헤어지잔News 이제와어Oops, I love you, 여기서 멈춰, 결국 때가 왔어 보낼 때가 , I’m ready, I’m ready, ready

….괜찮냐고 글쎄 어떨 것 같아 글쎄, 그걸 또 몰라서 몰어, 니가 뻔하지 똑같지 하나 별할리 없지, 끝까지 잘날 척 하지, 우리가 그럼 그렇지 좋게 끝날리 없지….

니가 했던 짓들은 언제나 내 팃이 되지…. (Breakup news finally arrived, oops I love you, let’s stop at here, time has already come to let go, I’m ready, I’m ready, ready…you always ask if I am ok, or do you really not know? You’re so typical, you are the same, you’ve not changed, you always pretend you are better than me, we’re so typical, we can never have a good ending together….Everything you do always becomes my fault….)

I like this part of the lyrics from Nine Muses’ “News”. It sums up a lot of the former relationships I had that were just mere emotional drama–family and friendships–and that basically only amounted to pain for me. I found out after these years that perhaps those people whom I could not be near probably never changed. It is just that I never really knew them well enough for what and who they are anyway. Perhaps, they also did not really know me anyway as well as they thought they did, because I constantly tried too hard to please them by acting the way they wanted me to. So cutting out all these relationships or distancing myself from them is probably meant in the end.

I hate to say it, but it is more true than ever that I can never ever go back to Singapore. Instead of blaming it on the politics or politicians within the country, it is simply the social culture and the mindset of the people there which I do not feel one bit at ease with. Negativity does breed negativity in the vein of things, and I have yet to come across many people who are content with what they have back there. Instead, I saw a lot more discontent and negativity proliferating amongst the people. In many ways, I don’t even seem to have problems assimilating with South Korean and /or Canadian society, and in the case of the former, especially because I could read, write and speak Korean. It is in fact more stressful to relate to Singaporeans, although I was born there and grew up there for my teenage years, because I think that my cultural mindset is arguably very different from most and I do not take to the values that they embrace, such as materialism and the love of money.

But it is for the good to divorce oneself from such negative people and settings, and I am glad I am in Japan till I move to a new place when the contract is up.

A few days ago over the weekend, after hearing this song numerous times to try drumming it into myself I need to let go of negative relationships which will only suck the happiness out of me, I took the pictures that I had of a female friend I knew for over 10 years, and then edited them such that she was no longer inside the pictures anymore. She was seriously a sore pain in the neck with her lack of manners towards the opposite sex, and all in the name of finding a boyfriend or being in a relationship, she had no apologies or remorse for treating the guys among her friends like dung. What I really hated her for was the very fact that she could be so unapologetic about saying that prostitutes work hard for their money, when the truth is that these people are often forced into these, and I thought that someone who had been taken advantage of by men whom she first knew online and even date-raped(and having had to go for an abortion in her early 3o’s) would have more compassion or commonsense to say something more humane. It is not so. I befriended a really cruel woman who has no qualms about her lack of humaneness, which just makes me realize how she seriously lacks compassion even for herself. It was at that moment  I found a lot more catharsis. Granted that I have no animosity towards her, I doubt that we can ever be friends at all anymore.

The time to move on for me basically came when I realized this: since she has already moved on from me as a friend, why shouldn’t I move on from her as a friend? I did not talk to her anymore after that remark which she made, but I think it was foolish of me to even message her to tell her I am leaving for Japan and then Korea after that. She never even replied to say any congratulations or wish me all the best, and even friends whom I had never talked to for years could wish me that over the phone or email. She is just a totally unworthy person to keep as I realized, even in memories, so when I edited the photos, I felt that immaculate sense of relief, as if I had released a stone out into the sea. Some people really have to be let go of totally even in memories.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMotl2oEnR8

I have been taking inspiration from this song by Nine Muses, a Korean girl group consisting of former supermodels. This song, entitled “News”, tells a story about a famous girl who fell in love with a man, but the man made use of her celebrity and publicly disclosed their eventual breakup to the end that it caused her immense pain and hurt. The song talks of how she finally musters her courage to let go of the relationship and end it by saying goodbye without any desire to hold on.

