Is there a limit to what you can do for the ones you love? Putting them first, sacrificing your own needs and wants, letting them go to have the life they want to live? Cha Yu-ri, the main protagonist of Hi, Bye, Mama!, shows us that love is truly unconditional — not just as a parent, but also as a daughter, sibling, friend, and even as a ghostly spirit.
With the ongoing covid 19 pandemic paralyzing our daily lifestyle, it’s become common for us to slow down and have more time to reflect on what we’ve done so far in our x years of existence. Life is short, oh we know, but to someone like Yu-ri who died abruptly and was given a chance to start anew — she realized so much more than the living can adhere to.
1. Eating good food, going out or being able to hug your loved ones are actions that we can take for granted because we can do it anytime, easily. Learn to appreciate these simple acts of living and be thankful for every chance that you can do these.
No one in the world can predict their own death. Although we are told by quotes, reminded by a friend or older relative, and so on that we shouldn’t take things for granted, we can’t help but give little meaning to eating out, working, or being able to talk with friends because it’s easy. Let’s take a conscious effort to slow down and reflect on these beautiful acts of love and care.
I’ve read advice expressing that the everyday, mundane parts of life are all you need to live a good life. Let’s not wait until the certainty of these experiences become fractured — relish these moments now.
2. Even if it’s not in your presence anymore, letting your loved ones go and allowing them to find their own source of strength and hope is the best kind of love you can give.
Gang-hwa remarrying was never an issue for Yu-ri, either when she was a ghost or when she reincarnated, because she knew that she couldn’t console him any longer when she died. Seeing him get better and move on with Min Jeong was something that she will always be grateful for. Even if it meant the love of her life found somebody new, as long as he wasn’t in pain, she accepted it well.
It’s natural to think of ourselves first whenever we make decisions. But at the end of the day, it’s still easier for us to give way to someone we love because seeing them happy trumps the knowledge of them being miserable. Even to her own daughter (Seo Woo), Yu-ri never coveted the position of being her mom because she was thankful that Min Jeong took care of Seo Woo. Yu-ri was content in being able to spend time with her and know that Seo Woo liked her company as well.
3. Time can heal wounds. How long or how short can’t be determined but as long as you try, beautiful memories will replace the painful ones. Moving on with your life is something that you should strive to do when you need to.
Losing Yu-ri was a tragedy but five years gone, the people closest to Yu-ri were moving on with their lives without her. Although her mom did pray to see her once more, she still carried on with her everyday life without her eldest daughter. The unending pain that you feel will slowly dissipate with time, don’t give up. As long as you exert an effort to process the wounds, even as small as eating a meal or as big as trying to work or date again, better days will bless your presence.
As pointed out by Yu-ri, she didn’t want her loved ones to feel guilty in moving forward with their lives. We may forget about deceased family members, good friends we lost touch with through the years, or fun experiences, but we’ll never truly lose such memories because the impact they made in our lives are too significant.
Hi, Bye, Mama! kdrama was an emotional rollercoaster for me and though it had its depressing moments, the overall mood of the show aims to uplift our spirits with hope and healing. This post is long overdue, but it’s been a struggle for me to write about something positive when I myself have been feeling the ups and downs of being in quarantine.
There is no perfect formula on how to cope and move on but we can always try. Let’s be gentle with ourselves and never forget that:
Life is unpredictable. Live yours to the fullest — make sacrifices, learn from mistakes, cry, laugh to your heart’s content! It’s a wild but fulfilling journey, don’t worry, you’ll get through it😊
Life is what we make of it: You can choose to be a supporting character of someone else’s story or you can live a life as your own main character. I thought this was what Extraordinary You kdrama wanted to convey, and to a certain extent it did, but that’s not how we ought to just look at the big picture. So what if we’re an extra or helping someone else shine? It’s not bad to help others with their problems or cheer them on when they are going through something rewarding. It’s not always about us (me)… we all have our own moments in the sun and rain🌟
The main character, Eun Dan, Oh struggled in coming to terms with her role as an extra but along with the other characters of this show, everyone was able to learn what was truly important to them and achieved a happy ending for themselves.
