Friday, June 2, 2023
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by Amber Simmons

This is meant to be a self-reflection post for the blog’s anniversary and I have been thinking hard about what to include in this year’s anniversary entry (or rambling?). I love to go back and read all the previous blogversary posts, just to see how innocent I was at the beginning, then the dark period in the middle, and the recent hopeful days. When I was younger and suffering in the darkness, I used to wish that I could just forget the painful moments like flicking a switch off; looking back in retrospect, I’m actually thankful that I still have the memory of those moments because erasing that period would also mean that I would also lose the happy moments back then. I would hate to forget the happy feelings I had when I watched dramas during that period because some of them hold a special place in my heart.

(This was written on one rainy day, so please excuse the depressing feeling you might get from reading this. Also, trigger warning for the content. If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to anyone you think might be able to give you a warm hug, be it online or offline. Friends are friends these days, no matter how far we are from each other <3)

The blog turns 11 in 2022, so it also means that I am 30 turning 31 in a few months’ time. Time sure flies, huh? When I first watched Be Melodramatic/Melo Suits Me (멜로가 체질) back in 2019, being a 30-year-old seems like a galaxy away; however, with the pandemic and all, time seemed to move at lightning speed, and without me realizing it, my 30 is almost ending. I recently had an urge to rewatch Be Melo again (which has become some sort of my yearly binge drama), and I find myself relating even more to the characters. Oh, I think this is going to be a reflection post, as well as an unofficial personal review of Be Melo…please bear with me!

The drama features a drama within the drama, which is the script written by aspiring drama writer cum assistant drama writer Im Jin-joo (Chun Woo-hee), ­Things Will Be Okay Once You Turn Thirty. The drama’s main characters are three friends age 30 who live under one roof: Jin-joo, documentary producer on leave Lee Eun-jeong (Jeon Yeo-been), and production house marketing team leader, Hwang Han-joo (Han Ji-eun). The first thing that makes me ponder on my recent rewatch is: are things really okay once I turn 30? My answer is yes and no.

Some things turn out to be okay, while others..not so much, at least to me. Still, I now understand why people behave like they do once they are in their thirties. There’s no exact line drawing the difference between being in my 20s and 30s, but I noticed that I have stopped giving a darn to trivial things because I have so many other more important things to attend to. Most of them happen at work, and I literally have piles and mountains of work waiting to be done rather than moping over something that a colleague says which rubs off me wrongly. The same goes for blogging; I used to worry over so many things before I actually write. ‘Will people like this?’ ‘Will the view count be high?’ ‘What if people don’t like it and leave negative comments?’ A lot of posts didn’t get published or even got deleted because of those darn concerns. However, I recently had an epiphany: ‘For the love of God, this is my space, and people can come and go as they please, so please just let your mind wander and your heart feels and your fingers type and your brain work the charms!’ And so I did. Writing has become a luxury to me these days, so whenever I have the drive and ideas to do so, I just go for it. The posts are reflections of what I loved at those exact moments I wrote them, so it has become some sort of record keeping method for me as well.

Be Melo also posed a question: ‘Do you think you become an adult once you turn 30?’ If an adult means being independent, then I’d say that I have successfully turned into an adult. Hehe. Am I really a mature adult, then? Nope, not a chance. I might be able to blurt wise words online, but if you see me in real life and you get to know me, well…I might not turn out to be the responsible adult you thought I’d be. I’m quite animated and giggly in front of people I’m close with, and I can be extra when it comes to the things I’m passionate about, for instance, Korean dramas. Someone at work said that my eyes would light up whenever I talk dramas. Boy, I can talk non-stop about kdramas. Do not get me started. I thought that I have changed a lot as compared to the 20-year-old me, but deep down, I’m still that fangirl who is as passionate as ever when it comes to Korean dramas. If someone needs a proof, then the talking cupboard is the proof!

But then, the 30s also bring about a slew of new worries. As someone who tends to overthink a lot and likes to plan in advance, I’ve been thinking about the future ever since I was younger and even made plans in terms of milestones. However, fate had other plans for me as most of my plans when I was younger didn’t come true. Funny how my present isn’t even close to what I imagined before, but I can say that I’m content with what I have today. Still, that doesn’t mean that I have stopped thinking about the future, because I’m just built like that. If people sign up for life insurance in order to prepare their kids should something happens, I…am still planning on what to do about ensuring the continuity of the blog. It’s not that I have posts lined up to be posted should I suddenly be gone off this Earth one day, but it’s about making the blog stay alive. If you are aware of it, the talking cupboard has been operating on a domain since 2015 and it needs to be renewed yearly. Yes, instead of worrying about a child, I’m worried about the blog that is like my child, because I did make it with tender love and care from scratch. So, I was weighing in on asking my brother to take care of the renewal fees if something ever happens to me, but then, it feels too early to tell him about this. Haha.

