yoona v

Yoona has always been the center of attention, whether she’d asked for it or not. Even over a decade ago, as the face of the soon-to-be nation’s girl group, Yoona was never not in the spotlight. Her company placed her there, her members insisted that she belonged there, and the public eye made sure she stayed there.

And the fact is, maintaining popularity in this business — an industry fickle enough to already be pushing out new competitors before you’ve even got both feet on the ground — is already near disastrous enough; growing anywhere beyond what you already have is even trickier. So yes, Yoona does draw immediate attention based on looks alone, and yes, she does have an ethereal sort of grace and confidence whenever she steps on a stage.

But her fearlessness is what pushes her a step above the center she was labeled as from the start.

yoona holiday

Yoona made an early name for herself, with a reputation built on her surprisingly straightforward attitude and almost brash sense of humor every time she appeared on a variety show. Before we knew it she had starred in one drama, and then a second, and even debuted on the silver screen. And in the mean time, she’s racked up enough solo advertisement deals to be known as the “CF Queen”, and her television appearances have gone international. She even somehow found time to release a mini-album entirely in Mandarin while she was at it.

Just to name a few of her many accomplishments, of course. Because if Im Yoona hasn’t done everything yet, she definitely will soon.

yoona eider

Yoona is able to be all of this — be the center of not only Girls’ Generation, but of an entire generation — because she isn’t afraid to fail. Because for every time someone waxed perfection about her, she already knew what she still had left to improve on. After all, her image is the last thing she needs to worry about when there’s still a script to be read, and lyrics to be sung, and undiscovered challenges yet to be tackled.

If there’s one thing Yoona’s not good at, it’s sitting still. And that might be the one flaw even she can’t find in herself to complain about.

yoona laugh

So yes, it’s tough to smile in the face of the entire world as it watches your every move. But Yoona embraced it, and took it one step further: she looked the world right in the eye —

and she laughed with all her heart.

Have a wonderful birthday, Im Yoona. Thank you for inspiring us — not only your peers, but also those who have followed and will follow in the years to come — to always chase after our dreams with a clear head and tired feet; because the journey’s only worth it if you’re a little out of breath at the end.

yoona when the wind blows

Sources: ALWAYS with YOU, Yoona’s Instagram, Eider, PAMPAM
Written by: moonrise31@soshified
Lyrics translation from SonexStella@soshified