Dear Chen,

When I first signed on to the “K-pop life” at 20-years-old, I never thought I’d end up here. It started as one quick video—an ounce of curiosity and allure. But in moments, that curiosity grew to something much more powerful and inexplicable. I discovered EXO at the same time I was re-discovering myself, and I think that’s the reason why you’re so tied into my journey. You were a part of that process every step of the way without even realizing it, and I thank you for that.


Finding My Way With You

As I struggled to find my passion again throughout college, it was your voice and words of encouragement to EXO-L that helped guide me through it. For the first time in a long time, my eyes were open to all the possibilities this world could offer. I stopped trying to box myself in, and instead, I explored different avenues where my talents could be useful. And any time I felt like giving up, you were my little corner of comfort. 

Through songs like “My Answer,” “Moonlight,” and “Miracles in December,” my worries and fears instantly faded away, even if just temporarily. No matter how difficult life was on the outside, I knew no one could touch my little bubble of EXO happiness on the inside. That’s why I worked hard to see you in concert, to feel the vibrations of your warmth and kindness up-close because I knew it would feel sensational. At that point, I was already 21—your lucky number, and it’s still my favorite memory.


My Year-Round Miracle

Now, at 26, I’m doing things as a journalist I could’ve only imagined in college. As much as I loved performing as you do now, I’ve also been passionate about writing, and I’ve taken it seriously. I’m a part of this amazing platform called EnVi, connecting and speaking with the same people who’ve inspired me to get here in the first place. Our team reminds me a lot of your relationship with EXO—one that’s filled with unwavering support and love.

As I’m sure you know from your experiences in songwriting, words are powerful. So, I’m using my words to let you know how thankful I am to experience your artistry and shining personality. Any time I see your reassuring smile or hear your soothing voice, I’m reminded that miracles do exist. Thank you for lending a helping hand to the EXO-L who look up to you. One day, when we meet again, I hope to have worked hard enough to hear your story firsthand and share it with the world.

Because if there’s one thing the world needs to know about Kim Jongdae, it’s that his heart is an endless sea of gold and never stops giving. Thank you for seven years of smiles, here’s to many more.

Forever your loyal Soondongie,


For more endearing letters like this, check out Arushi Tandon’s letter to WayV’s Ten here!


Thumbnail Courtesy of SM Entertainment.