My name is Daniel Kim and I am a 30-year-old Korean-Canadian from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
I was born an extremely sensitive child (both my parents are highly sensitive people). For how young I was, I should not have been able to catch the subtle details that I included in my drawings. I also learned faster and performed better than most other children my age. Growing up, I had no shortage of compliments. All the compliments that I received, however, were always tied to how well I performed. From an early age, I learned that my performance determines my value as a person.
My sensitivity also caused me to experience intense emotions all my life. Although I had full freedom to feel and express my positive emotions, my stoic parents who have difficulty handling their own negative emotions did not exactly create the safest environment for me to feel and express my negative emotions. Consequently, I grew up feeling emotionally abandoned by my parents. I became fearful of my negative emotions, especially those associated with feelings of inadequacy. I taught myself to combat those feelings of inadequacy in the only way that I knew how to create self-worth… performance. When my negative emotions did manage to come out, most people around me, both at home and outside of home, made me feel wrong to think and feel what I thought and felt. The continuous invalidation of experiences that were so real to me caused me to feel extremely lonely.
In order to distract myself from this loneliness, I kept myself busy for most of my life. I worked hard and performed well in school. I studied business in university, majored in marketing, and specialized in design and brand identity development. I worked mostly in the broadcast media and entertainment industry as a media and marketing specialist, and sometimes as an entertainer. I traveled to 35 countries all over the world and lived in four.
When being busy was not enough to distract me from the pain of my loneliness, I began to experiment with other forms of escape. I became addicted to them and hurt not only myself, but also my loved ones.
At the age of twenty-six, I was dual diagnosed with both giftedness and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. I did everything in my power to overcome my OCPD.
After a year full of therapy, forgiveness, healing, and prayer, I recovered from so many of the things that made me want to end my life. I re-parented myself and learned that my value is not something that I must create through my performance, but something intrinsic that has always been a part of me, something that can never be taken away, no matter how poorly I perform. I learned that I have incredible value just the way I am.
This journey has helped me recognize my heart’s desire to celebrate people’s differences, to help others who are struggling with hurt, anxiety, loneliness, addictions, and feelings of inadequacy, and to help others communicate with one another more sensitively so that their loved ones may feel more heard and understood.
I am a multipotentialite who is still trying to figure out what to do with his life. Despite the fact that it has been a curse for most of my life, I am learning that my greatest strength is my natural ability to empathize with others. I hope to master this gift and use it together with my passion for family, marriage, and parenting.
Lists? Yes, I like making lists. Here’s a list of my top ten favourite songs:
- Franz Schubert – “Ave Maria” (solo by oboe and pizzicato accompaniment by string quartet – I once experienced a live performance of this particular arrangement in Munich and I felt like I was ready to die because I knew I had just heard the most beautiful sound in the world)
- Koji Kondo – The Legend of Zelda (Soundtrack) – “Great Fairy’s Fountain” (Orchestral Arrangement)
- Old Russian Romance – “I Met You“
- Larry Kusik and Nino Rota – The Godfather (Soundtrack) – “Speak Softly, Love” (David Davidson Arrangement)
- Tchaikovsky – “Valse Sentimentale“
- Koji Kondo – Super Mario World (Soundtrack) – “Bowser’s Castle” (Mishary Orchestral Arrangement)
- Claude Debussy – “Clair de Lune“
- Joe Hisaishi – Howl’s Moving Castle (Soundtrack) – “Merry-Go-Round of Life“
- Andres Linetzky & Ernesto Romeo – “Sentimientos“
- Astor Piazzolla – “Libertango“
Here’s a list of my top ten favourite movie scenes:
- Dark Knight Rises – Ending
- Blood Diamond – “A Good Boy” (Father and Son Scene)
- Toy Story 3 – “Andy Gives Away His Toys” (Ending Scene)
- Life is Beautiful – “Buongiorno Principessa!” (Meddling with Concentration Camp P.A. System)
- X-Men: First Class – “Rage and Serenity” (Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr Scene)
- John Q – “Final Goodbye” (Father and Son Scene)
- Kung Fu Panda 2 – “I Am Po” (Inner Peace Scene)
- Rocky – “It Stinks!” (Mickey Offers Rocky to be his Manager)
- Good Will Hunting – Park Scene
- A Beautiful Mind – “Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech“
Photography is one of my many hobbies that gets affected by my OCPD. I do not take a lot of photos. But when I do, it has to be perfect.
More than the average camera user, I take my time to plan, align, balance, frame, and light my shots before finally taking a photograph. Even on vacations, I try to match my clothing with the background. In areas that are known for attracting crowds of tourists, I sometimes wake up at ridiculous hours to avoid other tourists contaminating my work.
For photos of myself, there is only one other person that I can trust to shoot me the way that I want myself to be shot… my tripod. But sometimes, for security reasons, I am not allowed to take my tripod along with me. I am then forced to ask somebody else to take my picture. I look around for someone carrying an expensive professional camera because it makes logical sense to me that such a piece of equipment would be carried by a skilled photographer. I finally find someone who fits the description, request for my picture to be taken, and nine times out of ten, I am disappointed with their results.
So here are some travel photos taken by me and my tripod :)
Skógarfoss waterfall, Iceland
Vík í Mýrdal, Vestur-Skaftafellssysla, Iceland
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland
Dettifoss waterfall, Iceland
Farm near Húsavík, Sudur-Tingeyjarsysla, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon, Grindavik, Iceland
Deadvlei, Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia
Dune 45, Sossusvlei, Namibia
Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
Marina Bay, Singapore
Turtle Beach, Pulau Perhentian, Malaysia
The Great Wall, Mutianyu, China
Travertine Terraces, Pamukkale, Turkey
Göreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hong Kong, China
Dream Beach, Lembongan, Indonesia
Sunrise Peak (Seongsan Ilchulbong), Jeju-do, South Korea
Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi Leh, Thailand
Lomadee, Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Ganges River, Varanasi, India
Baga Beach, Goa, India
Pont d’Avignon, Avignon, France
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Oia, Santorini, Greece
Placa Stradun, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy
Swiss Alps, Switzerland
The Pyramids, Giza, Egypt
The Black Desert, Egypt
Mount Sinai, Egypt
Music is a very mathematical art form that has much structure and order to it. My OCPD helps me arrange music in an orderly fashion when I mix music together. In the club or at a DJ concert, I am sensitive to imperfect beat matching, off-key mashups, and inefficient transitions. During the first week of December 2012, I became a viral hit all over the world for one of my musical arrangements (“Pop Danthology 2012”). The original video (below) has over 40 million views (over 50 million total views if you count the views on all the copied versions of my video as well).
“Pop Danthology 2012”
No one taught me how to compose or produce music. My OCPD just helps me pick up patterns in the music that I listen to, it helps me understand what combination of sounds work well together, and it helps me figure out how to use complex music production software programs that are built in a logical manner.
“Feel So Alive”
(my first short film that I wrote, directed, produced, edited, and scored)