"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Never Grow Up: Behind-the-Scenes

Now Playing: Starlight by Taylor Swift (I said oh my, what a marvellous tune, it was the best night, never would forget how we moved, the whole place was dressed to the nines and we were dancing, dancing like we're made of starlight)

Never Grow Up. Done. It's taken exactly three months.

It was a series that sprung out of nowhere, really - I was just reminiscing, back to darker times, happier times, dream-makers and heart-breakers. And from there I just realized how much has happened, in these last seventeen years of life.

It was a turning point, writing this series. I know I write a lot about myself and my past but I'm constantly running away from it, from things I don't want to remember but can never forget. But something happened, last year, that made me realize that the things that I've been through, the decisions that I am ashamed of, the mistakes I made and the traps I fell into...they're all a part of me, and have made me the person I am now - for better or for worse. And there comes a time when you're dumb and sixteen and you're presented with the same messy situation you were presented with when you were even dumber and thirteen, but you've got the wisdom and the courage to make better choices, to avoid temptation. There's so much stuff I wish I could have told myself. I wish I had gotten these letters.

It has not been easy, writing this series. There are some things I didn't want to talk about, some things I never wanted to relive and remember. My surgery when I was five was particularly traumatic and being seven was a bit too much for my too-little self. And growing up is hard, as I realized when I reflected on my frame of mind from eleven to fourteen. But it was very healing and cathartic to write these letters, and I'm glad I did them before I got too old to remember the tiny little big huge momentous things of growing up.

I am also glad that this series included my first guest post, by one of my dearest friends. Being sixteen was no walk in the park, but he was there for me, and for that I am glad. I can't adequately describe the headache that is post scheduling and co-ordinating a post written by someone a thousand miles away, in between time differences, my forty-hour working week and both blogger and email refusing to behave. But we got there, in the end, and it's very interesting, reading something that I've had very little say over on something that has otherwise been entirely my own work of art - my blog until now has been an entirely one-woman show.

I've just gotten back from the most amazing seventeenth birthday anyone has ever had - my friends here at Yonsei I have only known for a month, and we say goodbye in less than two weeks. And yet, they're the best people I've ever met - nowhere else in the world will you meet kinder, more generous, genuinely sincere people. I've been absolutely spoiled rotten with presents, had a surprise birthday cake halfway through classes, stuffed stupid with delicious Arab food and losing my voice from another escapade at our favourite 노래방. I love you to the moon and back, 친구들. You are forever in my heart.

This is the start of something new, something exciting, something bold and reckless and fearless. I'm determined to make 2013 a good year. I'll never grow up, because I'm forever a child at heart. I'm still me, but I'm moving onwards and upwards to something bigger and better, and I hope you'll join me as I begin again.

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