How many of us ends up with our first loves? Mayhap just a few.
How many of us got our heart broken? Maybe all.
How many of us have found life-long friendships? Maybe not all. But for those who right now have friendship to cherish that started in youth, you have something wonderful. Don’t take it for granted.
These are thoughts borne after watching the Reply 1994 series by TVN. If you want a Kdrama recommendation, I strongly recommend that you include the Reply (Answer Me) series in your list.
Start with 1988, then 1997, then 1994. 1994 must come BEFORE 1997 because the main couple from the 1997 appeared in 1994. Don’t cheat yourself of the experience in second guessing who will end up with who in Reply 1997. So heed me please, watch 1997 first and then 1994 hehe. 😉
My fave Reply is Reply 1988. *I am biased on #oppa Park Bo Gum because of Love in the Moonlight hehe.
I’ve got two absolute favorite Reply scenes – the heartbreaking confession of Yoon Yoon Jae to Shi Won in Reply 1997 and the anguish crying of Jeong Hwah in 1988. My fave flashback storyline and “wrap-up” – it’s Reply 1994.
This Penfires post centers on Reply 1994, first loves and favorite lines that speaks to me.
ATTENTION: Watch the series first!!! Please don’t read any further because of spoilers ahead!!!
I wish you are reading this post while the series’ sound track plays…
For someone to bravely accept that ‘this time may not be the time’ and that you will wait with hope that the next meeting, there won’t be anyone beside him or her, and to actually carry that hope for years. That is brave. Foolish too. But it’s one more thing why many (yes, I dare say many viewers ships Chil Bong and Na Jung).
I was rooting for Chil Bong, earnestly hoping that at the end of Reply 1994 it will be Na Jung and Chil Bong marrying. Up to the early minutes of the 21st episode I clung to the last vestiges of hope. But alas, what I hoped for isn’t meant to be.
Why Chil Bong? Beside him being good looking? 😉 He appeals to me especially the way he cherishes Na Jung. That scene of him giving way because at that moment there is no place for him, but that he would still be there for her if Na Jung will not have anyone besides her years later if they happen to meet again, that kills me. Lol.
But most of all, I admire Chil Bong because of the way he held on to her first love and the way he finally let go.
*Awwww Chilbonga huggggggs*
LOVE WILL BREAK YOUR HEART
If you’ve ever been in love and got your heart broken, grieve. Grieve. Take hope that the future may be kinder. Don’t wall yourself in.
Take comfort that there will be that single moment when you know deep inside of you that it is time to let go. Believe that that moment will come. The hurt won’t stop right away. Not in a million days, but it will. Believe in it.
You can end up with your first love. That first love may also be your last.
Your first love may just be you loving someone who loves’ someone else.
Your first love may just be that ‘first love’. Then you go on finding more love.
Yoon Jin and Sung Gwan tears through each other in any given opportunity, yet ended up falling in love. She is his first love. He is her first love.
There was that one article I’ve read in the past saying that the typical person will fall in love only three times in a lifetime. 3 different persons, 3 different kind of love. The first time is called idealistic love, the second love is hard love … the third and last love is the love we never see coming.
I searched online and here is a link to that article Why We Fall in Love with 3 People in Our Lifetime. It’s a good read and it may even speak of your experiences.
Finding your way back into love
If people are meant to be, the universe will conspire to bring you back together, but only if you take chances. Only if you are brave enough to reach out first, to open yourself that you become vulnerable. Hatai and Ae Jeong did just that.
Trash and Na Jung too.
Theirs is a special relationship and no matter how much I root for Chil Bong, like him I should accept that’s the way things are. Trash and Na Jung – they are the forever, and for me to try to move-on too. But I don’t think I can ever get over the ending of Scarlet Heart Ryeo waaaaaa.
Na Jung choosing to use the stairs instead of the elevator, which I think borne out of her fear of bumping into Trash again. Right then and there, I should have realized that Na Jung heart’s will forever belong to Trash.
Ae Jeong and Hatai. What does their love story convey? For me, it is this…
… If your heart has not truly healed, you may successfully deceive yourself into thinking you are okay. But life can be cruel and those buried feelings will catch up with you. They do, eventually.
Dating girls after girls are empty experiences if someone else has a hold of your heart. I guess it becomes obvious that you haven’t forgotten her or him if the mere mentioned of their name illicit strong reactions from you. Or if there still exist an unwritten rule among your friends that some names are just not allowed to be mentioned.
