Was a non believer, now a believer.
I am talking about my recent fancy in the Korean drama "Secret Garden". I used to question why there are so many fans of this drama when the synopsis says:
The drama tells the story of Kim Joo Won (Hyun Bin), a seemingly perfect man who hides an arrogant and eccentric side, and Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji Won), a stunt woman whose beauty and body are the object of envy amongst top actresses. One day they went deep into the mountains and entered a strange house, where a strange grandmother offered them chocolate to eat. The next day they found themselves in the other's body.Okay, just how strange could that be? But with so many friends of mine recommend the drama, I need to find it for myself to see what it is they like so much about.
And boy, ain't the first episode got me nailed already!
Really, the drama was much more than body switching. It's about an attraction between a man and a woman which seems bizarre at the first place: A rich arrogant man falls in love with a poor stunt woman who is way below his social class. He never befriends with women of lower social class, yet the first encounter with this particular woman already disturbs him to the point of him questioning his sanity because never once in his wildest dream to fall in love with some woman who does not have wealthy parents, flashy education, or job with high salary.
What I love about this drama is not only of how good the story plot is, the smart twist at the end of each episode which makes you yearn to watch the next, and how natural the acting that the actors and actresses performed, but also (most importantly) how I can relate myself to the love story of Joo Won and Ra Im.
I was once a person who questioned myself, why I fell for someone who had never been my type: I used to picture a man of the same ethnic group as my future husband, not some Middle East descendant, yet such guy appeared in my life out of nowhere and tried to convince me that he loved me. I dreamed of a life partner who kept his face cleanly shaved, yet this person got bushy beard on his face *sigh
Still, no matter how hard I tried to talk myself that this was not my dream guy, I still fell for him in the end. I must admit, it was his fervent effort to approach me that stole my heart. What Ra Im said in the drama's episode 14 well represents how I felt at the time: "My body turns away, but my heart won't leave."
Unfortunately, my parents took a strong disliking towards him, especially my mom (much similar to what Joo Won experiences). She told me stories about failed marriage of women whose husband was from the particular ethnic group due to the guy's laziness or rough treatment. She also said things like, "Yeah, go love him like you can feed on love", since he did not have a steady job. I could not accept her words, believing that you cannot assume ALL people of the same ethnic background share similar traits. I could not obey her words to abandon him if difference of social strata was the reason (I fortunately come from a better social status than he does). And although he worked as a non-permanent lecturer, it was better than not working at all. At least he showed some effort to land a job although it was a temporary one.
For my stubbornness, my mom turned a cold shoulder to me.
I thought it was only scenes in Indonesian drama (sinetron) in which the mother with bulging eyes yells and speaks harshly to her child to convey her disapproval of her child's choice of husband/wife. No, it turned out that it happened in real life, as that was the case with my mom. She yelled at me, threatened to disregard me as her daughter if I continued to like him. She would not talk to me, treating me as if I had not been in the same room when in fact I was there.
That was the most difficult period to me as I was torn between honoring my mother and standing tall for what I believe. I cried a lot during those days. Songs about two lovers who steadfastly hold on to their love despite utter differences between them would either make me hopeful or put me in tears. Among them, there's a song which precisely illustrate my situation back then. Here are some parts of the song:
If I don't need you then why am I crying on my bed?
If I'm not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am?
Ha, you must know the song already. Yup, it's "If you're not the one" by Daniel Bedingfield. I always cried every time I heard the song. I can still feel the chill vibe from the song lyrics. Thank God I did not watch "Secret Garden" back then (impossible actually, since the drama was produced in 2010 while my "dark" period was 4-9 years ago), or I would weep my heart out until my eyes swelled (you wouldn't want to see me in that condition. It's horror, I'm telling you).
It took me 9 years to finally get the approval from my parents for me to get married with my now-husband. It's an approval to marry only, since my mom still does not want to talk to my husband, thus not really accepting him to be her son in law. Thankfully, she recognizes her grandson (my child) and with that I cannot ask for more. I realize that her rage in the past was only her way to protect her daughter so as not to let her daughter suffer in the future. So if my mom can only go that far to recognize my family, that is enough.
So if you have watched "Secret Garden", by now you will realize how much similar my situation with the love story portrayed in the drama.
In the end, I'd like to conclude that a love union which is struggled to achieve will always be well appreciated (at least I do), and every time the couple look back to their journey, they will cherish all the moments, both the ups and the downs. Just hold strong to what you believe. As long as it does not go against God's order, fight for your love and ask Him to show you the light at the end of the tunnel.