Covered With Dust

Okay, I know, it’s been a while. Somehow I’ve lost touch of my New Year’s resolution back in 2015—to write in this blog. Now that it’s 2016, I just somehow passed by these three months without officially refreshing them by writing down what has happened. I haven’t kept record of what has been happening and I noticed it’s not very healthy for my brain. I’m just walking through while lessons and situations are passing by. Things are harder to let go when I’m not looking at the whole picture like I used to because they are still sticking inside me. It’s like my soul is getting covered with dust. I just need to finally clean them up, because if I don’t… I’ll drown in the dirt. My heart will harden and nothing will finally matter or function the way I want to. It’s already scary that I’m seeing the world with less color day by day. And since I’ve been dreaming realistic things way too often in my sleep, I might start having trouble telling dream from reality.

So, what has happened so far in these past three months?

When school was coming to an end, I had a really hard time with geometry and often failed it. I hated it so much. I think 10th grade is the year I had officially gone crazy at the mention of studies. Every time my parents mention it during meals, I just want to shoot myself on the head. The fact that I’m not studying properly makes me hate myself. The fact that all my parents ever ask of me is school makes it even worse. I cried a lot about it. Ridiculous, I know…

I’m not that smart—maybe I am if I tried harder—but I’m just passing for the sake of passing. And I don’t care about being smart; I can do other things than what geometry has to offer. It’s so irritating that I have to deal with it. But I can’t avoid it now, can I? I’ll still have to deal with it for a few more years. I’m honestly glad 10th grade is over. I didn’t study seriously which made me inflict a large amount of self-hate.  If I didn’t push myself towards the end to finish it quickly, I probably would’ve killed myself.

My sister came home during February. I was honestly quite happy that she was back, but there were a bit of bad things about it, too. Since time didn’t really move for me, I kind of stayed the same, so I assumed things would still be the same. However, the months that she was gone definitely changed a few things about her. For one, she learned a new language. Because of this she was back to being a little arrogant. All of the annoying things about her that I’ve forgotten came back. But anyway, more things still stayed the same. We did the same usual things that we used to do back then. We even started playing Sims Freeplay again—a game I haven’t touched for years.

Her stay wasn’t exactly filled with a lot of activities. I was busy trying to finish my school work—something I hoped I had slowed down on to spend more time walking to the park with her. Maybe that’s why I cried a lot when I kept failing geometry, because I forced myself not to live the moments my sister and I could’ve had… My mom, on the other hand, was grieving, because our grandpa died.

When my mom found out that her dad was hospitalized, she was so burdened by it. It was honestly such a stressful thing to hear since she was countries away from being there to say her last words or even support her siblings. And the duration of the news lasted only about a week until he finally… finally died. It was shocking. It was only from a wound that he neglected. If he got it treated as soon as he got it, he would probably still be alive by now. But fate has cut his life off. His days have ended.

At about 4 or 5 PM here, I was alone and tired of school. I didn’t turn on the lights yet even though it was already getting pretty dark. Then there was a line notification in our family group chat… It was stressful just to get that text. I remember my heart dropped and instantly memories of my grandpa just flashed before me. It was so sudden and everything inside of me was automatic. For a few minutes I just sat there. I think I prayed at that moment, I don’t remember clearly…  but after the silence, I just stood up and stared out the window. Unconsciously I started tearing up. As much as I wanted to hold them back, I couldn’t. My tears dried up fast and I never cried about it again even though when I think about it now, it still saddens me.

But then I realized if I was hurting how much more would my mother be? She wasn’t there or even said her last goodbye. The saddest thing is she isn’t even sure whether he went to either Heaven or Hell. That was the most stressful thing, and she cried so much.The thing I regret the most is not knowing how to comfort her. I always stayed in my room the moment I hear her start crying. That was the most painful thing to me—hearing my mother cry and not being able to do anything about it. Maybe it’s because I’ve always dealt with emotional things on my own that I avoid these situations.

No matter how many times I write about characters comforting each other, in the end, I can’t even do them myself.

