Happy place

I love Emma Stone.  I think she’s a wonderful actress, funny and cute with great comedic timing.  I’m also a big fan of SNL, having watched it pretty consistently since the Not Ready for Primetime Players in the 70’s. I tuned into SNL on April 13, 2019 to watch Emma host for the fourth time, completely unaware my life was about to change.  I don’t recall any of the skits.  I’d heard of BTS but wasn’t at all familiar with them. Boy With Luv. How many of them are there?! How do they sing while dancing?! How do they keep smiling while singing and dancing?! What is the name of the tall blond guy?! What is the name of the smiling skinny dancer my eyes are drawn to?!  MIC Drop. This song is so very different than the last one performed. The versatility that the song styles can be so dramatically different?! The skinny dancer again. The MIC MIC bungee guy in the blue-green shirt with the little vest-y accessory thing.  The one wearing the Dorothy shirt, untucked on one side. Luckily I recorded the episode on my dvr. Is it possible to wear out a dvr episode because over the next two days I was in constant replay mode.

I texted a friend who’s been ARMY since at least 2015 and said, “I now understand.” I vaguely recalled a conversation we’d had about 2 years earlier when she explained their pop and rap styles. I laughed it off at the time. She asked who my bias was, then had to explain what that meant. My bias was Namjoon for a few days, then j-Hope (the smiling skinny dancer), and a week after that it switched again to Jungkook and remains that to this day. After our text convo, I remembered that the friend had posted a story on Facebook a couple years earlier about meeting a kpop idol while living in Osaka. Mad dash into her postings. The holy grail. She met j-Hope. Shook his hand. Actually touched him. Talked to him. He talked to her. Every time I see her, I ask her to repeat the story from beginning to end. It’s an adrenaline rush for both of us. 

A few weeks after the SNL performance, my daughter gives me the Map of the Soul: Persona cd as a Mother’s Day gift. Inside, there’s a poster. I learn their names. I begin to differentiate their voices in the songs. I take the poster to work and tape it to a wall. One of my coworkers tells me she’s ARMY and that she’s seen them in concert. I discover what ARMY means both as an acronym and as a concept. We start sharing photos and she recommends videos and older songs and albums. I’ve been a manager in healthcare administration for over 20 years and now it’s a well known fact within my organization that I’m a fan. My CEO encouraged me to bring in more posters and asked me for song recommendations.  More than once, the CEO has asked me in a staff meeting of 100 people, “What’s new with BTS?” I haven’t blushed in years but find myself doing it fairly often. 

By mid-May 2019, I realize I’m a baby ARMY and that I’m not just a fan but that I’m on a journey. I realize I’ve never had this strong of a connection with another group or singer. Sure, I’ve listened to other artist’s music on repeat for a month or two, but then move on to something or someone new. As I approach my 2 year ARMYversary next week, I realize that in those two years I’ve listened to little other than that group on SNL. 

My first opportunity to see them perform in person was at Jingle Ball in LA in December 2019. My daughter and I fly there that day, I’m a nervous wreck until we step onto the grounds of The Forum two hours before the concert start time. The audience vibe was electric.  They performed first. Three songs, 15 minutes total. MIC Drop. Make it Right. Boy With Luv (with Halsey!). The best 15 minutes of my life. Incredible. 

I’ve been working from home the past 13 months and all of the posters and photos from my office have been relocated to my home office, with many new additions to the collection. It’s my happy place. 

I’ve met wonderful, supportive people on social media, all sharing that same love. I often think of the influence these seven people have had on me personally, either through their music and lyrics, their playful interactions with each other, their emotional intelligence, and their respect and kindness. I often wonder how these seven people remain steadfast in their beliefs, yet are also ever-evolving. I often wonder how they remain so genuine, so authentic, so thoughtful, and so true to themselves while also being so famous. Jungkook recently commented in an interview something to the effect of, we’re just regular guys. Agree to disagree as they are so unique and special. 

They often express their concern for ARMY’s health and well being and health. I think about their health and well being daily. I wish them to be happy, to live without feeling encumbered, to have small moments and to enjoy those moments to the fullest, to feel the strength that they provide to us to be returned to them a thousandfold, to love and to be loved. 

How has my life changed since April 13, 2019? The world has changed dramatically in the past year, and although my family and friends have provided me with personal support, the most significant influence on my overall mental health and what has kept me in my happy place has been Kim Namjoon, Kim Seokjin, Min Yoongi, Jung Hoseok, Park Jimin, Kim Taehyung, Jeon Jungkook. BTS. 

Verified by MonsterInsights