You can be the best person to someone and that still won’t matter if they are the kind of person who will see the chance to stab you in the back and take it without a second thought. How do you see that side to people and go on?
A dialogue, a scene from a kdrama called Itaewon Class just hit me with all the feels.
“Why did you do that when you would feel bad about it?”
This is what a trans woman chef tells the guy who betrayed her 4 years ago. They used to work at the same restaurant and were like a family; she saw him like a younger brother. That was also the time she was transitioning.
Eventually, he left to work at his father’s huge ass company and their workplaces were always rivals. To win a nation wide TV cooking contest that both their restaurants were participating in, he reveals to the media that she is a trans woman. This throws her off at the finale and the media (this is in South Korea) isn’t too kind. She can run away – her boss gives her that option. But instead, she shows up and owns it. And she wins. None of them are aware that the guy was the one who revealed her secret to the media.
Years later, they cross paths again and he confesses to her and apologizes. And the first thing she tells him is, ‘Why would you do that when you would feel bad about it?’
Can you believe it? That’s what she says. I want to become that person.
The person I want to become
I think the reason she was able to do that, say what she did and not be hurt or angry by it is because back then, when she was put in a tight spot, she didn’t run away. She stayed and she fought through and she achieved her goals despite being betrayed. So she continued living her life the way she wanted and with a light heart.
What he did to her is his story. That’s why he still had it in his heart all these years and just had to apologize eventually.
I want to live like her. I don’t want to be affected by other people’s actions in a way that breaks my heart and leaves me resentful and empty. People are people.
Duality of people
I’ll repeat: People are people.
They say and do the most vicious things. They are also the very same people who have the ability to, and perhaps already have in the past, fill your heart with warmth.
This duality of people is just a fact. I don’t want to dwell on it too much. It’s not being dejected or jaded. It’s seeing things for what they are. After all, you can only be betrayed by those you trust, right? You can be so severely wronged only by those people who know you intimately. So I accept it. People are people. And we are all very twisted. So I don’t want to cry about that truth like a baby.
Instead, I want to see to it that I don’t rely on people more than absolutely necessary. Walls? No. It’s self sufficiency.
Is it realistic?
Of course I’m aware that there will be times when I will need something from people or expect something out of them. But I’m prepared for the possibility that they will fail me. And I want to be that person who doesn’t stop there. Who has the courage and patience to work through a plan B. It’s okay if I started out with just one plan A. It’s okay if I come up with the second plan after it fails. As long as I come up with it.
We will always find ourselves in situations where we are betrayed or backstabbed by those we trusted. What do we do then? Do we just stop trusting people, be wary of everyone we come across, and cage our hearts? No, I don’t believe that’s it either.
What do we do then?
I think there will be only 1-2 people you come across in your life that you can 100% trust. And they won’t necessarily be your partner or your closest friend. There, of course, is no way of knowing who it’s going to be and who will blindside us. We just have to trust our gut, follow our values, and not lose sight of our life goals. And we just have to take a shot with those we let enter our lives.
I’ll borrow a quote from another kdrama – Legend of the Blue Sea.
‘But when I make friends with someone, that’s it for me. Whether you back stab or not, that’s your choice. I’ll think about what I’ll do with you if and when you do back stab me. Until then, you’re my friend.’