opinions can differ from before and what we once felt for something can become the opposite. We feel upset or troubled because of a break-up, job rejection, or a family conflict at one point in time but when we go thru these again, it might not be as hard as the 1st time we experienced them. Or we find something uncomfortable that we didn’t want to do, even as simple as eating veggies (hee), enjoyable now.

The change of heart comes from within ourselves because our priorities have shifted. The reason could stem from external factors (People and experience). It means that our feelings have matured and this is not a bad thing — it just shows that we have a better grasp of what we truly desire in life. It’s okay to be a little apprehensive or cautious but don’t be afraid to embrace change if it feels right.


I learned a lot from Romance is a Bonus Book but the 2 main ones above are all I can list down. The rest is a general appreciation for a korean drama where we can find ourselves as the main character insomeone who is lost and desperate but can still find success and happiness with the help of our loved ones and determination to keep moving forward.

What started as a rough and tough few chapters ended up with the most beautiful pages a book can ever have. Dan Yi and Eun Ho were able to heal themselves with each other’s help and both were able to admit their long time buried feelings for each other. I thought their chemistry wouldn’t work but the support and mutual respect they have for each other proved that their relationship is indeed meant to be.

As we savour the last few sentences of Romance is a Bonus Book, I take a breath of relief and smile at the way the show ended. The middle up until the last few pages was much lighter and you’d get the feeling that despite a few more hiccups in our protagonists lives, they would be able to recover faster and better this time around. Even when we put a good book on a shelf because we have finished reading it, the fact that we can always take it out and revisit the story anytime is reassuring.