Read my recommendation post for Extraordinary You korean drama to know more about the show’s plot and head over to my recaps page in case you missed anything!
Unnie Life Lessons
1. Being resilient and not giving up to make changes to your life despite your situation/environment.
Dan Oh’s fate was stacked against her pretty early when she realized that she was just an extra in a comic book. The fact that she had a heart condition and was engaged to a guy who didn’t care about her was the cherry on top of a grim set-up. I loved how she was so determined to change her life (which she did) and actively did something, even the smallest actions, to try and make a difference🦋
We tend to make excuses about our circumstances and whine that we cannot do everything that we desire. If we are being realistic, yes, there is a limitation to our capabilities BUT there’s also so much that we can do if we just stop complaining and just do something!💪🏻 The hard work and frustration that stem from such is daunting but just like Dan Oh, we have to buckle up and face our fears to enact change.
2. Finding purpose and learning to be content and appreciate one’s situation because our lives are unique and invaluable as it is.
*This seems to counter the 1st life lesson but I did say that realistically, we do have limitations outside of our control that we can’t change.
Dan Oh learned to accept that she was just a comic book character and her set-up of being terminally ill because she found happiness spending time with Ha Roo. There was nothing she could do about the comic book ending and together with Ha Roo, they made the most out of their precious time together.
Struggling to accept the reality that she was merely an extra, Dan Oh realized that she didn’t need to make herself a main character by making changes in the grand blueprint of her life. She found purpose as a person — undefined by any role, and rallied to live her life day by day as Eun Dan Oh. Not the lovestruck girl who gets emotionally bullied by her fiancé but a cheerful, spritely, and persistent character who found love, has good friends, and lived a pretty comfortable life.
3. Choosing to prioritize yourself by allowing convenience over hardships to govern your daily life.
Ju Da ultimately chose to be with Nam Ju instead of Do Hwa because she didn’t want to fight her destiny of ending up with him given the tough times she went through in the comic book. Initally I thought this was a cowardly choice because staying by Nam Ju’s side is exactly where she’ll end up since they are the main characters. Yes, it’s a convenient choice — devoid of the complications of changing one’s fate if she chose to pursue her feelings for Do Hwa… but being with Nam Ju made her truly happy so there’s nothing wrong with her choice.
There’s nothing wrong in wanting something that makes your life easier or better: Technology, shortcuts, efficiency. If following the love story predetermined for Ju Da makes her happy (And it did), then by all means. Life is hard enough as it is so choosing or doing something that lessens the difficulties is a good and acceptable choice. Just like how Dan Oh wanted to actively alter her fate, it’s okay that Ju Da didn’t want to change hers.
4. Letting go of the things you cannot control but at the same time living your life to its fullest potential.
It was inevitable that the comic book world our characters existed in would end but instead of trying to find a way to extend or fight it, Ha Roo spent his last moments happy and fulfilled to be at Dan Oh’s side. He did his best to change what he could (Help Dan Oh live) but still accepted that he would disappear first and not be able to be with Dan Oh until the last page.
Balance is the key to a good life and although we don’t get a manual for how to do this perfectly, it’s the mistakes and unexpected turn of events that help us do better next time. We cannot escape death or go thru our days without hardships, these are inevitable occurrences. But instead of lamenting these certainties, we can live out our best lives by spending time with loved ones, work hard, travel the world, and so on.
Just like how we are forging our own path, other people are also filling their life’s pages with their own details. Extraordinary You‘s greatest message is that we shouldn’t fixate on whether or not we are the center of attention to others or complain that we don’t have a glamorous and well-endowed main protagonist lifestyle. It’s challenging, yes, but it’s not impossible.
It’s our own actions and outlook towards what we have that makes us special. We have to allow and reshape our mindsets to truly see the blessings, love, and experiences that are gifted to us in the form of everyday life💕
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😊💕