I remember deleting my birthday message to you from last year while I was removing things from my blog, and I just… when I think back at how I felt about you a year ago, and how I feel about you now, my heart swells because my feelings have not changed. Perhaps they’ve grown but not lessened in the least, and the one thing I’m sure of is that there is nothing that compares to this feeling of absolute happiness.
So much has happened in the past year… I now co-run your first international fansite, a feat that I never thought I’d ever add to my list of accomplishments, and we’ve been given opportunities to give back the love and the devotion that you’ve shown your fans over the years. And even though I know that nothing we could give you would ever be enough to express our gratitude, I promise you that we will do our best to show you how much you’re loved around the world.
So I’ve realized that no matter what I write, no matter how beautiful the words are, nothing could ever even begin to come close to expressing the place you hold in my heart. I could write a 50-paged essay, and by the end of this post, I probably will have.
I love that you’re loud, that you’re obnoxious, Jonghyun. That you’re so off-the-wall crazy that the other members often have to rein you in. I love that you’re the epitome of mischief, the King of trolling not only your members, but also your fans.
People call you the crybaby of SHINee, but I know, blingers know, even Shawols know that there is so much more to your tears than meets the eye. It takes a lot of strength to put your heart on your sleeve the way that you do, to bare your soul for the world to see.
You taught me that crying isn’t a weakness. You taught me that it’s a strength that every human needs to nurture in order to live life to its fullest. You did this not with your words, or with your lyrics, but with your actions.
And it’s the subtlety in your actions that shows us the amazing person we all know that you are. It’s in the way that you really see and hear people when they’re talking to you, the way that you’re always taking care of others, whether it’s making sure that Taemin gets home safe and sound, acting as Key’s anchor when he’s speaking things that could easily be misinterpreted, being Onew’s pillar of support when he’s too overwhelmed to ask for it, or challenging Minho to push his boundaries with a well-placed remark just so he can have a chance to see his own true potential.
You’ve taught me that it’s okay to fall, and you’ve taught me how to get back up on my feet. You pulled me out of a darkness that was drowning me, something that I realize that you’ll never have any knowledge of, but that’s okay because I’m forever grateful to you anyway.
You’ve given me a reason to wake up in the morning, to smile, to move forward. You are, in lack of better terms, my hero. You are the person that I look up to and admire, the boy who made me want to better myself as a person.
Life is difficult choices, Jonghyun. It’s hard, and often not fair… but life is also what you make of it. It’s yours for the taking, with all of its imperfections. And I hope that no matter where you are, who you’re with, whatever you’re doing, that you’ll know that you’ve given at least one person in this world a reason to live life to the fullest. Thank you for being you.
You are my light in darkness.
Happy birthday, Jonghyun.