Change is hard. We hear that often, so much so that we start to believe it, yet we know that without it, nothing ever gets better. Whether it's changing a bad habit or making healthier lifestyle choices, one thing is for sure: to improve, one must be open to change. They have to be the change they want to see. And it's these thoughts that make watching My Liberation Notes that much more endearing. If I were to summarize this drama in a sentence, I would say it's about "self- liberation", taking the intentional act of being in harmony with one's mind.
So when Mi Jung told Goo to worship her, because no one has ever made her feel whole as a motivation for change, I wasn't sure how he would react. But what I didn't expect was him turning the tables on her, making her realize how self-absorbed she was by expecting to get what she's never given when he asked her if she had ever tried to make someone else whole. Every word, every action, and non-actions with My Liberation Notes is about much more than just those words, actions and non-actions.
Every character in My Liberation Notes brings a side that is so real, so raw, that it's hard not to see ourselves in them. From Yeom Ki Jung's nonstop vocal compliant to Chang Hee's self-doubt and frustration to Mi Jung and Goo's silent endurance. I mean, who can't relate to the struggles of fading youth, wanting to love and be loved, managing mounting responsibilities to the extent of losing the will for idle conversations, and the unavoidable frustrations and challenges of daily lives when even living itself is burdensome, everyone can. The way My Liberation Notes handles each character is what makes it special. It doesn't just scratch the surface, but gets deeper into each character's state of mind and gives us a glimpse at the convoluted and often mixed negative beliefs and feelings that create so much of their boredom, unhappiness and ultimately misery.
In Ki Jung's constant chatter, I don't only see someone who complains for the sake of it, but also someone who uses her mouth as a diversion from her thoughts. At least now, she is trying to get to know herself. In Chang Hee, I see someone who lacks self-esteem, thinks everyone sees him as pathetic, so much so that he breaks up with his girlfriend, who loves him before she breaks up with him. He also seems to crave his father's acknowledgements. In Mi Jung, I see someone who wants assurance that making a change is worthwhile. I like that she's taken the reins of her life at work with the Liberation Club, which I absolutely adore, even if she and members Jo Tae Hoon (Lee Ki Woo) and Park Sang Min (Park Soo Young) have no clue what they are liberating themselves of yet. As for Goo, I see someone carrying a heavy past, but who now knows thanks to Mi Jung's persistence that change is possible.
One can only overcome the hurdles in life by going through them. That's Mi Jung's liberation club at work represented to her. The same goes for Goo's jumping scene, and Ki Jung's scene with Jo Tae Hoon, the type of man, divorced with a teenage child. She would never have considered worthy of her love. Rather than continue to see themselves as victims, they decided consciously or unconsciously to liberate themselves from their own minds in search for true freedom. I like Goo and Mi Jung, they are so much alike in their silent endurance, but the one that fascinates me most is Yeom Ki Jung. She is the most vocal, but also the most honest, about her thoughts and feelings, and I like that about her, a lot in fact. And I cannot wait to see where her and Tae Hoon's story goes. Watch episodes here.