Tag: thoughts

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 πŸ™‚
  • 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 Thoughts: Don’t be afraid to live your best, hard earned life

Unnie Thoughts: Don’t be afraid to live your best, hard earned life

This 2019, I found myself enjoying reading self-help books more than novels. Each page tells a story on how to approach life with a wisdom that we secretly know but never get to fully apply in our lives. Mental health has become a growing concern in today’s society and getting advice or having someone tell you what you can do to survive is helpful. Whether or not we follow the advice is up to us but having someone narrate steps or explain the process is reassuring that I’m not the only one going through something alone.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from the books I’ve read, it’s that it’s okay to enjoy your life. Don’t feel bad for living your best life — there’s nothing wrong in being content and happy with your everyday. But why is it so hard to feel this way sometimes? Because while we get to work a stable job, have a good family to come home to, travel once in awhile.. others are suffering. There’s this guilt that eats us up for being able to enjoy while even other people around us are struggling. Or we tend to look at the lives of other people and go down the rabbit hole of jealousy & insecurity, we stop & rethink if we are indeed living the best life we can have.

But it’s not their fault that they live that way. Nor is it ours that we have a different life. We can make assumptions and think that the grass is greener on the other side but do we really know the hard work and sacrifices that went into the grass to become healthy and full of life? Let’s not feel bad about our choices & lifestyle and learn to embrace that what we currently (and can) have is enjoyment in its purest form already.

Here’s the thing though: Enjoying life’s fruits doesn’t mean it’s an easy breezy experience. Earning money takes hard work, exercising is a chore, and travelling means waking up early and doing a lot of walking to soak in the sights (Except for staycations, depends on your IT) and requires money to spend. Maintaining friendships and having good relations with your parents/siblings develops over time. A good life means working through problems and exerting thought & effort to live a balanced lifestyle. There’s no shortcuts and as we experience the opposite of anything easy, the lessons and hardships will make us wiser and improve our lives. If we allow it, and we should.

I’m slowly trying to unlearn the notion of guilt and stripping away the care and attention I give to jealousy. When I look at other people’s social media feeds or hear their success stories, I admit that the emotions can bubble up and eat me alive. But I always remind myself that what others have that I don’t does not make me weaker. Get rid of entitlement and own up to your strengths. Don’t we downplay our lives when other people compliment it? The same rule applies when we admire others for theirs — let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt.

To be confident and know that despite what other people say, you can still do your own thing, is hard. Don’t be afraid to be happy and live with a smile on your face because that smile can come from many different (easy & difficult) experiences. This entry doesn’t mean that I’m well on my way to achieving true happiness without falter but I’m hoping that these words will remind me that I’m doing okay. I’m not miserable and I want to start fully enjoying my life without any buts😊

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! πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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.

Unnie Thoughts: Self Care to NOT escape your reality

Anyeong! πŸ™‚ Veering away from my usual korean drama posts, I wanted to share something that really got my attention. I recently came across a quote that one of my good friends posted in her Instagram story and it got me really thinking about what it means to take care of ourselves. The quote is:

True self-care is not about salt baths and chocolate cake. It is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

http://www.instagram.com/briannawiest

It was particularly striking because it was the first time that I read/heard of self-care not defined as pampering yourself or taking an hour or two to destress or escape from the mundane. I’ve always considered watching korean dramas as a form of “escape” from my real life because I don’t think about my own problems for 30 minutes – 1 hour and merely become an observer of someone else’s life. I can pry and make comments about a character’s decision, cheer for them for attaining their goals, and revel in their journey when they have conquered their plights. I started thinking that instead of treating my interest as an escape, couldn’t it just be considered a part of my life that I find enjoyable?

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with indulging ourselves at times because waking up every single day and going through the same routine can drive us crazy. But the thing is, I also don’t think that the saying above means that we’re not allowed to destress, but rather, I think it calls for a shift in perspective –– a change in mindset that instead of trying to escape the mundane, we create a life that we can enjoy on a regular basis and not need to break away from. It’s being able to deal with your life the best way you can with habits and plans that nurture yourself.

I enjoy watching korean dramas but it did reach a point where I just “had to” catch an episode because I had a stressful time at work and I deserve to unwind. Although I can argue that it’s not an extraordinary way to indulge myself, I realize that the feeling of deserving something because of an unfair situation is entitlement. I just had to buy a Starbucks drink, order take-out food, or I need to buy that luxury bag — I thought it was self-care because I felt good after treating myself. But the reasons behind those actions were just to satisfy an exhausted or entitled part of myself. Again, there is nothing wrong in treating yourself but ask yourself: How can I truly take care of myself when I’m always depending on something else to make me feel happy? Is it even happiness or just a temporary spurt of glee?

