How an award-winning Korean movie gave me one at the last minute
Last week’s post was a list of New Year resolution ideas, based on what worked for me in 2021. Each of them is surprisingly easy to do and requires only a few minutes of your day.
Because I’m already following almost all of these in some or another way, I felt I needed a new resolution for my self-improvement. It would also enable me to test out options that could eventually make it to the 2023 version of the said blog post.
However, I found myself scrambling to find one, even when the clock was threateningly racing towards the celebratory midnight after 31 December.
Something happened at 11.30 pm, though.
I was viewing Parasite at the time on Amazon Prime Video. (I know I’m late to the party, but at least I got there. Those who have watched it already should easily guess where I’m going with this post :))
For those who haven’t seen it yet (you should!), the South Korean Oscar-winning film is about a poor, unemployed family of four adults who inveigle their way to employment in a rich, urbane household.
Of course, as is the case is what almost every film, sh*t goes wrong, and the family ends up in a terrible situation.
In a scene depicting the aftermath of those circumstances, the son Ki-Woo (Choi Woo Shik) asks his father, Ki-Teik (Song Kang Ho), whether he has any plan out of the mess. Ki-Teik has always been a “plan fan” until that stage. But now, given their rock-bottom moment, this is what he tells Ki-Woo:
Before I knew it, I was playing this heartbreaking scene on a loop. There were goosebumps all over my body. And tears kept streaming from my eyes (pun completely unintended).
At the time, I didn’t know why the avalanche of emotions gripped me like this. Sure, the scene was sad (here’s a fantastic analysis of this part), but I didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed.
Soon, I understood why.
I have always been the kind of person who would welcome the New Year with a host of expectations. Be it bagging a million-dollar gig, meeting my dream man, travelling to a new place every month, or selling hundreds or thousands of copies of my book PiKu & ViRu (buy/download, read, and review it here—it’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited), I always felt the upcoming 365 or 366 days was a lot of time for the so-called magic to happen.
Life, however, would never turn out that way.
The cycle would repeat every New Year’s Eve, without any lesson learned. I’d end up disappointed at the end of the year, only to load even more expectations on the next one, instead of being thankful for the good (perhaps, even better) things that came my way.
What a fun way to live!
Unfortunately, it isn’t. That is why Ki-Teik’s words were the wake-up call I needed.
So, here’s my 2022 resolution: Just surrender and flow, while watching my expectations. And be grateful, of course.
The aim is to try to not lose my calm if things don’t go as hoped.
The immense peace I felt on making this resolution was unprecedented.
Don’t get me wrong—I am continuing with my previous years’ resolutions, such as journaling, exercising, “planning” my next day the previous evening, and cutting down on social media. Of course, my screenwriting, blogging, and other work are still going on. (Even Parasite needed a lot of planning to come to life, right?)
But I’m not expecting these habits to bring some magic or miracle into my life. I’ve realised these are actions to be taken just for the sake of taking them and for the process to be enjoyed, not to achieve some lofty dream that’s completely beyond my control.
The result: I was able to enjoy Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts on 1 January 2022 without any baggage of expectations saddling me. The emotional experience has now become a lasting, cherishable memory for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year. Later, a client issue I chose to not worry about for a change, and simply let it take its course after doing my bit, got resolved in a matter of hours.
So, if you have a resolution for the year, great! Just enjoy the process, that’s it. And even if you don’t have a resolution, that’s perfectly alright. The idea is to play the game and have fun doing so, not to win at all costs.
I hope you have a great year ahead, dear reader—one that brings you all the happiness and health you need and deserve. Happy New Year!