Anyway, recently I noticed I’ve become more sensitive and aware about being judgmental. Though I cannot avoid thinking bad about something or someone from time to time, I do try my best not to say it out loud. I refrain from judging people unless it’s something extremely negative—but even with that I know I have to be cautious. My family on the other hand isn’t as conscious about this as I am. It pisses me off that I have to always hear them scoff on TV for something that doesn’t matter. Someone too thin? Shame. Someone too fat? Shame. Someone’s too pretty? They probably had surgery. Everyone looks the same? They probably all had the same surgeon. But so what? Who are you to say what is and what isn’t about someone’s image? It’s their life and you’re not personally affected by it!

And in a world where you can see God’s glory shining through in every corner, all they ever notice is illuminati and shit like that. It’s honestly sickening to have these kinds of mindset close to me. I honestly wish they would stop noticing too much of the negatives. If they think they already know better, they should know how to shut up, too. Ugh, I will go into full detail about this some other time if it comes up again and rages me. Right now that I’m organizing my memories, I’ll move this rant aside for now.

Also recently, I think I’m starting to lose my sanity towards the band. Though the youth service did go well, I did write a long post about the many things we as a band needed. I probably will never show that letter to the band. It’s a little bit driven by anger and stress. I guess all the little things that I never spoke up about gathered up and it just exploded out of me.

Last week, there were new kids from the Forge, but they were not the ones that pissed me off at that time. Since they were new and young, I understood they were not at their best stance yet, but they were the kinds of musicians that I knew could do well eventually. What pissed me off so much was Caesius. He has been in this gig for a year now and I have taught him a lot because I honestly thought he had the ability to be so much greater, but I guess not much worked on him.

He’s still a huge loser, always off beat and uncoordinated. He was supposed to start on one song and he was totally off. I know I could’ve saved him but I was a little confused at what I was supposed to do since he was doing something completely different. But that’s another thing that pisses me off. “Why didn’t you save me?” he said after the chaos. Why do I have to keep saving him? He’s been on the band long enough to know how to save himself! But I guess when you have no talent for it; you’ll just never get it right. It’s irritating that I have to deal with some kind of second-hand embarrassment every time he is on the band. He’s not improving his flow at all. He learns new chords but they are useless when he has absolutely no musical stability. He is way too reckless, always exploding all over the place. Something tells me he doesn’t even practice and the band is just some pastime to him.

Every real musician has that certain 눈빛 no matter how young they are with their instrument. It’s that serious look of determination and focus—something I have never seen in Caesius. He needs someone to snap him off of his goof of a brain and bring his focus back on God. Because a Youth band is not just a normal band, it is a worship band for God. We are bullets to the hearts of teenagers—we have the keys to open souls. Do you think you deserve to be in the army if you keep missing the target? Ugh, we should not take it way too lightly even though we are young, because if we do, what kind of servants are we?

Just this Friday, I went to Kcon Abu Dhabi. Now, isn’t that just amazing? When my mother first told me that Kcon was going to be held here in this place where people used to say is a city in the country of Dubai, I was shocked. Here–out of all places in the Middle East—they decided to hold it here??? When my mother told me, I wasn’t too excited was since I told myself, what are the chances for my favorite artist to come here? The first ever Kcon will probably just be a test run…

Hours later, I decided to look at that article and there it was—TAEYEON’S FACE. One glance of that MrMr outfit was enough for me to know who it was and damn, I was shocked. Still, even after seeing her face on the article, I was in disbelief. Why would they make TaeYeon, a top star in the Hallyu Wave, come here? So I waited and waited for the artists that were going to be there, and well, what do you know… TaeYeon was going. But it wasn’t just TaeYeon. Kyuhyun, SPICA, and BTS were going, too.

I always thought that I would never get a chance to hear TaeYeon’s voice live, including the other artists, too. And when SPICA—the first ever girl-group I ever liked—were included, it felt like this concert was a gift to me from God. SPICA isn’t even as popular as most girl groups these days so for them to be picked just felt overwhelming to me. Also, a little later, they announced that Ailee was going too and my dad was happy about that cause he’s a fan of Ailee. I even thought it would be impossible to bring Kcon to this place of all famous Middle East locations. I mean I at least expected that maybe it would be held in Dubai, but it wasn’t—it was held here in Abu Dhabi. So I told my dad I wanted to go and he agreed. He even suggested we get a higher priced seat. With my mom’s job gone, I didn’t need it since him approving of it was already enough to me. All I truly wanted out of this was to hear TaeYeon’s voice live, because that’s what I thought I would never be able to experience.

