Lately, I’ve been bit with the uninspiring and lazy bug. I haven’t been inspired to write as much and I feel a little lost as to what I can put out there that’s even worthy for people to read. Before even attempting to write this entry, I bought a new self-care/self-help book and started reading it this afternoon. Maybe it’s just that time of the month when negativity and self-doubt are at an all-time high, but usually I am able to recover after a few days. This episode feels different, longer than usual.
Reading has always been a source of joy for me and it’s probably why I love writing so much too. I’m obsessed in perusing different titles that scream mental health help or self-care antidotes because I feel like I need to remind myself that what I’m feeling and experiencing is normal. I’ve been hesitant to write about feeling down because I thought I could get over it, and at the moment, I am feeling much better. I know I’m not 100% recovered but in writing this, I know that it’s an effort to make a change and not stay in a spiritless loop until the foreseeable future.
If you’re feeling down and rotten, remember that you have to fight to take your life back. The book reminded me that the crazy thoughts are all in our head and that it’s only ourselves that hinder ourselves to be happy. I’ve been sad for the past few days already and maybe my soul is ready to get out of the rut. It’s not going to be easy but I know that the fact that I was struggling to be better — to want to be in a healthier and more positive place, I felt that I was going to be okay. I just didn’t know when and how but you, I, have to want it.
It’s the last month of the year and perhaps you’re going through the motions too. Deadlines, self-reflections, last minute errands. Go and do the things that you love and destress. Go back to the basics: Hang out with your family, talk with your friends, read a book, exercise… anything that gives you real endorphins. If you’re alone, think about your accomplishments. Big, small, even the mistakes. Learn and don’t be afraid to keep trying. Be grateful. Don’t turn your back on something awesome just because you think that someone else has it better.
It’s no secret that the generation today is in need of a healthy validation that assures them their feelings are valid. I, myself, have read a lot of self-help and self-love books that at first, I wasn’t sure if I ought to be proud of it because I thought, “What if people think I’m depressed?” But as I learned when talking to different people and reading more and more books, you can be an okay person and still find yourself looking for advice every now and then— a voice aside from the people that you know. Maybe even constantly if you need it.
I try to apply and preach self-love whenever I can, but don’t you ever get those random days when you just feel a little sad? One minute you feel on top of the world, and the next, your self-esteem and confidence shoots down like a popped balloon. Do we simply just think too much sometimes or do we need to stop feeding our minds with doubts and just tackle our days for what is is? Our mind is a powerful tool that can either break us or help us get back to a path of healing and recovery. We need to practice feeding ourselves with positive thoughts, “we can do this” mantras, and if the weight of our problems are just a bit too heavy to carry… let’s remind ourselves that it’s okay to rest.
There have been countless of times where this up and down swirl of emotions have latched onto me and I’m not really sure how I get out of the rut. I think that we just need to live our life day by day and eventually, when we find ourselves doing something else, the feeling of loneliness and anxiety just dissipates. Spending time with family, talking or going out with loved ones, working hard, solving problems, sleeping in on the weekends — life will not let us be stuck on a downward spiral forever. Our situations won’t change overnight though but we can heal in between the hardships if we allow ourselves to.
It’s almost the end of another year, 2019, and when I look back on all my experiences, I can’t say I’ve had a bad one. Don’t self sabotage by allowing your mind to wander endlessly through a loop of insecurities. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, trust that the life you have been living, shaped by your own hands and heart, amidst the negative energy, has a sturdy and good foundation✨
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😊💕
In a couple of days, I’ll be going on vacation, but as it turns out it’s the Chuseok holiday (Thanksgiving) in Korea so there’s no Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung this week for me to recap regardless😅 I rarely do life updates here but if I can, it’s because I want to share some knowledge or realizations I’ve learned as of the moment.
Have you ever experienced being physically present in the moment but your mind wanders elsewhere? When you’re out to dinner with friends or having a family get-together, you know and hear what other people are talking about, but you yourself check out into your own thoughts?
A stark example of this is when I fixate trying to get the perfect angle of a dish ordered from a restaurant or making sure a scenery is breathtaking enough when captured to post in Instagram. We are a social media driven generation and I admit that it’s fun being able to share and relive my life through photographs — but the time I spend obsessing about these little things sometimes takes away the thankfulness or happiness I feel in enjoying such a moment. Instead of the memory of travelling to a new place or relishing the experience of hanging out with loved ones, the moment I remember first is how a picture didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to or how I was thinking about a particular problem at the time.
I’ve been trying to cultivate the habit of being more emotionally present in each moment because I’ve realized that I’ve been missing out on truly enjoying experiences, small or big. This doesn’t mean that I don’t find joy in my daily life but I find myself more engaged and satisfied when I focus on the present and listen to the people I’m currently with. Whether it’s travelling to a new place or meeting my friends, I feel a more purposeful experience because I know that I was 100% physically and emotionally available for such an experience.