I have had a few bad friendships which although lacking in the same intensity as romance, yet left me feeling very hurt and as if I was in a relationship prison because of the unfruitfulness of the relationship. But inherently, it was the knowledge that the friendship was meant to come to an end and that it will not stay on forever because of mutual character changes and conflicting perspectives and personalities in life that finally made realize that some friendships are really meant for a period of time at best. I am now ready to let go of these friendships by putting aside all the memories I had of them. Already I am in the process of erasure.

I have been somewhat on the side, not updating my blog as I should, but I have been busy trying to get adjusted to my life here, what with ups and downs and trying to register what I should do for this year or so, before I make any more new plans. Already almost 1 month has passed by and February is coming. I have been actually attempting to sort out my own thoughts and feelings about the future because I know that I am here in Japan for a reason, to find out more of myself and what I am called to do. It will not be my permanent home as I am fully aware of, and I am leaving for Korea and then hopefully Canada when I finish the contract via leave and so on. Still, I have to cherish the relationships I am forming here instead of just letting time pass by like that, because there are various ways in which time can pass by. One can be perfectly miserable in one’s niche or corner, one can just go through the motions and perform the daily tasks as if it is a daily routine without any investments, or one could just learn from it and use that chance to grow oneself.

I got a rare chance to talk to an intern, Kenneth or Kenny as we call him, in church over lunch today, who is from Hong Kong and educated in the USA for his degree, and as an intern missionary with the church’s affiliated Bible college(technically the church I attend is not registered as a church per se, but is a ministry, since it is a sideline to the main Bible college set up here in Nagoya), some of his views made me realize a lot more about my own life and what God is seemingly leading me to do.

There are a few things which I would call my own random musings particularly because we were chatting about our relationships(interpersonal) with others and what these often amounted. A topic which was brought up was that when we have parents who are not believers in Christ, and who bring us up in their own ways, sometimes without Christian values at work, it can affect the way we see God and our relationship with Him too if the upbringing is in itself flawed. If we are brought up with the viewpoint of us not being loved by parents(the same way which I use to describe my own sometimes troubling relationship with my parents because I often sought to follow the rules when younger and yet never won the approval or love of parents in any visible way), then when we approach our own relationship of faith with God, we tend to think the same way towards God. It is in many ways than not anthropomorphic in which we project our own ideas onto God when He is not what we think He is, and it distorts the truth of His character. The parable of the prodigal son was brought up, with its 2 sons in the picture. In some rather stereotypical way, the North American character of tending to “do as I will” without a care for what people think is largely what the prodigal son embodies, but the other brother who tries to do everything but often ends up feeling as if his father does not love him sums up the other extreme end of those who want to earn approval from God when in fact he loved us right from the start as His sons and daughters.

The other issue which cropped up was this issue concerning trust, betrayal, being hurt and loving. He said that in some ways, and more than one, the Christian community stands because it has people who hurt each other the most yet who could by far forgive and love each other unconditionally, and that is why we are still around as a witness to the world. There are 2 choices we could undertake in life: 1. to love and open oneself up in interpersonal relationships of faith, and risk getting hurt, or 2. not to even try to love and risk getting hurt, and hence, not being hurt, but subsequently never being able to find true love(he meant the love of God, not romantic love). This did get me thinking. We are often humans who bring our own broken selves into church, and masking them does not however hide them from God who sees all. I have often myself ended up believing in this adage of “Don’t waste your time on people who do not love and appreciate you.” But this adage is not in itself Christian, and as Kenny pointed out, it has to do with the dynamics of whether we are the giver or the receiver in relationships, because some people will end up on either side of the spectrum throughout their lives, and of course, while being the giver, to give and constantly try to make others love them can wear themselves out in the end, he says that we cannot say that it is a ‘waste’ not if we are called to love people as Christians.  The idea of loving others being a ‘waste’ even if they do not appreciate or return that love is in itself based on the idea of worthiness but we are all unworthy in God’s eyes on account of our sins. Kenny’s point was simply this, in fact we should “waste” our time, and it might not even be a ‘waste’ per se in our eyes, because it is a calling to love others. I think that at the end of the day, it has to do with my own (and our) expectations as humans in which we judge others and expect them to conform to our perceptions. He said that especially when it came to the move of keeping the door of communication open even should others shut us out when we talk the truth or become truthful in love, because the other party would not hear of it, our constant attempt to talk to them would make them start thinking why we are so persistent.