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with β€œtreating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.

https://thoughtcatalog.com/brianna-wiest

With so many unforeseen and unpredictable circumstances that can sprout in our lives, building a life that we can learn to be satisfied with takes time, courage, and the willingness to accept mistakes and learn from them. It’s not meant to be easy because real happiness and satisfaction stems from a mixture of good and bad experiences, and that’s okay.

I still stand by the fact making plans to travel, buy an iced coffee, or go on a shopping spree once in awhile if you feel good or just want to do such a thing. It’s the how often you do it and reason why that signals the difference of these habits being defined as true self-care or I need to do this because I am stressed. It’s different for everyone but I think that taking care of ourselves doesn’t have to involve special events or occurrences all the time. Reading a book, taking a power nap, talking with your family and friends, or watching korean dramas — simple but isn’t this what life is all about anyway? πŸ˜‰

*For further reading, check out the author’s post here:

Unnie Life Lessons: 3 Things My Strange Hero Taught Me

It’s time to say farewell to our lovable and handsome Bok Su as My Strange Hero officially ended this week. I was happily educated and pleased with the life lessons and rooted for the growth of each character in the show. Strangely enough, I grew a fond attachment to Bok Su and his friends, from both periods that he went to high school, who sought out to correct its still corrupt and obviously discriminatory system.

The kdrama concluded with a happy ending, although not ideal for everyone involved, it was a nice to get a glimpse of Bok Su, Soo Jeong, their friends, and the teachers move forward to the next chapter of their lives. It wasn’t an easy journey despite the many comedic and heartwarming moments shared between our characters, but these lighthearted moments remind us that we can still smile despite facing problems.

For a brief overview of My Strange Hero, check out my previous post to catch up πŸ™‚

Unnie Life Lessons

1. Misunderstandings can be resolved if you make an effort to sort it out. It’s not easy to confront someone who you think betrayed you but, giving a chance for someone to explain their side can free you from unnecessary pain.

  • Son Seo Jeong never bothered to confront Bok Su about the fact that he wasn’t the one who had spread the news that she lived on food stamps and was not rich like her classmates assumed she was. It was a misunderstanding that both of them never bothered to fix when they were still high school students. Nine years later, she finally took a chance to ask and opened up about her painful memories of the same incident. She later finds out her mistake in doubting Bok Su and finds out the truth about what really went down that day between him and Oh Se Ho (One of the show’s main antagonists).
  • Their lives would have been completely different if only they had talked the matter out but given the context of their circumstances (They were high school students at the time), avoiding the issue and dealing with the consequences is a viable scenario. But I’m glad that Soo Jeong was humble enough to apologize to Bok Su profusely when she found out that he was truly innocent.

Let’s not be afraid to seek the truth or ask the hard questions when needed. Our pride or embarrassment can sway us against this but to confront reality is still 100% better than living in an uncertain version of “truth”.

2. You can’t blame your “situation” as an excuse to be a jerk and act high and mighty against others. Someone with an unfortunate background can still rise above the challenges and be a kind and loyal person.

  • This is probably the hardest to do and apply in our daily life. Bok Su had an unfortunate past but he didn’t grew up resentful of his life and managed to start a business with his friends. I know the story revolves around him getting revenge but this was only instigated when he was offered a chance to go back to school a 2nd time. I’m NOT saying that getting revenge is okay when it’s warranted (School corruption) but if he wasn’t given a chance to become a student again, he didn’t have a vengeful or cruel outlook in life regardless.
  • Bok Su was able to forgive Soo Jeong and got along well with the kids in his class as he stood up for them and encouraged them to be better. Having gone through his ordeal, you’d expect a person like that to be miserable or at least not extend a helping hand to other people as much. There are lots of people who didn’t come from a well-off family or who had to work hard for their accomplishments, yet they remain humble and nurturing despite their success or found happiness in their lives.

3. Life is about making mistakes. There’s no perfect formula to ensure that we succeed all the time and that’s okay. We can always learn from every experience and get another chance to do better.