Our concerns are valid, yes, but as I’ve learned throughout the days, not everything we feel is necessarily true. When we’re with our family or friends, lets make it a point to listen to their stories, share our insights, and laugh the time away. Let’s take a breath and give ourselves a “me time” in a day where we can process our thoughts and musings. Then let go of all the weight and know that you’ve done what you can to help yourself. Don’t forget to cut yourself some slack and take time to relax💆🏻♀️ Be emotionally available to yourselves first and the act of being mindful towards our loved ones and surroundings will naturally follow💖
How do you say goodbye to someone you love? This is the lingering question that stays with you while watching Hotel Del Luna‘s last episode. There’s no shortage of tears as each of our main ghosts have to separate from each other, but knowing that they can finally go to the afterlife is an end that they all individually want and deserve😢 This reminded me of Goblin since it also touched upon reincarnation and star-crossed lovers but the approach of both shows is different.
I didn’t expect to love this kdrama, especially IU, she was so great here as the feisty and determined Jang Man Weol. Her RBF was on point anytime she would strut down the hotel halls or when she had a bone to pick with her enemies. Even though she was commanding and icy, her hard shell cracked open when she fell in love again and helped her friends find peace. Yeo Jin Goo was no doubt amazing here as well as he portrayed the loyal, hardworking, and forever good guy Ku Chan Seong.
Their chemistry as the show’s OTP was not sizzling and apparent at first; instead, it was a slow flame that grew and burned brightly into the night. Their playful banters, Chan Seong’s insistence to control Man Weol’s expenses, and how he didn’t try to change her but rather, was patient with her anger is a wholehearted kind of love that the kdrama illustrated perfectly.
Check out my first impressions post for Hotel del Luna if you’re interested in starting this kdrama (And you should!) 😊
A Bittersweet Farewell
Each and every one of our lovable staff left Earth with their unfinished business ticked off before the next full moon.
Mister Kim was able to prove his innocence for being known as a disgraceful scholar and was the 1st to leave the hotel. He may not have been able to clear his name as a historical figure, at least even in a novel, he was depicted as a noble man who studied hard and was able to write great literature.
Hyun Joong waited for his sister (Hyun Mi) to pass away so they can reunite and cross the bridge together. This was hard to watch as he had to finally say goodbye to Yu Na. Even if she was heartbroken about this, seeing him reunite with Hyun Mi was all she needed to let him go. It’s the plight of being the one left behind but I know that Yu Na will be able to live a good and happy life regardless.
Ms. Choi was the last one to leave as she talked with the girlfriend of the last heir of the Myeongju Yoon family. I envisioned an ending for her that the unborn child is a daughter so her resentment of the baby being able to carry the family line as a boy would finally be put to rest. But this conclusion to her story was much better. Ms. Choi realized that it doesn’t mater what the child’s gender is because he/she is the child of a loving mother that will do anything to protect him/her. She is able to let go of her burden and move on the afterlife.
Somewhere in Another Lifetime…
I believe that the the Ku Chan Seong and Jang Man Weol in this last scene is a version of them in another lifetime already. I did at first think that Chan Seong would meet a reincarnated Man Weol in the same lifetime, perhaps in New York, but she wouldn’t be the exact same person that he fell in love with so I don’t think that’s it. Their love story was always on borrowed time, but nothing short of magical. The voiceover of them talking about meeting again in the future is exactly what unfolds before us🌛
Letting go and honoring one’s happiness is such a major theme for this kdrama as it focused on the beauty of such an act. There was a chance for Man Weol to remain on the realm of the living when Yu Na gave her the wine that could make her into the owner of the new hotel. Chan Seong calmly answered that he wanted to be the last human steward for Man Weol and that extending her life once more wouldn’t make her truly happy. He was devastated to lose her, of course, but he wasn’t selfish to keep Man Weol from attaining peace after a long time of searching for it.
It’s not always about staying together to prove that you care for one another — choosing yourself (For Man Weol) and choosing to respect such a decision (Chan Seong) is the most profound kind of love that anyone can give.
Who is the next owner of Hotel Del Luna?
A cameo by Kim Soo Hyun was made to signify the new owner and a brand new Guest House of the Moon, or in this case, Hotel Blue Moon. He looks so hot here (hee😙) and the plot possibilities for a 2nd season are endless given the show’s success.
I hope they explore the idea next time since I read that there are no plans for the kdrama to extend a 2nd season just yet. But if that happens, can the leading male & female end up together in the present timeline?🙏🏻
I cried too with everyone’s parting, but to know that they are leaving with a fulfilled heart was the perfect send-off for them. There’s nothing wrong in being sad when we are separated from the person we care about — whether by mortality, distance, or some other reason, the hope that we’ll be able to meet again is a promise worth taking. If not for the other person, it’s a chance for us to build self-love and prioritize our own desires✨
Though we may not achieve all our unfulfilled desires (like the ghosts) or get everything we want, Hotel del Luna conveys to us that we’ll always find a way to live well after a parting — finding love, forgiveness, and a chance to start anew🌷
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.
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 wasstill 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🌷
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! 🤖👨🦱
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 oragree 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🌸