These are random musings obviously, but on closer thought, I do think that Kenny’s words do make a lot of sense. Which one of us do know how to love and forgive even should we have been hurt by those whom we trusted, and still go ahead to try to reconcile even if it seems easier to hate?

For some strange reason, although I have now moved to Japan and am now living a new life here, flickers of my past and memories of what I heard, saw, and even experienced come back to me in my mind’s eye and ears. It does feel a bit like echoing songs which linger around in the ears’ chambers, making one wonder what one should do and how one should respond. No one can effectively relive the past again, except maybe in terms of memories of pain and joy. Like all relationships past and present, there will always be both pain and joy. As a Christian, I know that part of me is called upon to forgive and to accept the things of the past, but does one effectively need to make any more effort to engage in restitution of the broken or damaged relationships we might have had in the past, to re-initiate any more contact with those who hurt us, if we are called to do so? Or do we bury that as a chapter in our lives?

This are the lyrics of another song which I have been listening to online, and the lyrics are courtesy of www.lyricsmoon.com and musictology.wordpress.com. which have both transcribed the lyrics in Korean and English. What I remember the most from this song are the parts: 바래질 추억 유리조각에, 배인 상처만 남아 머물러있는걸 (Fragments of glass from the fading memories, Cutting and leaving marks is what’s left and it’s staying). The song is Trax’s “Cold-hearted Man” (가슴이 차가운 남자), and it deals with the need to let go amidst painful memories. I think that sometimes people have different mechanisms for letting go, and actually the worst thing a person can do is just to delete and throw away things thinking that it is the end officially, and that life will go on as per normal. Mostly, it does not.

 

___________________________________________

하얗게 흐려진 그림 속 추억의 책장 속 우리 그저 스쳐간 안녕 돌아와 끝내 말 못하고 시간 틈새로 흘러 점점 멀어진 기억
몇 번의 계절 지나 마주한 두 눈동자 아무 말도 못하고
가슴이 차가운 남자가 울어요 이별에 모질던 그녀도 우네요 바래진 추억 유리조각에 베인 상처 흔적만 남아 초라하네요
파랗게 질려버린 하늘 굳어버린 입술 울컥 그립다 널 외치고 미련에 엉킨 인연의 끈 차마 풀지 못하고 다시 묻어두네요
먹먹한 가슴이 참지 못하고 달려 멀어진 네 등 뒤로
가슴이 차가운 남자가 울어요 이별에 모질던 그녀도 우네요 바래진 추억 유리조각에 베인 상처 흔적만 남아 머물러있는걸 Again stay again(oh stay~ stay again)
가슴이 차가운 남자가 울어요 이별에 모질던 그녀도 우네요 바래진 추억 유리조각에 끊긴 눈물 속의 시간을 다시 묶어둘게 to tied to tied
모르죠 이별한 남자의 눈물 못 견디게 널 맴돌던 지친 한숨도 지독한 그리움 목 조르던 엉킨 우리 둘의 추억을 슬픈 하늘에 보내줄게

Within the whitely faded picture, Atop the bookshelf of memory, We were just faintly exchanging helloes Comeback, but to the end I still couldn’t say it And as the time flies by The memory fades away

Many seasons passed And as we meet face to face I still couldn’t say it

The coldhearted man is crying At our parting, even she’s crying All that’s left are cuts From the faded memory-window fragments

The pure blue sky The rigid lips cry As I shout how much I miss you The string of fate tangled at lingering feelings Remains tangled Then it buries itself once again