  • In the latter episodes, Bok Su dissuades a student from attempting suicide (He was proven to have cheated on an exam because he had access to the answer sheet) and said a very important advice:
  • We feel upset, angry, or embarrassed when we make a mistake or do something that hurts someone else. The beauty in being human is that we are naturally imperfect — and there’s nothing wrong with that. We strive to be the perfect child/friend/lover or whatever occupation we work at because making a mistake is like admitting that we aren’t enough and our efforts come up short in accomplishing our desired goal. It’s not the end of the world. We can ALWAYS make up for our mistakes and do better next time!
  • My Strange Hero portrayed a lot of opportunities for our characters to redeem themselves and get a fresh start. It won’t be easy but if we acknowledge our shortcomings, learn from the experience, and try again, our breakthrough will come. Of course, having your family and friends by your side when you face such ordeals also lessens the struggles πŸ™‚

*Extra insight:

In the last episode, Oh Se Ho was able to forgive his mother (who was a bia*** until they very end) despite her cold and downright despicable treatment towards him. He said something touching for me which was:

I realized that healing doesn’t mean you need to hear the person who hurt you apologize or even show compassion towards you. It’s not Oh Se Ho’s fault that his mom treated him that way and it’s also not his fault that Bok Su was beloved by many (Oh Se Ho was jealous of him all this time). We can get better on our own, slowly but surely, if we live for ourselves. No need to please somebody else or convincing them of our self-worth, WE are ALL worthy to live a good and happy life. Though we cannot please everyone, as long as we aren’t hurting anyone with our actions, we’ll be okay.

***

Kang Bok Su not only fought for his own redemption, but also for the other students who were being belittled or bullied. Of course it started out as a revenge plan but, he was able to genuinely help a lot of people gain self confidence, trust in themselves, and embrace who they are as a person. In the process of helping others, he was able to forgive and reveled in his second chance at love, career path, and ever growing friendship with his peers.

All of us are heroes in our own way. We don’t need to perform grand gestures to become one though; the little, everyday things matter a lot — encouraging a friend, making an effort to study harder, and trying to live your life the best way you can despite hardships.. these acts are worthy achievements that anyone can be proud of.

Happy Unnie New Year!

Looking back on this year’s events and moments, I can say for certain that I am thankful. But don’t we always say this though? That we learn from the bad times, savor the good, and look forward to another year filled with hope, challenges, and rewards? I really can’t say anything else as this is how life progresses I guess. We go thru another 365 days hoping that this new year will impart something exciting for us.

Before 2018 officially comes to a close, let me say thank you to all the good and well, boring, korean dramas I watched this year. It has been an amazing year for TV shows and although I’m sure I missed a few good ones, the beauty remains is that I can always watch it next time. To the shows that didn’t pique my interest as much or I stopped watching midway, I’m sure you entertained other fans with your plot twists and equally meaningful life lessons. To all the crazy, powerful, and heartfelt shows I consumed this year, I’ll never forget you.

With that said, I cannot wait for all the new kdramas that will be shown in 2019! πŸ™‚ There are already a few I’m anticipating eagerly but I’m hoping for more surprises. As I look forward, I hope to continue this blog and bring you more life lessons and kdrama recommendations to make your days just a little more fun.

It’s going to be a new year filled with exciting and life inspiring kdramas. It may exceed our expectations, or we suffer with the characters’ difficult times, perhaps we wake up diving into a new adventure just waiting for us– whatever the new year holds.. I can’t wait πŸ™‚

Happy New Year everyone!

Merry Unnie Christmas!

2018 has been a year of changes and new adjustments in my life. I got married, moved to a new hometown, got the opportunity to travel to Europe, and learned how to cook. Not just the canned goods or scrambled eggs kind of cooking — the real stuff like porkchops, pasta, and fish!

I had a lot of ups and downs this past year as well and I know that things will never be easy, there’s always a problem just waiting to be discovered. But I have learned to be more resilient, a little less paranoid, and doing my hardest to face such adversities head on. I’m grateful for my family and friends who have shown me that we can’t avoid such challenges; we need to confront the difficult times because these experiences will make us stronger and wiser. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from them.

Kdramas this year have been so fun and thrilling I feel so much joy just spending my time watching them. I almost always finish a kdrama to the end but I admit that there have been a few shows that I stopped watching in the middle or almost immediately because either the story was too heavy or the plot was going nowhere. These shows have influenced my life wherein I can remember certain scenes or lines being said by a character and I reflect on the learnings or emotions in my present situations. It’s these murder mysteries, romantic comedies, slice of life, or supernatural forces that awaken my senses for life. I am grateful to watch other people (kdrama characters) go through their life and I, as an eager fan, grow in knowledge and realizations as well.

Enjoy the holiday season and Merry Christmas to everyone! πŸ™‚