Dear Hye-jin and Dusik,
The last two years of COVID-19 pandemic have seemed like the longest time on earth. Everything was put to a halt and time seemed to grind by as we watched the days turned into months. Life felt like it was simply going through the motions, listless, and no energy to thrive. We’ve seen many lives get off track and it wasn’t that easy to put the pieces back together.
Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (2021) arrived. Amid the world’s tragedies here and there, the warm seaside stories in Gongjin became a weekly breather. The little, ordinary things of life took on a whole new meaning and we became keenly aware of what a precious moment it is to connect with life’s simplicity.
Hong Dusik, you’re such an interesting and admirable person. How did you manage to achieve all those licenses? Omo, you seem to be a man of skills, a man of wisdom, a man of standard, and a people person who is good at interacting with anyone.
You read good books, help others in need, enjoy sports, and can speak French, Chinese as well as communicate using sign language. You are nosy but kind and full of charms. What’s not to admire about you?
And yet, veiled behind those beautiful smiles reflect the reality that life is not perfect at all. In fact, you are a relatable person whose life resembles one who suffers from trauma, fear of abandonment, and feelings of self-blame.
You have portrayed what life looks like when it is hurt by someone’s damaging words. More so, you conveyed the unspoken wounds of viewers who kept themselves in the dark, too, due to society’s toxic practices and destructive ways of dealing with people.
When you sought professional help to process your deep-rooted pain, you broke the stigma of mental health and inspired many that it is okay to seek counseling. You have powerfully conveyed that healing begins with self-awareness and that healing is a lifelong journey of ups and downs.
Thank you for motivating those who feel unworthy and anxious to look at life with a renewed perspective—to rebuild a safe place, get into sports, learn new skills, reconnect with people, and help the community.
Thank you for speaking words of life that are powerful. When you said, “Life isn’t so fair for all of us. Some spend their whole lives on unpaved roads, while some run at full speed only to reach the edge of a cliff,” it taught many to practice listening with an open mind to anyone we encounter in life.
Hye-jin, you are an intelligent, hardworking, and strong woman yet warm inside.
Despite coming from a broken family, you managed to grow into a responsible and self-sufficient daughter—who made it on your own to achieve a college scholarship and become a competent dentist.
You inspired many to believe that no tough situation can limit anyone in achieving dreams. Thank you for portraying a determined person who knows what she wants, speaks up her mind, and conscientiously leads her life.
When you caused a huge mess at a party and belittled the countryside lifestyle, you humbled yourself and reached out to the villagers although it was a tough moment. Thank you for portraying a teachable heart.
You also sympathized with women’s insecurities in times they do not feel good about how they look or the type of dress and shoes they wear. Thank you for teaching women to fight for their worth against maltreatment.
Moreover, thank you for setting a good example of listening with empathy and for loving a person with patience. You showed us that love does not mean being blind to one’s shortcomings but embracing an imperfect person perfectly.
How wonderful it is to live life surrounded by many Hye-jins who stay despite challenges, listen with the heart, and fight for people who are wrongfully accused.
Dear Hye-jin and Dusik, thank you for introducing a humble place like Gongjin where warm stories abound. Thank you for speaking life amid the world’s sorrow and much hatred. Your love as a couple inspires life.
This letter is not enough to say more about the beautiful things you have taught us about life. You have simply touched many lives with your inspiring healing narrative and it will remain etched in our hearts for a long time.
From your fans around the globe.
Photos: tvN Drama