I was breathless not just because my favorite artists were going to be there, but because I was in such a disbelief and God proved me wrong. “I can do this, you know,” He said to me in this situation. I guess I must’ve been really leaning on my own perceptions these days that he’s suddenly, “Hey look at me. I have everything in my hands. Don’t you trust me?” Oh, what did I do to ever deserve His love? Why does He keep giving me the things my heart desires? He truly has a way of filling my heart up by using the materialistic things that I lean on. Honestly, I don’t care much at this point if my parents are not giving me things that I want because God is giving it to me Himself.

It was amazing and interesting when the people I follow on twitter started mentioning Abu Dhabi because of Kcon. Even the moment I heard that TaeYeon has finally arrived here… agh, it made my heat flutter. It was great. On the way there, I couldn’t even jump and down of excitement. I was still and calm, but my heart trembled like crazy. Finally. Finally. When we got there, all that ever mattered to me was TaeYeon so almost everything seemed secondary. And it was crazy to be in a place where you can hear all sorts of people talking about Kpop. It was crazy. If I was in Korea, I wouldn’t even care. But we were here in Abu Dhabi.

I saw BTS a little close and they were really handsome. I admire girls a lot more these days but damn, BTS were really handsome and cute. They looked like they had their skin cared for really well. It looked so smooth. And when that guy Jimin smiled towards the area I was in, my heart fluttered a little bit. He was so cute. I understood why BTS got most of the people in the convention going crazy for them. They were really charming.

I volunteered in some drum thing and won seaweed. However, since I won this, I didn’t get a chance to get a share of the SONE light sticks that I’ve been waiting for since we got there. I was so upset about it that I even had thoughts of stealing one from somebody else… Agh, I know, how selfish of me. I prayed to God that he would calm my heart about that since I really got upset and truly felt like I would go empty handed after the convention. Just when I was upset about that, I spotted Krupa, a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in ages. It was nice to see her again and that lifted my mood a lot. I honestly thought I was going to see Centine here since she won a competition with her friends, but seeing Krupa was nice too. Then as we were waiting for the gates to open, some Arab women were handing out stuff and came up to us. They gave us a SONE banner and I just… I was instantly overwhelmed. Look, there were other banners there but somehow the SONE banners were the only ones given to us. I can’t just say all that’s some mere coincidence. God’s listening to me. Oh, it makes my heart flutter so much!

And so the concert finally started. The first group to come up was Monsta X. I was honestly not much of a fan of theirs but I have heard of their songs and liked their dance practices. Their energy pumped me up right away. Then the MCs came up and it was Rap Monster and Ailee. It was awesome seeing Ailee as the MC. Her English sounded just like Tiffany’s English—very American, energetic, and bubbly. She’s so friendly and nice.

But anyway, SPICA came up and I was on the edge of my seat. Damn, I think I was their biggest fan in the area I was in because I was the only one screaming and cheering so much. I mean c’mon, they sang Painkiller, one of my first ever favorite Kpop songs, and their voices were just as powerful as it was in the recording. Then they also sang Tonight, something I totally jammed to a lot in the early days of my kpop craze. I just loved it. And they were so cute speaking English. I guess they didn’t want a translator.

I think the next one was Double S301. I didn’t know them so my throat and excitement took a rest.

After I recharged, the next one up was Ailee and everyone, including me, just lost it. Even my dad screamed stuff but I honestly don’t know how much he cheered because I was cheering so much myself. Ailee’s energy was awesome. Her voice was so powerful and clear. No matter how high or low and how much dance moves she’s doing, her voice never shook. She was confident and sexy oh, I think I’ve fallen for her. She even sang Problem by Ariana Grande which by the way was better than Ariana Grande. Everyone sang along and everyone was so energized by her.

