6 must not sound like it’s a lot after being in this wonderful land for 6 years already. Trust me, each learning can be life-changing.
#1: You will be open to things that you thought you would never be open about before. I have to say that I never imagined myself to be in Dramaland. If I talk to my 18-year-old self now and tell her how I have been living my life as a fangirl, she is probably judging me hard now. It was the girl who only knew Gossip Girl (yes, I’m still not going to miss China’s version of this!), Hollywood and French movies, and hanging out with friends
This is the same girl who travels endlessly now thanks to her unforgettable trip to Taipei that was just brought about my love for Meteor Garden. I never thought I would end up going to different countries (some even repeatedly) all because of my fangirling adventures.
Everything I mentioned was in the grander scheme of things. In terms of my drama watching choices, I didn’t know that I would grow from just watching the typical Taiwanese idol dramas all for my favorite stars but actually expanding my horizons to various genres – thriller, BL, crime, and more. I was the same girl who said that I don’t think I’ll ever watch K-dramas and here I am watching and trying it out (still like my C, T, and J ones more though!). This was the same girl who was never open to xianxia and/or actors in period garb but looks who’s nothing but an Eternal Love trash now.
#2: Years have passed but your favorites will remain the same. They will just keep adding. It’s 2020 already and my favorite actors and dramas are mostly the same ones that I have loved from the very beginning. I still love Van Ness Wu, Vic Zhou, Barbie Hsu, Ady An, and many others that I still look forward to any appearances that they have, no matter how minor it is. I may have already seen over a hundred dramas but Autumn’s Concerto, Fated To Love You, In A Good Way, In Time With You, among many other favorites remain to be very special in my heart.
#3: Your favorites won’t be here forever. And it will hurt. A lot.
In a span of 6 years in dramaland, I lost my dad, two grandmas, 2nd mom, and two of my cousins . I’m not sure how I was able to surpass those extremely difficult times and it even felt multiplied when I grieved over the loss of Godfrey Gao. He has always been one of my favorite actors to watch and losing him made me feel like I lost a close friend even if I was just a fan.
We lost so many actors over the past years and you should never ever feel that your feelings of grief are invalid. My blog partner Kate had an experience with it too when her most favorite actor Kimi Qiao passed away a few years ago. She and I thought that it would be great if we could build a safe space in this blog for those who are grieving over their favorites’ passing. Whenever you’re feeling down, don’t hesitate to approach us. You are not alone.
#4: Some impossible things may actually be possible. Over the years of my stay here, I expressed a lot of my frustrations over my university days and work. My frustration would be as shallow as, “Why can’t I just get paid to watch dramas?”. It was ridiculous but relevant to many of us up to now. 18-year-old me will then thank 24-year-old me if she finds out that I write about dramas and Taiwanese/Chinese entertainment for a living now.
Yes, I write for DramaPanda now and you will actually see me write more often there while I stay here for pure leisure-writing. I was assigned to interview actor Ludi Lin for Netflix’s original Mandarin series The Ghost Bride and it’s probably my proudest accomplishment in blog-writing to date. I really hope that it was just the beginning of my career as a fangirling journalist… Dramaland does make impossible things possible!
#5: Online friends are as good as your friends in real life. I can probably write an entire novel if you ask me to talk about all the amazing experiences I had with just talking to my Twitter friends. Shout-out to Eunice, Emiko, Kyra, Arj, Elaine, Mini, Carolies, Val, Trot, and many more (please don’t be mad at me if I failed to write your name here!). You’re all my faves!
I had a great time with Sally and some members of JYPH when we went to Jerry’s events and raved over how perfect he was in real life. I also had an amazing time meeting my blog partner Kate a few years ago and taking me to all the yummy eats in her country. I never thought that I could click with these lovely people even in real life and that meeting online can actually be a good foundation for a lasting friendship. So CoVID-19, please go away as we’re all sick of social distancing already!
While there are many nice people online, I can’t discount the times that I had not-so-good experiences with mean ones. It’s interesting that those people can hate you for liking certain celebrities who have not done any harm, shipping people, but most importantly because I use way too many emojis. People can be so entertaining. To the one reading right now, never feel bad over internet trolls. Focus all your energy to spreading love but please let me know if there’s someone being too mean and I’ll fight with you!
#6: You can meet the man of your dreams. Okay, I cheated. This can actually be part of #4 but I thought that this learning deserves its own segment. Today is not only my 6th anniversary in Dramaland, but it is also my 6th year of loving Jerry Yan! He’s the main reason why I’m in this anyway and you don’t know me if you don’t know that I love this man.
March 31, 2014 was the day that I have succumbed to his charms not only as Dao Ming Si, but as Jerry Yan himself. It was days and nights of me stalking him online and even going through the darkest parts online aka Google Search’s next pages… I thought he was just going to be one of those actors I have come to love, but there still won’t be any way for me to meet him in real life.
Fast-forward to the 16th of October 2018, 30th of June and December 2019, this man has proven time and again that perfection really does exist in this world (I sound like a crazy woman here, help). He is an absolute sweetheart in real life that I would choose him over any of the roles that he has portrayed in his projects. So if you think it’s impossible for you to meet your idol, think again! Just like with everything else in life, your hard work will pay off.
This was very heart-warming and nostalgic to write. It’s crazy how all of this just happened in a span of 6 years and I’m forever grateful for being part of Dramaland. To YOU, thank you for being a part of it. You may be a friend, a lurker, someone who drops comments here, etc., you are all very special to me!
Inserts a heart emoji, love.