How to overcome hurt

Hurt is a complicated thing…


I’ve been feeling hurt lately. I was hurt by poor customer service I received. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for an hour, so I complained about it. I was hurt over my job application getting rejected because I chose to be honest and it was a wrong decision. I was hurt by the sudden cold attitude of someone who had previously been very flirty, and the realization that it wasn’t worth my time to consider her as anything more than an acquaintance.

This time in particular I realized that I react very poorly to being hurt. Mostly I hide from the world and binge play video games or watch TV until late. Those are my go-to options for emotional self-harm. I avoid confronting my feelings even when I half-heartedly acknowledge them, sometimes taking days before finally registering that I feel hurt at all. I feel bad about the result or outcome that started things and I just continue to wallow in my unjust treatment and misery.

I began to think about what causes hurt and realized I can’t really summarize it well. So I looked it up, and most internet sources don’t seem to have much clue either. A lot of bold claims that don’t seem to apply to me at all. However, one article does seem to get most of what I think are the relevant themes:

  • Expectations
  • Feeling personally attacked
  • Identifying as a victim
  • Sense of injustice or unfairness
  • It’s all about your point of view
  • Ideas hurt way more than the actual harm

The feeling of being unfairly treated is probably the thing that gets me the most.

Some articles propose that the solution to the ‘problem’ of hurt is to take things less seriously or stop caring what others think or to be sure of yourself. Honestly, I’m not saying these suggestions are wrong, but I think they’re quite unhelpful, especially for the short-term. My hypothesis: one way to overcome hurt is to realize that the way things happened wasn’t really about you at all. You weren’t treated unfairly in particular; they do that to other people as well, and in this case it just happened to be you on the receiving end. Yes it was wrong, but it’s not personal; it’s just business. Maybe this is a rare mishap and you were just unlucky. Or your friend wronged you because of their insecurities or what they’re going through, and they might have done this to anyone else in your shoes.

When you realize it wasn’t about you, then you can take a more practical perspective about how to process your feelings or what to do about the situation.

First major regret in 2018

I’m not usually one for regret. The past can’t be changed, mistakes must be made in order to learn, often there is no way something could have happened differently without hindsight, and so there’s no point wasting energy wishing you could change the decision you made. However, one particular decision and its outcome has left me feeling really bad. I feel wronged, deceived, disappointed, unwanted, angry, and a whole bunch of other things.

I’ve been looking for new career options, and one thing that caught my eye was training to become an Air Traffic Controller (ATC). The training takes just one year (no background required), and after that you get a high paying job that is meaningful and impactful, with work hours that give you enough freedom to have a good work life balance. Sound good too be true? The main thing of course is that there are very few positions available. To get into training, you have to pass four stages in their application process. You’re far more likely to win lotto (albeit seventh division) than to be selected. I made it past the second stage, where you have to pass all four of their aptitude tests: spatial reasoning, inductive reasoning, English comprehension, and attention to detail. Other than the attention to detail test, which I possibly aced, I found the other tests very difficult. The spatial reasoning test was possibly the hardest aptitude test I’d ever done.

The third stage involves a personality questionnaire and short online video interview (i.e., where the system presents questions and your answers are recorded via webcam or whatever). I was rejected on the basis of the personality questionnaire, which was the most painful questionnaire I’d ever done. 104 questions, the same themes being repeated over and over in very similar words. The format forces you to rank which of three statements is most like you at work and which is least like you. I had done some research on the ideal MBTI personality type for ATCs, which is ISTJ by the way, but I had decided that it was better to answer honestly rather than pretend to be ISTJ-like. Boy I was wrong. For starters, it wasn’t really a personality test, more like a work behavior/attitudes thing. Secondly, the part where the test claims that it is in your best interests to answer honestly, not think too hard about choices, and not to try and choose “right”/favorable answers because the test has a component that tests for false answers, well all of that is hogwash. I realized this for good about halfway through the test, so I had already blown my chances by being honest. I 100% regret being honest and I resent being put in a position where the test is being dishonest in order to trick you into being honest at your peril. To add insult to injury, the application info provided makes it sound like it really is about your personality and whether you’d enjoy working as an ATC. Again, absolute lies.

From what I’ve read, not all personality assessment tests are like this, but for this one there absolutely are wrong answers and you almost certainly have to put aside your genuine answers to pick all the favorable answers. For example, this guide seems like sound advice. I no longer think there is any moral quandary in picking the answers they want rather than your genuine answers, because your honest answers don’t matter. The answers aren’t about you, and they certainly aren’t about getting to know you better. The test is simply used to reduce the candidate pool in the same way that your CV goes through an automatic screening process. Your task is to do the necessary preparation to not be eliminated as an unsuitable candidate at each stage, that’s all.

Tentative K-pop favorites

Music Spotlight

It wasn’t easy for me to accept K-pop music. At first it seemed to be highly unmusical and mostly about eye candy, but eventually I did find a “way in” and my tastes have expanded a bit. I still remain ignorant at large, with a lot of areas in K-pop left to try. For example, I haven’t found a boy group I like (probably due to the same initial barrier as mentioned).

Favorite groups


Hundreds of songs in, I finally found a group whose songs I generally liked. Apink’s image as a girl group is one of girly innocence, which is a lot less common than girl groups that emphasize dancing and sexiness. Their songs also tend to be happy/cheerful, as opposed to more universally common themes of romantic troubles.

