Following her solo debut, Red Velvet‘s Wendy sat for an interview with Teen Vogue and opened up about how she felt while she was on her nearly 16-month long health hiatus and everything she learned during that time.
Red Velvet’s “Psycho” had just been released when Wendy suffered an accident while rehearsing for SBS’ 2019 Gayo Daejeon, which resulted in a broken pelvis, wrist and facial injuries. She spent two months hospitalized, before taking additional time recover and undergo physical therapy.
During the interview, she revealed that, unsurprisingly, she was incredibly stressed at first.
[We] had a lot of new songs coming out, one after the other, and we didn’t have any time to rest. For the first few months, I was really nervous and kind of stressed out that I wasn’t working.
–Wendy for Teen Vogue
However, her parents moved back to Seoul temporarily to live with her while she recovered, which brought her a lot of comfort during an incredibly difficult time. She cited her mom’s food and her parents’ laughter, hugs and love as the best things during that time.
It was my first time [living with them] in over 10 years, and I’m still spending time with my parents nowadays. That brought me a lot of comfort, too. Getting lots of love every day. Being with your family brings this feeling of comfort you’ve never felt.
[These days] my mom always says “thank you” to me. “Thank you that you’re well now. That you can sing now. That you can be on stage now. That you can do the things you love to do.” But I’m the one who should say “thank you” to them.
While she got to spend time at home and work towards her recovery, she was able to take a step back and reevaluate the way she had been living her life. While she wanted to get back to making music and performing quickly, she also realized the importance of rest, recovery and healing.
I was able to think [about] myself, and I knew that it was okay to take some rest… That time was really precious to me because I learned a lot from that. I guess I kind of grew up. It’s the same for everyone. You work on and on and on. That’s all you ever do, and you think it’s normal. But once you take a step back you can see so many things out there that you haven’t seen, that you haven’t had the time or the energy to see… You don’t need to work hard all of the time. Everyone needs time to rest. After taking that time, you’ll be better.
Her hiatus heavily inspired tracks on Like Water, such as “When This Rain Stops.” This message is especially prominent in the lyrics “it’s okay to stop like this and take a break sometimes even if it rains in your heart / When this rain stops you can just smile again.” She wanted to convey the message that everyone needs to rest, and that it’s more than okay to take a break–sometimes, it’s necessary to make you smile again.