Living as an introvert in a fast-progressing and somehow demanding society is quite hard. As communication and interaction are the fundamentals of living, we don’t have a choice but to engaged. We are still expected to step out of our houses once in a while for academic purposes, go to work, for necessities, and so much more. Oftentimes, social interaction drains all the life energy we, as a restrained human being, works hard to accumulate. But, what can a socially awkward homebody like me do, especially in situations that drain my social battery? Experience and interaction are still the best way to learn.
That’s what the newest Korean drama, Salon de Nabi, taught an introvert like me.
Salon de Nabi or Flying Butterflies is a 2022 Korean drama that follows the life of a twenty-year-old intern Gippeum as she strives to be like the famous hairdresser that she admires. But she has one major problem, Gippeum is highly reserved and aloof. Although she works hard as an introverted intern, Gippeum is still tagged as a ‘dark hairdresser’ with her almost nose-length bangs and gloomy style of fashion. Along the way, she would realize that working hard might not be enough given her personality.
Dreams are worth fighting for.
Is there a limit to achieving our dreams? Do we need to stop if we ever feel like we are failing to even get close to where we wanted to? The answer is no. The quiet and loner protagonist of this drama taught me that in order to live my life without an ounce of regret, I need to do everything in my power to achieve my dreams
Even if the odds are not on our end, simply trying might get us a step nearer to where we wanted to be. Lack of skills? Practice thrice as hard as everybody else. Having a hard time talking and keeping a conversation as a shy person? Build your confidence and look for common ground or anything you can talk about without being eaten by anxiousness and fear of being tagged as ‘boring’.
We might doubt it, several times. Fall and feel like nothing is going according to our plans. Doubt again, because it feels like everything is impossible but simple as many would say, we wouldn’t know if we could if we never get to try. And along the way, we would realize why we are still fighting despite failing so many times. Well, because dreams are supposedly sweeter when you achieve them after pain, struggles, and failures. Even if we are so introverted.
Words are powerful.
Words are powerful. That’s what Salon de Nabi taught me. Words can cause a person to have low self-esteem, zero level of confidence, and of course, a lot of insecurities. Especially to someone as quiet as an old tree. Sharper than a newly-bought kitchen knife, insults often cut deep into a person’s heart and soul. Sometimes, these wounds would take a lot of time to heal. It would even leave a huge scar when not properly taken care of.
It might be a small thing to others. But, insecurities are such a big deal to the one having them. I, too, experienced being bullied because of the color of my skin back when I was still in grade school up to a few years in high school. Greens, coffee-colored shirts and tops, blues, and other cool and earth-toned clothes are part of my ‘to-avoid’ style. I dressed and act just to be accepted. I used to use a lot of whitening products just to boost the ‘little’ confidence I had in myself while constantly being affected and hurt by the words other people use to address me.
Don’t look good for others but yourself
Insults and insecurities are my most dangerous and fearsome stalkers. Maybe that’s the root cause why I distance myself from others. You would constantly mind the clothes you are wearing, the way you speak and act, and maybe even the way you breathe and walk. It’s like walking on top of a cracked eggshell. Just one wrong move and you would fall flat into the surface. We might try to hide it, just like Sul-hui, the intern who just happens to be plus-sized, did. But, when we’re alone, insecurities would start to drown us deep into the characteristics that we see as flaws.
But, after becoming an adult, I realized that insecurities are mainly society’s standards. We may or may not fit in. Or, we may be out of the trend or so ahead that most people would not understand. But, who cares? We, introverts dress to express ourselves in a way that is uniquely designed for us. We may dress poorly, cheaply, and maybe even out of season. But, we always have to keep in mind, we doll up only for the reflection we see in the mirror.
Stains, mistakes, and traces are all part of your history.
Nobody is perfect. Our mistakes and imperfections would hunt us down at some point in our lives. We may have thought that finally, we have escaped the cruel reality of being judged by the wrongdoings that we have made. But, reality check, mistakes would always be there until the end of time.
But, if you would think about it, mistakes are also engraved and part of who we are. The person we are today is the product of the lessons we have learned from each crime that we committed. Aside from that, we also realized that calling people names is bad after getting a long session of scolding from our parents. We knew shouting at the elders is a grave sin after a beating or two.
Bullying is bad? We could only find out after being kicked out of our school or losing the people we deemed as friends. That’s what punishments are for. Lessons after mistakes. Unfortunate things or situations can and would teach us various lessons that could make us even better people. It could leave a trace or stain us for life, but regardless, mistakes made us who we are today. And, whether we like it or not, it is all part of our history.
Slowly step out of your comfort zone.
Rushing things just for the sake of entering a metamorphosis is purely self-sabotage, especially for an introvert like me. Running through an unfamiliar path would only hurt you and it could make you fear the idea of doing things differently from how you used to do them.
As an introvert myself, telling others about what I feel and think is the hardest thing to do. Most of the time, I chose to stay in my comfort zone. And, I do things the way I set them up, following a straight and perfectly planned routine to avoid facing problems in the most unexpected way.
But, I wouldn’t know without trying, right? How could I know that I can’t do certain things if I haven’t tried them in the first place? While familiarity is safe and comfortable for a somewhat withdrawn person like me, it’s not bad to do things differently sometimes. We should try to step out of our comfort zone even if the outside seems scary. Stepping out could lead you to a lot of fun things, just like what Zen said.
Who knows… Maybe, finally, we are ready to transition from a pupa to a butterfly but we are just fearful of stepping out. Living as an introvert is quite hard. But, maybe not be that hard if you have a good set of friends that would accompany you in every season you are in. And, just like Gippeum, walk slowly, go at your own pace, and step out of your comfort zone whenever you are ready.
Abegail is a nocturnal writer who loves watching videos of dogs and cats as her stress reliever. While she loves telling people different kinds of stories, she was never a bookworm to the core. Abegail would rather watch a thousand videos of funny dogs and cats instead of finishing a book with only 300 pages that was in her care for years. Fueled by iced coffee and meals, Abegail is also a part-time k-pop stan and a full-time fur mom.