There’s an old saying, we don’t always know what we want, but we can be sure we don’t like what we don’t know. When we get pleasure from something, it’s not based on what we see, hear, or feel. Instead, it’s based on what we believe that thing to be.
I didn’t start listening to BTS until much later. The first time I heard their song, I was mesmerized. It reminded me of bright summers and the evening rain, things that were not and everything that should be, endless conversations and loyal friends, guilt and love. It was a song about nothing, yet it had everything I needed to hear. A simple song with the least complicated story. Why did I like it? Maybe it was my story too. It took me 3 days to ultimately be a fan. An ARMY. It was a little bit like magic.
When I first started listening to BTS, I was in a bad place emotionally and physically. I was barely hanging on. Everything seemed so bleak that I would sometimes feel like it hurt to be alive. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to be me. Even the good things that happened to me did not cheer me up.
When I first started watching their songs, it felt like eating chocolate, like having hot soup when feverish. I had many problems, but I felt their music lifted the burdens when listening to their songs. I didn’t obsess over the issues I couldn’t solve, but I was living in the moment. I don’t speak Korean, so even though I appreciated their angelic voices, I did not understand save for a few English words peppered in the lyrics. I slowly wondered what the songs meant. I looked it up online and to my immense surprise, the lyrics resonated with me. They began to mean more to me. Because I now understood. It felt like someone understood me.
Little by little, my mental health improved, even my mother noticed. They inspired me. To do better, to be me and love myself. When things seemed challenging, I found myself relying on BTS to help me. I would start my day with a song, end my day watching their interviews or fun content. Listening to their songs gave me strength and peace. It felt like someone was reassuring me that everything was going to be okay.
I absolutely loved their songs, but I never discussed them with anyone else because I was tired of explaining that I didn’t like them for their looks. I even went as far as hiding the songs in my Spotify playlists. My favourite songs were the ones I never talked about, the ones I listened to on repeat in secret, the ones I had hidden away.
Later on, when I saw performances from Beatles, Micheal Jackson and Freddy Mercury and watched the crowd go wild at their concerts, I felt like I missed out on that experience. But BTS is happening here now, and one day I might be able to go to their concerts. I don’t want to miss out on enjoying their music or wait for 20 or 30 years for people around me to catch on about how wonderful they are. Then I realized that I shouldn’t have to hide my love for BTS because of some insensitive comments. How could I have ever hidden away my love for BTS?
I learned a lot from them.
Namjoon taught me unparalleled leadership skills.
Seokjin taught me to be confident no matter what.
Yoongi taught me to keep my cool in the face of trouble
Hoseok taught me to be optimistic no matter what, and that hope is our greatest weapon.
Teahyung taught me that it’s okay to mess up sometimes; it’s no big deal.
Jungkook taught me that no one is born good at everything. We have to work for it.
Jimin taught me the best way to get a good friend is to be one yourself.
I also want to thank them for making my life better. At the end of a long day, I found comfort in their music, their fun games, watching them cook, their dance, and all kinds of content. A good song would put a smile on my face in no time. Watching my favourite Run BTS episodes, just listening to my favourite songs, trying my hand at cooking, these were the few things that kept me going.
In the wise words of John Keating from Dead poets society:
Medicine, law, business, engineering are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.