Happy Birthday GD!
[About Cat Hartliebe]
What’s up with my new crush on a random celebrity I have never met and have no chance of meeting? (Actually, it’s my first crush ever on a celeb. I don’t think anyone realizes that.)
I’m dead serious.
Okay, technically, I found them before Cyro did. Cyro started Taekwondo, so it opened both of us to listening to k-pop. The bulk of kpop is cool, but I wouldn’t pick it out on a rainy day and listen to it. That isn’t the case for two I found: Whistle by Blackpink and Fantastic Baby by Bigbang.
I fell in love with all of Blackpink once I had the chance to listen to it. Cyro didn’t mind them, but it was more they loved them because I love them. I’m a Blink. They’re not.
Fantastic Baby had Cyro in a death grip. They loved the music video. They loved the music. They read all the lyrics. They were caught. It was absolutely adorable. I love Fantastic Baby, don’t get me wrong. Blackpink was more me and my style, so I didn’t put in the time and effort to learn Bigbang at the time.
Cyro didn’t give me an option. They aren’t good at researching yet. At the time, they didn’t know how to use Youtube or even Google. They have progressed a lot, but we’re talking a year ago. A year ago, Youtube wasn’t a program they could use. But I could. My entire learning curve on computers is high since this is my childhood. My first computer was one of those big bulky white things that couldn’t even hook to the internet (it didn’t exist for the public yet). I was like three. So I grew up with computers. I pick up on programs easily, because they all follow generally the same patterns. Even mac vs pc. It’s so similar if you get down to brass tacks.
I created a playlist “For Cyro”. Literally. That’s its name. “For Cyro” had a whole bunch of songs they had interest in. Mostly, it was many versions of Fantastic Baby. Then it started branching out. Ikon joined the playlist. Then they found Monster. Cyro went from loving Fantastic Baby to loving Bigbang.
And then idolizing Gdragon the songwriter and lead singer/rapper.
Cyro had an idol.
This kid has no male role model that really fits him. They don’t have a father. And the males in my family have issues. I had no way to explain to them what a real father is like. It was impossible.
Then they pick this idol. This great guy who has succeeded in so many ways.
I’m down. Let’s check him out. When I first started seeking information, it was after Cyro picked him and Bigbang. I was trying to gauge if this person was someone I wanted Cyro idolizing or not. There are so many bad people who have power. So many people who would make Cyro feel worst about themself as they progressed into their adulthood.
That’s not GD. Kwon Jiyong, GD’s real name, is amazing. He’s not perfect. But he wouldn’t be someone I’d be afraid of my son idolizing. He isn’t afraid to break out of society’s box. He performs for people. It’s a mask. He plays a role on stage. He fixes his errors and exceeds expectations.
That is who I want my child looking up to.
The more I researched him, and found out about him, the more I found myself crushing on him. But it isn’t just a crush. I wish I had his luck. I wish I had his chances. Not that I could use his chances for anything. I never had training in song. My dancing skills are weak. My writing was… okay as a kid. I mean I did have a high school teacher want to help me progress as an author, but I didn’t know about it. They told my parents. I never knew. No one ever explained to me anything. It’s like when my mother told me to give up modeling before I even had the chance to begin.
(I want you to be aware Tsuba Ren was started in high school. The dedication is to a high school friend. She was one of my real friends in high school. Someone I could talk to and trust. I have no idea what happened to her.)
It ended up where I idolize and love GD more than Cyro does. He grants me hope in a way no one else does. Hope that I could find someone to fit the missing whole in my family. Hope I could become someone as a writer. That a dream can be possible with enough work. Hope that even after five years, there is still a chance. I don’t think I would’ve put the time into this year as an author if he didn’t enter my life.
Gdragon is in a world I don’t want to know and yet would love to learn. The world I was thinking of randomly throughout my life. Fame and fortune. But not for the greed and love of money. It has always been: if I could, allow me to make someone’s life better. How can I do that?
I will keep writing.
Because that is what I have to do. Not to find my way to GD’s side. He’s a man I can be proud of without even fully knowing. I’m not looking to jump the shark here. I am trying to be as proud of myself as I am of him.
I’m disappointed in myself. All my skills and talents are wasted where I am. All my goals seem pointless and endless. Even if I sell a few books, does that really make me an author? Am I really good enough?
Why is it those I manage to get reading my stories love them? Not other writers. I don’t write for authors and writers. There is this sphere that authors and writers focus in on. That if you aren’t a writer why would you read?
I write for everyone else. For those who haven’t had a good story in forever. For those who cannot keep up with all the twists and turns. For those who wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between rose and pink as colors or oak and maple as trees. I’m writing for those who haven’t read in years. For those who never finished high school or haven’t fully grasped English yet.
That’s my audience. How do I reach them? When I asked that of others, they’re like: Why aim for them? They won’t read. That’s the problem with our world. They don’t read. They don’t seek. They don’t listen. Reading begets empathy.
I went off on a tangent.
Happy Birthday, Kwon Jiyong. Can’t believe you’re only a few years younger than me. Our lives were so different. They are so different.
Thank you for being you. For not hiding who you are. For fighting against the grain because only a fool follows tradition without thinking.
The world is changing. You are one of those changes that makes things better.
Thank you for trying. Thank you for showing my child it’s okay. Thank you for fighting against your own insecurities. Thank you for never giving in to the darkest dark side of fame and fortune.
You’re not perfect. That’s okay. But you are someone I can show off to Cyro. Someone I can say “How would GD feel about this?” or “What would GD do?” or “Would GD be happy if you did this?” Because GD became that person to my child.
Cyro needed that person.
All children need someone to look up to.
I’ve fought as hard as I could to give Cyro everything. And there is no way I can give them everything. It isn’t possible.
I wish I was in a situation where I could give everything. Or at least enough. I don’t think I’m managing even a fraction of what they need. I gave up everything for them. Yet, I don’t think that’s enough.
Having GD for them to look up to fills in some holes I cannot fix.
You have no idea how much that helps.
Kwon Jiyong has no idea how much he has helped.
Happy birthday GD.
Thank you for everything.
You have no idea how much you helped.
Bigbang Fantastic Baby