As I enter my 54th year (Asian age; I just turned 53 international age), I reflect on those dreams and desires I had in my 20s and teens. What person doesn’t dream that they’ll, someday, be a famous entertainer or scientist or be the CEO of a large conglomerate? Our dreams are lofty.
Over time and after the experiences and challenges of life, those dreams may turn to ones of quiet rest and retirement, when we can enjoy simpler things. Yet we don’t cease to hope for and dream of a luxurious life. The number of lotto tickets sold at my store should be some indicator of that.
This morning, I recall a conversation with a young man at my store last night. He was buying laundry supplies for his mom whose side hustle is as a laundress. She splits her earnings with her kids when they help out. He also works at the local pizzeria. I reflect on my many blessing this morning. Never out of need have I had to work so hard. Yes my current job is as a glorified cashier, and it’s back-breaking (or in my case, neck-straining) hard work, but I do it because it’s “easy.” I would have to get out of my comfort zone, after all, to find a “better” job. And, I hate hate hate interviewing. If I didn’t work, I think I’d be okay for a while. I certainly will never go hungry or homeless. I am truly, truly blessed. And thank goodness! Because it is, and always has been, fear that holds me in place.
(Hangul and Romanisation lyrics shown in the following video)
Ooh, I wondered everyday how far I’d go
I came to my senses and I find myself here
Yeah, hmm, shadow at my feet
Look down, it’s gotten even bigger
I run but the shadow follows, as dark as the light’s intenseI’m afraid, flying high is terrifying
And now, more than a half century has passed. And I daily listen to seven young men who work tirelessly to create, produce, and generously give back to and for their fans. I imagine (and it is absolutely an assumption because who can know their motivation?) a large part of their actions is propelled by the thought that their time is limited. How long can idols last physically? Ten years is a long time to put your body through what they do. Recently their efforts are expanding beyond entertainment (perhaps to pave way for longer-term careers?) Yet, a couple things have been consistent – their gratitude to their fandom and supporters and that they return those blessings.
So here I sit in leisurely comfort before I go to my (very easy) job, and I contemplate my many blessings. Though I have, throughout my lifetime, considered myself blessed, perhaps I haven’t considered enough how to pass on those blessings to others.
And, here, my thoughts take a turn to Christmas gift-giving. We don’t do it. It stresses me and my son out. It’s a materially oriented practice that we try to avoid. But now I’m wondering if it is more deep-seated than that. For, at its core, gift-giving is the practice of passing on your blessings. The energy of that is rooted in love and caring. And, that is what I’d like to practice this 54th year. And not necessarily in stuff, but through my own God/dess-given gifts. Hmmm…
Side note: Suga’s rap and lyrics are probably totally different from how I use them here. It is the English part of his song, and the music itself, that make me stop and think of things in my own life. He, of course, raps about his own journey. Each of BTS’ song inspire me in different ways in different times. This blog post started off completely differently a few months ago. But, I was an almost different person then, with different considerations. And now, these are my thoughts – how to repay and honor my blessings like my idols pass on theirs through serving as ambassadors, their free songs, and interaction with ARMY. Those are their gifts that they can spread to others. What are my gifts and what can I give?
Yeah I’m you, you are me, now do you know
Yeah you are me, I’m you, now you do know
We are one body, sometimes we will clash
You can never break me off, this you must know
Yeah yeah can’t break me off, whatever you do
Yeah you’ll be at ease if you admit it too
Yeah succeed or fail, whichever way you flow
Yeah you can’t escape, wherever you go