My favorite song from Apink, or at least the one I’ve been most obsessed with:

I like the Japanese version of this song a bit better, but this is about K-pop 😛


I don’t really “follow” musicians or other artists, so I literally just found out their name stands for Ace of Angels. Anyway, AOA definitely do sexier songs, with most of them deliberately featuring some form of ass wiggling. Unlike other groups where dancing is a major (or even primary) part of the appeal, I’d say their dancing enhances their songs (whereas I feel like many other groups rely on dancing, fashion, rap, etc over musicality.)

For a favorite, I have to pick Excuse Me. Other songs such as Confused, Like a Cat, and Miniskirt have catchier beats with more substance, but the choreography (not as well represented in the music video) for Excuse Me is catchy and unashamedly empowering. Let’s be honest—both men and women may seek to recreate Choa’s legendary moment.


Girl group Stellar mainly gained popularity (and notoriety) after adopting a more provocative image, with some of their content being rated 19+ including two videos banned for being sexually suggestive. A fair part of K-pop is somewhat sexualized (due to certain bans in Korea contributing to repression and such elements being redirected into other forms such as K-pop culture) but not necessarily provocative. However, Stellar’s better known music videos are downright provocative, featuring erotic dance moves, needlessly suggestive outfits, and completely unsubtle symbolism. Their success when relying on skin exposure was accompanied by significant backlash. Did they take things too far? I think what they produced was bold and not entirely tasteless. Unsurprisingly, the girls said they accepted that they were in a “do or die” situation but it was never their intention to be so provocative. Ultimately, they could not be successful during their attempts to tone things down and the group has subsequently disbanded.

From the intense and provocative to their original innocent and care-free style, I actually appreciate the diversity of their songs. All of their members have really beautiful faces and the music videos are alluring. Usually it wouldn’t matter (with other genres of music), but choreography and visuals are important to K-pop in the same sense that Billie Jean is a standalone song but Michael Jackson’s dancing makes it an entirely different experience. Anyhow, my favorite song is Crying:

Other songs/artists worth mentioning


Singer, songwriter, and actress. SO CUTE. Diverse styles, including my most preferred: romantic ballads.

Cherry Blossom Ending — Busker Busker

Such a dreamy song from an indie band.


All For You

Good duets are always hard to find.

Why I hate nightcore

If you haven’t heard of nightcore, just avoid it if you ever come across it.

I think nightcore is a perversion of music.

  • Nightcore remixes are worse than originals, so why do they even exist?
  • Modern nightcore is not a genre. It’s a style linked to a form of remixing that can be applied to songs of any genre. If nightcore is a genre, then anyone can violate any existing music in a certain way and call it their own genre.
  • When a song is remixed, vocals conveying serious emotions just become cute, and the beat becomes hyperactive. While I do like some cute anime songs, what kind of person tries to turn random stuff into that? I don’t hate nightcore songs specifically—as bad as they usually are—I hate what nightcore stands for. People who enjoy nightcore support taking stuff that they never liked and twisting it until they do like it. That’s not art, that’s catering towards people with less civilized tastes through deformation of art.

Insomnia (2018) review

6/10, don’t recommend

The TV show Insomnia (2018) is about an illegal game where contestants die if they fall asleep and compete to be the last one standing.

I tend to like movies and TV shows that involve a lot of killing, so I thought this would be right up my alley. It’s quite a short series, with only eight episodes at ~50 minutes each. Overall, I rate it 6 out of 10. The production looks very well done; decent acting and convincing visuals overall establish a believable setting. Tension and suspense is kept throughout the show, however, there’s too much lacking in terms of plot to convert that moderate level of engagement into much else. One might have expected some particularly clever or shocking plot twist to come at almost any point in the show, but it never does. For this reason, the show is entertaining but not satisfying. Overall, I wouldn’t specifically recommend it even for those who love this genre like I do.

The Bridge

by Joy Cowley

There are times in life
when we are called to be bridges,
not a great monument spanning a distance
and carrying loads of heavy traffic
but a simple bridge
to help one person from here to there
over some difficulty
such as pain, fear, grief, loneliness,
a bridge which opens the way
for ongoing journey.

When I become a bridge for another,
I bring upon myself a blessing, for I escape
from the small prison of self
and exist for a wider world,
breaking out to be a larger being
who can enter another’s pain
and rejoice in another’s triumph.

I know of only one greater blessing
in this life, and that is
to allow someone else
to be a bridge for me.



Spoiler-free anime review

Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler is an anime show about gambling. If you’re anything like me, you’ve already heard enough to want to watch at least the first episode. Kakegurui very much reminded me of one of my favorites, No Game No Life. It features the same kind of impressive mind-games played by impossible geniuses who are willing to risk it all while being cheered on by a clueless supporting character. You won’t get much in terms of character development, storyline, or soundtrack, but as long as you can accept the unlikely premise of a school lifestyle ruled by gambling, then what you’ll get is twelve episodes showcasing totally badass intellectual warfare. The show is not as sexually suggestive as its opening, and in any case, I find the visuals overall quite fitting in relation to the portrayal of perversion and insanity. However, I suspect it’s not for everyone, but for those who can savor that darker taste and identify with “so crazy it actually makes sense”. While it’s no masterpiece, it delivers what it promises. I rate it 8.5/10.