JessicaJung with love j

Jessica has always been independent. As a member of Girls’ Generation, she’s someone with the resolve of an ice princess — or maybe a sergeant — and the will to scream like a dolphin even in the face of immediate danger. She’s belted out bridges and ad-libs on stage after stage without a single waver, and danced right alongside the best of the best even when it seemed like no one else was watching.

To put it simply, Jessica didn’t — and still doesn’t — need anyone to tell her what, when, or how to do something; because no one’s approval matters to her more than her own.

jessica highcut

That’s not to say, of course, that she completely disregards others’ opinions or feelings; quite the opposite, in fact. And it’s a difficult balance: maintaining her identity as a trailblazer while taking into account alternative paths that only those besides herself can offer.

Because independence is, contrary to popular belief, very much a team effort — finding the strength to strike out on your own is so much easier, after all, if you have a trusted support system always more than ready to back you up.

jessica harpers bazaar

Unfortunately, there will always be obstacles. Because this is life, and life doesn’t change simply because you’re someone with big ideas trying to fit into an industry built on rigid requirements and steely expectations. And the thing with obstacles is that you can’t always clear them cleanly — you might catch your foot on one as you try to jump over, stumble just after you start or crash as you land.

It’s a lonely road to walk, sometimes, when you’ve thrown yourself into the unknown, betting against everything that you’ve pointed at the right direction even in the infinite darkness threatening to swallow you whole. And maybe you’re scratched and bruised, and the safety net you’d grown used to is no longer directly underfoot.

But at the risk of never finding out whether she was right, Jessica plunged forward, regardless.

jessica fuse

The road Jessica’s worked so hard to build has been steadily taking shape: album releases, book publications, television appearances and fansign events not just within South Korea, but also internationally. She’s woven another net ready to catch her when she falls, too — one that still contains the threads from the original she’d spent more than decade of her life with (old habits die hard, after all, and friendships built against all odds can never truly fade).

It’s still a new world out there, Jessica, but you’re more than ready to face it. So happy birthday, and may the upcoming year bring you even more success, happiness, and the support to remind you that you can still stand by yourself without being alone.

jessica weibo

Sources: “With Love, J”, “HIGH CUT”, “Harper’s Bazaar”, fuse, Jessica’s Weibo
Written by: moonrise31@soshified
Lyrics translation from SonexStella@soshified

Originally posted on April 18th, 2018.