If that is you right now, you my friend has got a big problem. Take a leaf from Hatai, face it head-on. Go and seek closure. You may not be as lucky as Hatai getting back with Ae Jeong but at least you know, you’ve done your all. And there is nothing else to do, except grieve, wait for that aha moment of letting go, and finally moving on.
Take a chance.
Trash Oppa and Na Jung – these two are meant to be together. Distance may have broken them apart, but they belong to each other. The red tie that can’t be broken.
I would have been sad hours after watching if the writers didn’t make it so that the last 40 minutes were devoted to the friendship of the 6 characters and the camaraderie inside the Shinchon boarding house. The World Camp game watching took away the sad feeling over why the couple I was shipping didn’t end up together.
I only appreciate it now; how difficult it must have been to be in a one-sided love and to take the courage to confess. And then for the other person you are baring your heart to, taking your confession lightly.
If you are mature, it would be how Na Jung let down Chil Bong. It shouldn’t be you preventing the other one from confessing because you don’t want to be put in a difficult situation where you know you will say ‘no’. But that moment must happen. Be kind, let the confession happen. Let the one who cherishes you confess and gently let him/her down if you really feel nothing for that person. Help the other person move-on from you.
It takes courage to confess. It also takes courage to hear the confession and say no. Even if your heart breaks because you know you will hurt your friend, don’t run away, don’t avoid. Hear the confession and let the person down in the gentlest manner you know how. Na Jung aced this on Reply 1994 when she in her endearing way declared …
“Joon-ah .. you are… out of all the people I know, you’re the best looking. You’re very tall and you have a nice personality. You are out of all the people I’ve met, you’re the most dashing. That someone like you liked me, do you know how grateful I’ve been? Because of you, I came to know that I’m a pretty good catch. That the most famous person in Korea likes me means I’m a quite cool woman, right?
Joon, if perhaps later on, if I have a baby, I’d brag about it. That famous star on tv had liked me. I’m going to brag a lot. ….Joon-ah… thank you for liking me… because of you, I think I’ll have pretty memories of my 20’s. “
Then ChilBong replied and hugged his love tightly for the last time…
LOVE and SACRIFICE
For me, what stands out about the story of Binggeure is not how love found him but the sacrifice of his dreams in favor of something more important for him – his family.
I am always advocating for having dreams and going for it. To live passionately, to not just exist. I couldn’t have done what Binggrae did – letting go of a personal dream you feel passionately about to fulfill the hopes and wishes of one’s family. That is brave. If I am face with his situation, I may not be as resolute as him.
I really wanted Na Jung to end up with Chil Bong. Unfortunately, it is not to be. That is life. Thanks to 2013 we see everyone is where they should be. Na Jung and Trash. Yoon Jin and Sung Gwan. Binggeure and Die Die. Hatai and Ae Jeong. Chil Bong and the new love he found.
It cheers the heart to know that in the 2013 ‘present time’, Chil Bong remains tight with everyone from the boarding house. It’s comforting to note that after his heartbreaking first love, he found love again and this time it wasn’t one-sided. 😉
Finally, the relationship between Sung Dong-il and Lee Il-Hwa is something many of us hope we can find. Friendship, respect, Love. It’s all there, year after year after year. It’s the kind of loving relationship most wish for.
Whew! Kdramaland once again made me write hahah. I wonder if this can pass as a reaction paper for my then high school class haha.
The Reply Series of Kdramaland sticks to you because it revolves around friendships, love, struggles, triumphs, of younger selves. It brings to surface your own experiences, and without you being conscious of it, you have devoured episodes after episodes.
I tip my hat off to the writers and directors. You guys are great. My confidence waivers every so often. One moment I resigned myself to accept that it will be Trash and Na Jong because the story hints are leading that way. Then a few scenes after, I am confident that it is Chil Bong. Heck, I even thought for a few serious minutes that it’s Haitai and / or Binggeure. Haha. The story is so well crafted and the well-placed, strategic shots of the groom messes up your head. Who will Na Jung choose in the end?
How was your own 1994? Hope it was as great as those experiences in the Sinchon Boarding House! 🙂
p.s. 1994 was 23 years ago! Time indeed flies fast! I was in second year high school then (so now you can guess my age hahaha). Thank God, my own journey has been incredible! <3
Sending you good vibes wherever you are in world! ~Cille Anne