The next one was TaeYeon… The moment I heard “빛을 쏟는 Sky…” I lost it. I got too overwhelmed and it was that same feeling back when we were just about to get here. I did scream and cheer, but my body froze. My heart fluttered and trembled because she was there finally, but it was a little funny. Since I knew how she originally sounds, I immediately noticed that something was wrong with her voice. It was a little weak, her silver weapon of a mic wasn’t picking up her voice loud enough, and she was having a bit of trouble reaching the high notes. When she introduced herself, her voice sounded a little rough and I the only I wondered about how tired she must be or something. However, she did really well on singing Rain. Instead of people jumping around and screaming, everyone was singing along and waving their hands and lightsticks. Thank God the audience was sitting down when it was her time because I could not see much with the other groups. I had a clear view of her tiny figure.

When TaeYeon was over singing, Rapmon and Ailee accompanied and talked with her for a little bit. I was honestly glad that Ailee was there because TaeYeon looked really awkward without her members again. Ailee kept showering her with compliments and even made people cheer loud for her. If it was someone else, I don’t think TaeYeon wouldn’t loosen up much.

Next was Kyuhyun and damn, his voice was really good. Gave me feels. I have no other words. He was awesome.

Then it was finally BTS and everyone just went crazy. Everyone stood up on their chairs, chanted loudly, screamed at the top of their lungs, and sang loudly to their songs. I did those things too. I mean it was really hard not to because the energy of everyone just draws you in to do the same. And I don’t think it even matters if you came to Kcon for someone else. BTS is that group that everyone knew and it was hard not to jam to their songs. Oh, it was a great ending for the concert!

When every artist started coming out for the ending, I could spot TaeYeon from afar no matter where she went. It was easy since she was the only one who wore something completely white. She shone among the crowd and the stage. But as I was standing there just watching, my dad waiting for me, my energy somehow started to go down. I was finally looking at her even though she was still a little figure walking among many people. I couldn’t go near or even had a chance to see her up close. This girl whom I see every day just suddenly became a little fragile figure on stage. It clicked in me just how small she was in the world, and how much I am looking up to her, and for what really? What are these high hopes of getting her to know me? I’ve imagined many times of meeting her and I think way highly of her but… somehow at that moment, she felt small to me, so did the other performers, honestly—not just her.

These people were just doing their jobs. They are musicians, entertainers, and they get energy from their audience. When Ailee kept saying how much she loved Abu Dhabi and how she will give back the love we put out, I realized that’s what it is. They are our idols and we are their idols too in a way. I understand the exhilarating feeling of being praised for a performance because I have been on stage many times in my life, too. And when my music reaches other people, it is always such a satisfying feeling. I related to them so much. This means they have become more human to me than anything grand or high. As a fellow musician always on stages, I wondered how it would be performing to such a great crowd. But I think that honestly won’t matter when you’re enjoying it, especially when you’re doing it with the people you know. And the moment I thought about that is when I knew the ones close to me—my friends—were more precious than these performers were. My parents, my sister, everyone who were in the band with me last year, and my friends… those who I personally got to talk to and shared a moment only between the both of us—they were so much more precious than these performers. Sometimes people tend to forget how to cherish those closest to them and give their love off to someone or something else. I’ve been awfully guilty of this and I don’t want this to be the case anymore.

From the famous words of Krystal Jung (or was it Jessica Jung?), “We tend to neglect people that are closest to us… so treating them even better is the right thing to do.”

Oh and by the way, this week, David is here! Both of us knew how to complement each other well with our instruments. Since both of us already played together before, we kind of leaned on each other throughout the practice without really exchanging glances or discussing anything. The music just got us together since Mickey and Prasana weren’t really doing a very nice job at their flow. So I was really glad to have him around because I got his style right away and vice versa. We were never really close and I don’t think we ever talked to each other at least once before, but after practice, we had such a long conversation. As an old band member, he knew what a good band was, and to suddenly have this weird flow around us because of the new leaders and stuff, we just ranted about so many things. It was great to finally talk about the flaws of the band with someone who gets it (other than my sister).

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