Happy birthday to me, I am 24 now. My next paragraphs may seem like I’m going off on a tangent, but there’s a connecting link – I swear!
Time travel back two years ago, popular kpop artist IU’s hit song was “Twenty-Three”. Her lyrics translated starts with:
I’m twenty three
I’m a riddle
Try to guess the answer
IU released her new album this year with her title track “Palette”. A snippet of her lyrics says this:
I like it I’m twenty five
I know you like me / I know you hate me
Ooh I got this I’m truly fine
I think I know a little bit about myself now
Long story short, this is exactly how I feel.
- In Korea, they count your age as one as soon as you are born, therefore IU is actually singing about being 22 and 24, respectively
- IU and I are the same age and our birthdays are not far apart (-fangirls-)
Unlike many people I know who have moved out and are engaged now, I have – for many years – still felt like I was 18. At 22, I was unsure of who I was and even who I wanted to be. I wanted to be a little girl and get taken care of, but at the same time I also wanted to grow up and be independent. Was I ready to “grow up”? I was never sure. It all seemed so scary to be an adult and have to solve my own problems, but sometimes I would want that for myself or I would feel myself doing that naturally.
IU’s “Twenty-Three” is all about this internal dissonance, amplified by her celebrity status and the idea that the public wanted her to remain as a “young girl” whereas she could feel herself changing into a “mature woman”.
Her new song, “Palette”, talks about things she likes now that she has grown up a little – purple instead of hot pink, short hair instead of long hair, palettes and diaries and times when she is asleep. She also talks about how she is aware if people like her or hate her, and essentially she doesn’t care and isn’t really up for games anymore because she knows herself a little better now.
There is something very beautiful about being comfortable in your own skin, about liking who you are, and not feeling any pressure to change yourself to fit someone else’s idea of you. We constantly spend so much time connecting with other people and trying to become closer with others that we may forget to learn more about ourselves.
Similar to IU’s journey as an artist, I find myself with the same sentiments. I can say with confidence that I know who I am now to a large degree, and with that comes a sense of peacefulness.
I like light pink and blankets, color-coordinated stationary and closets, watercolors mixing together, adrenaline rushes, and potato chips. I prefer messaging someone late into the night than falling asleep and my mother’s home-cooked dinner over a fancy restaurant. I like the sounds of children laughing, my shutter clicking, and that sizzling when something is getting deep-fried. I like seeing light stream through a forest and feeling the weight of the universe on my body when I lie down to look at the stars at night.
Long gone are the days where I pretended to be into a certain TV show or bought clothes that didn’t suit me simply because other people told me I looked good in them. Farewell to my worries about what I’d be doing for work and whether I’d wake up everyday dreading it or not.
I’ll never know everything about myself in the same way I’ll never know what my life will be like down the road. Even I surprise myself sometimes by doing things I thought I’d never do.
But I know more about myself, and I know I’ll be fine.
P.S. via Daily Prompt: Pink