With the pandemic and all, I can’t help but to think a lot about sudden death and all. I think I also need to put the blame on the news articles highlighting sudden death in people in their thirties…which make the overthinking me overthink a LOT. I’m quite lazy in real life, but ever since I’ve started living by myself away from my family, I noticed that I’ve adapted my mother’s stance on cleaning: take care of the small things as soon as you can before they pile up, because you will feel even lazier seeing mountains of chores waiting for you to clear them away. But then, there might be an underlying reason for me doing house chores whenever I’m at home: in case someone needs to take care of the house should something happens to me, they will enter a clean house instead of a space resembling a pigsty. That is so shameful. There might be too much overthinking on my part, but I do like to be prepared in advance.

Back to Be Melo, I actually can relate a bit to Eun-jeong’s story. Although I’m nowhere close to her level of success in her career and her being in a relationship. If she has lost someone so dear to her which leads to her trying to follow after him, I lost my dream and almost lost myself in the process. Well, maybe I did lose a part of myself, but at least I got to preserve this precious life of mine. Maybe to some people, it seems like a foolish decision, but the thought of that exact feeling I had at that time still made me feel choked from time to time, although it has been quite rare these days; I still can’t bring myself to smell the scent of the shower cream I used back then, because I would be reminded of that moment. Although Eun-jeong did not really tell her friends about her real feelings after that happened, I’m envious of her to have people around her supporting her come hell or high water. I just chose not to tell anyone about it because I was so ashamed of what I did, and I only told one person about it (you know who you are!). Even the matter of losing my dream was something I kept a secret until recently, but whenever I tell people about it in detail, I would be bawling my eyes out. It’s something I can never get rid of, but I guess that the failure is also what makes me into what I am today: slightly stronger and bolder, if not wiser.

There was also a line uttered by Hong-dae, which turned me into a crying mess: “Please remember me. Not just who I am, but remember how happy I was with you. If you’re not here, who would remember how happy I was, then?” Being 30, my Instagram feed is full of couple pictures, engagement pictorials, wedding albums, baby photos, and family pictures as well, of my friends and relatives. Most people around my age are married and with children. I’ve moved past the age where I would be envious of their smiles and happiness, and I have accepted the fact that well, it will happen when the time calls for it. Everyone has their own timeline and I can’t force my timeline to be similar to others, no matter how much I want it to be. But then, that brings about another worry of mine: how will I be remembered by others? Is there anyone who will think of me, when they are already busy going on with their lives?

Maybe I just want to be remembered by someone, regardless of how I am going to be remembered. When I lost my dream, I also think I have lost the chance to write a book, publish a research paper, or write for a flashy magazine, but I have never thought that my random shot at making a blog about Korean dramas would be the thing that makes me at ease; maybe, it was an unconscious decision – or a preparation in advance, way before the tragedy hit without even me knowing about it – to appease the feeling of wanting to be remembered. Just like how I still remember a customer’s random kind comment from years ago when I was working as a restaurant crew, I hope that through the talking cupboard and me on Twitter, people will think of me from time to time. The thought of being forgotten, as if I have never existed, is depressing, but maybe having someone remembering my random rambling, comment, or tweet, is enough for me.

So please, if you ever came across me or my writings, wherever you might have seen them – Twitter, Soompi forums, or even on the talking cupboard – please remember the person who wrote them.



the talking cupboard.

or kaeruchan, the username I went with on Soompi forums.

Even if you don’t remember me, please know that the moment you talked to me on Twitter, left a good comment and kind words for me on the talking cupboard, or replied to my posts, you made me so happy. I might not show it, but being someone who is really (like, REALLY) awkward and starting a conversation both online and offline (to the point of being mistaken as a stuck-up snob and a know-it-all weirdo), I would be over the moon whenever I have someone approaching me first. Maybe I sound needy right there, but I just have bad experiences when I made the first move, so I have to restrain myself a bit in fear of offending people. That’s more than enough and I can’t express how thankful I am to have someone talking to me. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Maybe the talking cupboard is not haunted by a drama addict’s soul that is me.

Maybe I was the talking cupboard all along.

Happy blogversary, the talking cupboard. You are turning 11 today. You are holding my drama addict soul captive forever. I regard you as my child, but maybe you are more than that. You are my persona, the person I badly wanted to be but I could never be.

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