The suffering heart couldn’t hold back any longer And it’s chasing after your distant figure

The coldhearted man is crying At our parting, even she’s crying All that’s left are cuts From the faded memory-window fragments Oh Stay~ stay again (oh stay~ stay again)

The coldhearted man is crying At our parting, even she’s crying The time within tears cut apart From the faded memory-window fragments I’ll tie them together once again To tie, to tie

You wouldn’t know, the tears of broken boy The tired sighs circling around you, so you can’t stand it I will send our tangled memories That has been tightening around the throat venomously, to the saddened sky

 

As most of my friends will know about me, I love to listen to Korean music, especially ballads. The wonderful thing about Korean music and the language itself is that there is a very heavy element of expressiveness in the music and the language. I came across this song by DongbangShinki (also more  properly translated as ‘rising gods of the east’), an idol group now turned duo from South Korea, which is entitled “Before You Go”. The song talks a lot about letting go of the relationships you ought to let go of, mainly in the context of romance, but I think more than anything else, it can be used in the context of any other relationships such as family and closest friends.

The part where they sing, “너 끝까지 내 곁에 남으면 더 힘들고 쓰러질지도 몰라 아주 잘한 거야 너를 자유롭게 해줄 사람이 네 곁에 올 거야 네 곁에 올 거야 ” ( If you stay beside me ’till the end You’ll be more heartbroken, you might fall Made a very good choice A person who will set you free Will come to you Will come to you)  seems so especially striking as a reality of life. We let go of the ones we love because it is in the hope that they might learn their own lessons in life.

________________________________________________________________________

 

If you feel it’s a burden That all my senses are focused only on you I will leave now If I made you suffer Because I couldn’t control my feelings I will go now

I was afraid that like “hooc” You might fly away from my side Not a day could I rest saying “hugh” I didn’t know then that I was hurting you With my foolish obsession

Just know this before you go That I was the only man who loved you only So stupid was I An idiot a scumbag who couldn’t even protect you If you stay beside me ’till the end You’ll be more heartbroken, you might fall Made a very good choice A person who will set you free Will come to you Will come to you

I won’t make any more of small excuses So make that kind of look on your face no more (so sad) With my mouth shut I only wanted to wish your happiness It wasn’t that, no no no no

In the cold wind with “hoo” I warmed up your cold hands “Pooc” (deep) in my arms After a year we had our first kiss I gave myself to you, I always do

Just know this before you go That I was the only man who loved you only So stupid was I An idiot a scumbag who couldn’t even protect you If you stay beside me ’till the end You’ll be more heartbroken, you might fall Made a very good choice A person who will set you free Will come to you Will come to you

Thank you for giving me happy memories You go on and don’t remember, forget anything Don’t look at me with worried eyes, I’m okay

Someday all my heart’s wounds will be cured Someday I will meet a nice person Forget, yeah, forget everything and hurry up and go Before I change my mind and hold onto you

Out of habit, I might call you without knowing Hello hello hello hello Missing you like crazy, if I’m at your door, be cold

Just know this before you go That I was the only man who loved you only So stupid was I An idiot a scumbag who couldn’t even protect you If you stay beside me ’till the end You’ll be more heartbroken, you might fall Made a very good choice A person who will set you free Will come to you Will come to you

