Lately, I’ve been putting some thought into what makes me happy. I find that I spend so much of my time just doing stuff because I have to or because it’s a habit and I haven’t really taken into consideration if I really want to be doing it anymore. I’ve talked about it before, but as a completely normal person in a completely normal life, I have limited time and limited funds. I don’t have the luxury of squandering either. I should be more deliberate about what I spend either of those precious commodities on.
Outside of work and family stuff – neither of which I can really give up – the thing I spend the bulk of my time on is Korean Entertainment – to be fair, it’s really Asian Entertainment, but the majority is certainly Korean – and frankly, most of my personal expendable income is spent on Kpop. I like concerts and I have to travel to see them, I like albums, and I like a certain amount of schwag. Hell, I write two posts a week for Kchat and that takes a fair bit of time and sometimes a lot of thought from a hectic schedule.
Is this really making me happy? Is this really want I want to be focusing on? Still focusing on after all of these years?
The answer is yes.
I can remember my first moments of Kpop. I’m not OG, I didn’t grow up on H.O.T. or Shinhwa or anything. I came into all of this as an adult in 2013 and it took a lot of digging and patience to find what I wanted and to fully bond. I had nobody to talk to about what was working for me and what wasn’t, who I should spend time getting to know and who I should probably give a pass knowing my tastes. But for some reason, it all gave me great joy. And it still does. Very much so. I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t get annoyed sometimes when it’s time to write a post and I want to be reading this awesome book I’m almost done with or say that there aren’t moments when I feel like I’m not keeping up on music or shows or variety and I feel like a bad fan. Sometimes I wake up and think, “F this, I just don’t care who put out what today.” But if I’m being totally honest, within about an hour or so I’m itching to check it out and fall just a tiny bit more in love with whatever it is that catches my fancy.
Sometimes, someone sending me a gif or a pic in the middle of the workday because they are so in love or because they know I’ll be so in love is the thing that gets me through. Sometimes, waking up to the long list of links and tiny ‘sorry for dumping this on you’ from my loveliest of friends is what gets me out of bed and moving for the day. The promise of catching up on the latest survival show or digging through old variety for a chance to get to know someone better gets me through a rough week. The feeling of falling in love again – not like mature, grown-up love like I have for my family, but giddy and intense and silly love like a 13-year-old – is invigorating and powerful and motivating. This kind of love is equally as real and just as powerful as the former, it’s just different and fun and exciting in a way that tax deductions and conversations about child care are not.
I know that my trajectory isn’t for everyone, I know that sometimes something like Kpop fits in nicely for a while and then you move on to the next thing that makes you happy. Or that sometimes folks need a break to listen to something else, to remember that there are things closer to home that bring them happiness and then they can come back to Kpop when they feel the need. Or not. It’s music. It’s intensely and insanely personal and I respect a person’s desire for whatever it is that’s speaking to them. Not only do I respect it, but I trust and support it.
But, Kpop has become a big part of me, not the only part by any stretch of the imagination, but a big part and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So in honor of that, here’s one of my inaugural songs from a group I watched grow and change and struggle and ultimately break up – C-Clown. A group who has two members, Jae Joon (TREI) and Christian Yu (DPR – CEO), that I’ve continued to watch as they’ve found different paths in the entertainment world. It’s dated and it’s a specific moment in time, but it’s also a specific moment in my time with Kpop and I find so much value in that.
Shaking Heart, C-Clown