“Finding Strength in Broken Wings”

I believe in myself; my back hurts in order to let my wings sprout.”  BTS Wings.


Believing in myself was something I struggled to achieve, it was an elusive idea and seemed extremely out of reach. Living had become an arduous task and at times I could not catch my breath. I am an English teacher and  I would arrive at school, enter my classroom and cry.  I was filled with fear and anxiety, essentially I was lost. This incredibly low point in my life was when I accidently found BTS, well it wasn’t accidental, everything happens for a reason; right?! 


 Every day for weeks one of my students would put videos of BTS on my overhead projector and listen and dance. Most of the time I would barely be engaged, but today was different. The overwhelming feelings of insecurity, weakness, sadness and depression  were beginning to become all consuming. I could barely focus and then, “Spread, spread, spread my wings, the lyrics from their song, Wings, continuously  played in the background. I stopped to listen and noticed, these lyrics were uplifting, exciting, hopeful  and moved me in a way I could not explain. I asked her to play the song again, actually, over and over again I was memorized and this was my initial encounter with BTS and since then I have never looked back. 


This began  my journey, who were these young men, what was this song? I was ferocious with my research about them, I needed to understand why I was so affected by these simple lyrics and the seven young boys who were singing. I had thousands of questions,  I went back in time to learn everything they did, how they started, about the struggles they faced, small meet and greets and the music, most of all the music. For the first time in a long time, I felt stronger.


As I discovered more about BTS,  I became increasingly involved  with their message, even though BTS are superstar performers and worldwide idols, they also experience struggles, sadness and yet continuously express emotions of love and support to others. Their message  gave me a sense of hope and a growing realization that with inner strength, I would regain my  peace and happiness and foster a belief in myself.  The unconditional love, mutual respect and understanding they possess as a group is remarkable. They are a family and they treat us, A.R.M.Y., as a family too.  


Becoming an A.R.M.Y.  has allowed me to meet and connect with so many wonderful people, especially  moms with like interests and struggles. We can relate to one another and we all have a love for the boys, what  I have encountered with this fandom, or should I say community, has empowered me to grow, encouraged me to be fearless and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.  Flying across the country, from Atlanta to Los Angeles for the Jingle Ball to see BTS and meet some wonderful ladies was no problem at all. Receiving their support, and understanding the messages from the boys themselves, through music, charity work and a general love for everyone, I am becoming a better version of myself.  They gave me the strength, coupled with the commeredery and the  music to recognize, I can do anything, I could believe in myself. All I needed to do was “spread my wings.” 


The message BTS conveys to the world is universal, to love yourself and believe in yourself. The  message BTS has given me is a promise; continue to move forward because you never walk alone. Everyone has struggles, insecurities and fear, life is rough and times such as these will engulf us, but we must continue to push towards our goals and continuously learn to love ourselves.


 “Save Me, I’m Fine” is the anagram tattoo I have on my arm with one of the Love Yourself flowers connected, these words, so simple and complete, reminds me to be conscious of my thoughts, feelings and to always love myself,  they give me hope, and strength to acknowledge sometimes I might need saving, however ultimately with BTS, I’m Fine.   


Jodie DeGruy-Fowler



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