Korean

그대만 바라보는 것이 부담스럽다고 느낀다면 난 이제 그만 떠날게 내 감정을 다스리지 못해 그댈 괴롭게 했던 거라면 이제 난 물러날게 난 그대가 훅 하고 내 곁에서 날아가 버릴까 단 하루도 휴 하고 쉴 수조차 없었단 말야 내 이런 바보 같은 집착이 널 아프게 할 줄 난 미처 몰랐다 이것만은 알고가 너만 사랑했었던 단 한 남자였다고 너무 미련해서 너조차 지키지도 못했던 바보 등신이었다 너 끝까지 내 곁에 남으면 더 힘들고 쓰러질지도 몰라 아주 잘한 거야 너를 자유롭게 해줄 사람이 네 곁에 올 거야 네 곁에 올 거야 사소한 어떤 변명도 이제 하지 않을게 그런 표정 짓지 마 슬퍼 나는 단지 입을 닫고 너의 행복만을 바래주고 싶었어 그런 게 아닌데 no 찬바람에 후 하고 차가운 네 손 녹혀주던 날 내 가슴에 푹 하고 안겨 나눈 1년만의 첫 키스 난 나를 주고 말았다 언제라도 그렇게 이것만은 알고가 너만 사랑했었던 단 한 남자였다고 너무 미련해서 너조차 지키지도 못했던 바보 등신이었다 너 끝까지 내 곁에 남으면 더 힘들고 쓰러질지도 몰라 아주 잘한 거야 너를 자유롭게 해줄 사람이 네 곁에 올 거야 네 곁에 올 거야 행복한 추억들을 내게 줘서 고맙다 넌 잊고 살아 넌 모두 잊어버리고 걱정스런 눈빛으로 보지 마 난 괜찮아 언젠가 이 심장의 상처들은 아물겠지 언젠가 나도 좋은 사람 만나게 되겠지 잊어 그래 모두 떨쳐버리고 어서 가라 내 이런 마음 다시 돌려 너를 잡아두기 전에 습관처럼 나도 모르게 네게 전화 할지도 몰라 hello hello hello hello 네가 너무 보고 싶어서 네 집 앞에 있어도 냉정하게 이것만은 알고가 너만 사랑했었던 단 한 남자였다고 너무 미련해서 너조차 지키지도 못했던 바보 등신이었다 너 끝까지 내 곁에 남으면 더 힘들고 쓰러질지도 몰라 아주 잘한 거야 너를 자유롭게 해줄 사람이 네 곁에 올 거야 네 곁에 올 거야

어려운 삶을 살 수 있는 항복한다는 (It is difficult to live a life of surrender.) (Scott Koenigsaecker)

I came across this saying, that it is difficult to live a life of surrender, mainly to surrender the outcome of what we do and are called to release into God’s hands, instead of holding and clinging onto them stubbornly although we know that the one controlling the outcome is still God. This is a very human thing admittedly to want to control the circumstances and people around so as to make sure that the results or outcome are what we want. Yet, at the end of the day, trusting that God has His own timing and purpose is what He wants us to know, that His ways are not our ways. I have been struggling so much to understand this particularly because I know that deep inside, I was still yearning for a part of the past, my endeared past, before things changed and became bitter at one point to hurt me. But somehow, as a few friends said, the most important thing is that I learn through all these. I still ask questions, but know somehow that not all of them will be answered and I have to bring my broken hopes and relationships with people before God, asking Him to restore them in His own timing.

I am still praying this prayer to God to ask Him to help me accept that He is in control and will bring me through to understand things, although I still grapple and ask why in the process of all these, even as an observer, I have become hurt in the process.

I wrote a poem in Korean just to express that feeling of something in the past lost:

텅빔(Emptiness) (Tongbim)

제발 들어와져요 소중한이전, (Jae-bal deu-reo-wa-jyeo-yo so-joong-han-yi-jeon)

아찍 많이 보고싶은데, (ah-jjik man-ni bo-go-ship-peun-dae)

그러나 완전히 이렇버렸어. (keu-reo-na wan-jeon-hi yi-reo-beo-ryeo-sseo)

혼자 그리워져요, (hon-ja keu-ri-wo-jyeo-yo)

슬픈한 심장이 불가능한추억을 기다리고 있어요, (seul-peun-han shim-jang-yi bul-ka-neung-han-chu-eok-geul ki-da-ryeo-go yi-sseo-yo)

가끔 이상 현실보다 잔인도. (ga-ggeum yi-sang hyeon-shil boda jan-in-do)

Please, won’t you come back, my precious past,

I still miss you much,

But it is completely lost.

I still wait alone,

The saddened heart waiting for the impossible memories still,

Sometimes reality is crueler than imagination.