About four years ago, I was reintroduced to a genre of music known as Kpop. I had listened to it before, but forgotten about it almost entirely– minus the one or two songs I enjoyed. But, then, a friend showed me artists with styles I liked, and I got hooked. I was listening nonstop.
To further the growing addiction, my friend showed me talk shows that Korean artists would go on to perform and talk about themselves and their careers. They were always so much fun to watch, and, as such, I found myself falling into yet another addiction. I became obsessed with one of the hosts at the time who was also a solo singer, Eric Nam.
For me, it was really hard not to like the guy. He always knew how to direct conversations and put the guests and fans at ease. He had a fantastic sense of humor, an encouraging attitude, and a really big heart. He did a lot for charities and always made things affordable for his fans. To top it off, he was multi talented– singing, mcing, interviewing, speaking more than one language— to me, he was totally impressive. It was beyond a girlish crush; I always admired him– his skills, and the way he held himself in public.
Not too long after I got into Kpop, I had a horrible breakup that took me a very long time to get over. Without discovering his hosting and music, I’m not sure what I would have done. I’m pretty certain I would have sunk into a deeper feeling of anxiety and hopelessness without it.
Flash forward a few years later
I hadn’t been following him as much because my life was quite busy, but I saw he was going on tour. I’d never managed to attend one of his shows because either they weren’t close enough for me to get to, or the tickets would sell out. But not this time; the timing and location were perfect. And, I saw that there were VIP tickets to meet him for sale! Without hesitation, I bought my ticket.
The show was amazing. However, I was more impressed by how hard he had to fight to create the album we were hearing and seeing performed on stage. He talked about how he wanted to be true to himself, and not what his record company was pressuring him to be. Experiencing the show, I could see how much he had changed from a few years ago…like he had become a better version of himself.
And it was just so…stunning.
Of course, I never knew him personally. But, to see someone I admired so much continue to grow and transform made me feel inspired. I couldn’t help but be moved by it. When he started his career, he faced struggles and difficulties along the way, but he succeeded and had come so far- and continued to go farther.
I felt something change within in me that night. I asked myself, was I really happy with what I was doing? Was I really being true to who I was? What I wanted? Out of a career? Love? Life in general?
It was as though something within me lit up. Like I had finally figured out the solution to a hard-pressed problem I wasn’t actually aware of.
When I finally got to meet him after the show, it was brief. I stammered my words out and I barely remember them, honestly. But I thanked him for being himself because everything he was doing was what I wanted to do, and how inspiring it was to see him achieving what he wanted.
After that day, I was determined to start living.
That concert changed me. When I left I was a different person. For that, I’m eternally grateful. Meeting my idol made me realize how much of my life I was hiding from myself. I wasn’t living authentically, nor was I being true to my needs and desires. I was just settling because I thought that was simply what everyone else was doing. Everyone tells you that succeeding in your real big dreams is going to be impossible, or take a very long time and, well, you need to make a living, be realistic, and everything else your parents tell you to be…
But when I looked at the person who’d help me heal, the person who was so talented, living out such an adventurous life, doing what he loved…I thought, how could I not do the same? Why not me? He’d had his struggles, but they were not insurmountable. He had overcome and won, and he was still climbing to new heights regularly.
And, for that, I cherish him.
It’s amazing the profound effect that just being yourself can have on others. When you act as a light to others, living out your dreams, you give people hope. You inspire them to be their best. You allow them to see that if it’s possible for you, it is indeed possible for them. And that is the greatest gift of all.
Give yourself away. Be yourself. Cherish yourself. The world needs YOU. Not a copycat. Never deny your unique individuality in order to fit in, because you never know who is looking up to you or who could. You never know who you could be saving or inspiring today, simply by being yourself and nothing less.
For more from Brittany, Check out her website here!