Fuck, this show gets it right.
For every struggling writer.
For every starving artist.
For everyone pursuing something they don’t even want to say out loud.
“Because This Is My First Life” renders kdrama’s frivolities into distant memory when it blazes with the sobering clarity of truth: the reality of a writer’s life.
Enough to put this writer in tears.
From the voice of someone who respects it, undoubtedly. Yoon Nan Joong, I heart you.
“My Dad said that I would starve if I chose this path, and I guess he was right.”
Ji Ho (Jung So Min) has always had the dream of becoming a successful writer. It was never supported by her father, who would not accept anything less than law school or a teaching degree for her.
“You don’t make as much money as Soo Ji, or date like me. But when you’re writing, you look the happiest.”
Because writers are not like their friends.
Writers know this. Sometimes you wish you were more like them. More than you’d care to admit. But even your friends know you are different, and what makes you truly happy.
And sometimes you get these moments of clarity, during the high highs and low lows.
“No matter how close you are (to your family), there are sides you don’t want to show. Sometimes your family feels like the furthest ones away from you.”
That thing you keep from your boyfriend, your brother, your sister, your parents. My God, the things you keep from your parents! From your immigrant parents!
And then your punk younger bro gets his girlfriend pregnant and your life is completely upended, though you have every right to stay in your house.
The shitty situations you’ll face, inadvertently occasioned by the calling you’ve chosen to pursue.
“When I decided to making a living pursuing my dream, I thought that my life was like walking through a dark tunnel alone. But I didn’t know that it would be this dark. And I didn’t know that it would be this lonely.”
You don’t know that at the outset – what you’ll end up giving up, what you’ll have to battle through.
But you have to give yourself a chance to be happy. To not get stuck in a world that you know isn’t yours to claim.
“Exactly how far…how much further do I have to go?”
Say what you will about the foolishness of the genre – Ji Ho’s pursuit of her dream is the resounding heartbeat of the show.