In the last couple of months, I have developed a deep interest (almost an obsession) with Asian dramas especially those from South Korea. The best ones will draw you in and keep you guessing throughout the series. Most of the shows are only one season long so unlike American shows each season is a complete story. What I think is one of the best things about these dramas compared to American shows is that they are very modest when it comes to issues like nudity (you will not see an actress nude although they do like to show their good-looking actors’ upper bodies in shower scenes) and sex (if there is a “sex” scene it is covered up by blankets). In case you haven’t guessed, I highly recommend checking them out especially if you are looking for shows that are clean and modest, but be prepared because they can be slightly addictive.
One of the concepts in Asian dramas that you will see occasionally is the “Sticky Note Girl.” In these shows, the sticky note girl is usually an office worker. The sticky note girl is the girl who is always saying “yes” to the jobs that nobody else wants to do. In fact, most of the time she doesn’t have to even say “yes” because everyone just assumes that she will do it. She is called the sticky note girl because everyone in the office is always giving her sticky notes with jobs that they want her to do. When you walk by her desk or cubicle, it is covered in an array of sticky notes from her co-workers.
What strikes me the most about the sticky note girl though is that she is not just a character in a show. She won’t always be an office worker and she won’t always be covered in sticky notes. She can usually be found anywhere in any type of environment.
The sticky note girl is usually most noticeable because she is unnoticeable. She is not someone who is invited to the parties or to hang out after work. She might be seemingly plain-looking. There doesn’t seem to be anything about her that makes her stand out in a crowd. She is not sought out unless someone needs something from her. She is the one who is unable to say “no” when someone asks her to do something for her and like a sticky note she is easily disposable.
The saddest thing about the sticky note girl is that she doesn’t see her own value and because she doesn’t see her own value others don’t value her either. She feels plain so she dresses plain. She does what she does for others because she would rather bear the discomfort herself than see others feel uncomfortable so even when attacked she doesn’t speak out for herself but will instead speak up for those who have attacked her.
She makes herself invisible and lives her life as a people pleaser, but in reality her people pleasing is more about protecting herself than caring about others. She does it so people will like her and think well of her, but in the end, nobody thinks of her at all.
She is a woman who needs learn to value herself, not above others but equally with others.
Christ told us that the second greatest commandment is to love others as we love ourselves, but what if you don’t love yourself? How can you love others as you love yourself if you don’t love yourself?
This is what I have been wondering about a lot lately. I have been feeling like that sticky note girl in the Asian dramas. I have been feeling invisible, like I am more of a servant to my family than a part of the family, and I have not been valuing myself or loving myself and because of that it has also felt like nobody else has been valuing me either and it is probably the key to my depression.
We can only love and value others when we are first able to love and value ourselves. We can only love and value ourselves when we are able to clearly see how God loves and values us.
As I’m writing this, I have to admit that there is a part of me that writes that and then reads it and wonders. I wonder, “Does it sound trite? Does it sound cliché? Does it sound empty? Is it really that simple to love ourselves and love others?”
The truth? Those words are true, but there are going to be times when they do feel trite or cliché or empty. You have to move beyond your feelings and cling to that truth.
The truth? It really is that simple to love ourselves and love others, but as simple as it is, it can also be the most difficult thing in this world to do. Love, whether it is loving God, ourselves or others, is a choice. It is easy making that choice, but more difficult committing to that choice.
In the majority of the Asian dramas, the sticky note girls aren’t the leading ladies, but there are a few dramas where the sticky note girls are the leading ladies. By the end of the show, these ladies have learned to value themselves and are no longer considered sticky note girls. While these shows were romantic comedies where the sticky note girls got their man in the end, these woman didn’t begin to understand their value because of the love of a man, but they gained the love of the leading man because they became to understand their value. Because they were able to learn to love themselves and value themselves, they were able to love and value the people around them.
I have decided that I don’t want to be a sticky note girl any longer. Like those sticky note girls who learned to love themselves, I want to learn to love myself again. I want to be a woman of confidence and purpose and passion so moving beyond how I feel and clinging to the truth.