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Dear Younger Self by Jim

It’s nearing the end of April…not even half way through the year, but the year 2020 has definitely been something. A one of a kind. A hell of a start to a new decade.

This year has been a whirlwind of emotions and catastrophes mixed with a socioeconomic shift on a global level. It is no question that we, as a human race, are all being affected in more than one way by this COVID pandemic. From school closures to shutting down of the borders, it truly feels like we’re witnessing a movie script unfold in front of our eyes.

Of course, I can go on and on about the bad and the ugly of what we’re facing today but instead, I hope to instill some hope and spark inspiration at a time like this. I also JUST remembered a time my dad showed me an image when I was younger that read (in Korean, but translated to) “If you can’t avoid it, enjoy it.” This might have been an ad for soju (a Korean liquor), but still..a good message and a reminder!

While we struggle to make sense of our world during these trying times, I’ve been trying my best to simply do what I can to uplift myself and others around me. Remembering what I can control and what I can do to create my own sense of reality. This is not me living in denial of the negative circumstances of today’s world nor downplaying the seriousness of this pandemic. 

But sometimes, we’re simply overwhelmed by the information overload from the news media. And where do we get our news these days? From social media, where we’re spending more time than before due to the ‘time’ added to our schedule. Not everyone uses these platforms for the same reason, but many of us are simply consumed by what we see in front of our eyes and quickly perceive them into bits and pieces of reality that we subconsciously digest.

I always believed that low, negative energy is much quicker and easier to spread than the other kind. So I feel it is my duty as a global citizen to spread as much positivity and joy to offset the current climate of the world. 

This way of thinking was probably inspired by my love for dance and the kind of energy that flowed through me when I was practising this craft. I’ve always felt a prominent sense of freedom when I dance, whether it’s a performance on stage, a heated moment during a battle, a workshop in front of a hundred students or simply when I’m in my own world flexing my creative muscle. Dance has always been my escape and has always been constant, like time.

Being able to tap into my creative side even more deeply and freely during this ‘downtime’ has literally transformed the way I think, feel and connect with others in my life. I am able to focus on my plans and work toward my vision without as much external influences as before. Also, this new way of offering dance lessons via virtual platforms has also helped in deepening our connection and relationships with other artists and students.

Of course, no one had planned to face this global outbreak of a deadly virus. No one wanted to live through any natural disasters like Australia’s bushfires. And we didn’t want Kobe to leave the world so soon. But it would only be a bigger tragedy, if we don’t learn from the times and experiences that pass us by.

This year so far has already been a good period of reflection, and I want to share with my younger self and everyone around the world - whatever you are going through at this time in your life: this too, shall pass. 

But we ultimately have the choice to either let these times slip away from us or get on top of it and enjoy the ride.

Make your moves. Speak your mind. Live your journey.

JustFreelyXpress IG @jfx987iaw

 

Photography by Joseph Yao