Today, January 2, 2020, I’ve just learned about the confirmation of Twice’s Momo dating Super Junior’s Kim Heechul. And to be blunt, I am utterly devastated. I felt my heart clench and tears falling from my eyes (it continues to do so as I’m writing this). I’ve been shipping MiMo [for those who don’t know, Twice’s Mina x Momo] since late 2018 and continue to do so despite the news.
My Thoughts and Feelings
Right now, other than feeling devastated, I just feel numb. I understand that there was a huge chance that either Momo or Mina would choose another person as their romantic interest, but even when I signed myself up with that expectation from the very beginning, it still hurts. And it continues to do so. Funny thing was that my heart had already got crushed when it was announced that Twice’s Jihyo was confirmed to be dating Kang Daniel [I was shipping WenHyo, and was also the case when I just started shipping Jensoo [Black Pink’s Jennie x Jisoo] late 2018 that the news of Jennie dating EXO’s Kai got published at the start of Jan 2019 (I understand that they reportedly broke up not long after but the shock when the news first hit, hurt bad). At this point of multiple heartbreaks, I looked back on how I ended up here and examine why I do this to myself.
My Introduction to Kpop and Why I Listened
My first brush with Kpop groups was way back in 2008 starting with the groups 샤이니 [Shinee] through the song Replay and 소녀시대 [Girls’ Generation] through the song Gee. Other groups that I listened to were 카라 [Kara] through the songs Honey and Pretty Girl and 에프티 아일랜드 [F.T. Island] 바래 [I Hope]. It didn’t stop there, but what made my want to keep listening to it was that Kpop offered something fresh and lighthearted. I didn’t really pay attention to the people singing these tunes, but I was just happy listening to songs that sounded cheerful and loved the voices that gave life to it, and in effect brought cheer to me during a very difficult part of my life.
My First Kpop Ship
Now I had no intention of joining any kind of ship [I wasn’t even aware that they existed in Kpop at that point] but my first Kpop ship was [and still is] Kryber f(x) Krystal x Amber. How did I stumble upon them? Answer: Youtube. I was at the Internet Café as we didn’t have a fast enough internet at home and was using my time to search for F(x)’s music video Electric Shock and just play it on repeat, and I happen to stumble upon a Kyrber FMV. And yep, I got hooked.
What Happened After
Now at this point, I explored other groups’ music, but I had soon stopped since the trend at that time became more edgy such as Shinee’s Lucifer and Girls’ Generation Run Devil Run. At this point, my dark years were just starting, and I certainly needed something light. I didn’t stop listening to Kpop but I definitely listened to my gathered favourites and listened to some Original Soundtrack of Korean Dramas if I wanted to release some tears. The only ship that I support for K-dramas is of IU and Kim Soo Hyun [Dream High and The Producers] & Jo In Sung and Song Hye Kyo [That Winter The Wind Blows]. But other than that, I went on with my life and listened to songs that helped cheer me up.
Jonghyun and Asianfanfics
I didn’t expect to join a community for fanfiction. Sure, I ship and read fanfiction before about Anime, Books, and TV Show characters, but I’ve never really shipped anyone to the point of reading fanfiction based on real people. When I first got introduced to Kryber, I didn’t go looking for fanfiction about them, I just binged on Kryber moments on youtube. Why? Because witnessing their care and love for one another just made me happy.
By this time, I was rediscovering Shinee towards the end of 2017, listening to songs such as Everybody and Colorful. I wasn’t diagnosed with depression, but for years, I certainly felt the heavy feelings associated with sadness, powerlessness, and dissatisfaction with my life. This greatly intensified on December 18, 2017 when Shinee’s Jonghyun took his own life through carbon monoxide poisoning. Jonghyun is not my favourite but I love Shinee as a group and I felt the grief of losing someone who made me smile at a time when I was down in the dumps. My sadness felt like waves smashing me against a rocky shore, forcing down tears when I thought my tears had already dried.
In a way, I was looking for another outlet to counter my grief. In addition to searching for funny moments of SNSD, F(x) and Shinee, I stumbled upon Asianfanfics and read of happy stories about the people that are familiar but do not personally know. I started with Kryber, then I shipped Taeny and Yulsic, YoonHyun, and SooSun of Girls’ Generation. It moved on to many other ships and it started with a youtube video recommendation about a group I wasn’t familiar with.
SaiDa is Life
Youtube gave me the recommendation of viewing a FMV of SaiDa with the background music of I Like Me Better by Lauv. As I was mostly only listening to old school Kpop I decided to give it a shot, and I fell in love with them. That FMV introduced me to Twice and the artist Lauv. By this time, I was already familiar with Asianfanfics and I decided to read about them, and they brought me joy. I soon got introduced and am still shipping Red Velvet’s Seulrene and Joyri; BlackPink’s Jensoo and Chaelisa; Izone's Jinjoo. My Twice Ship expanded to 2yeon, ChaeYu, WenHyo and of course, MiMo.
MiMo Has My Heart
As much as I would love for Myoui Mina and Hirai Momo to eventually marry each other and have babies together, I respect that what they have may be a Romantic Friendship wherein they truly love each other and are affectionate in the bounds of friendship. The same may be true for the other ships that I ship. Time will tell if it’s truly all in my head. But I take comfort in the truth that these girls do care and love each other whether we pay attention to them or not. And that is why I’ll continue to ship all of them, be it in the context of Romantic Love or Romantic Friendship. Supporting their choices is a small payment for the happiness they’ve brought into my life by being themselves. I accept that heartbreak may be inevitable by choosing to stay but I’ll the remember the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to never to have loved at all.’