Two weeks prior to uploading this post, I felt very anxious. This post feels both too personal and too unnecessary, too trivial and too attention-seeking. It feels more like a childish rant, and I hesitate on whether I should post this on my blog or not. But despite the childishness, this one tells a part of my journey. And someone might need to read this. So here it is: a story of my connection with one of my favourite artists, and how their journey filled in my journey as well.
I first knew BTS in 2016. I was in high school and a friend of mine showed me Blood, Sweat & Tears music video, days after they dropped their WINGS album. Many of my friends were crazy about BTS. They persuaded our dorm director to play some of BTS’s songs every morning. They also played those songs during basketball practice in the afternoon.
|(Left to right) SUGA, JIMIN, V, Jungkook, JIN|
For me, I fell in love with the intricate stories behind WINGS album. Then I listened to their previous album, HYYH, and got captivated by their seemingly depressive lyrics. I liked SUGA (one of the members) right away and his other persona, AGUST D. I felt inspired by their aesthetics. I found comfort in their music. I found someone whose stories I could relate to.
Back then, I didn’t know that I was struggling with depression and anxiety. I hadn’t known that I have bipolar disorder. I just thought that I got exhausted easily and felt extremely shy in many social situations. I thought it’s just me being out of touch from people around me and always got swayed by my intense mood swings. Life had been a struggle. But I stayed alive. I survived high school, got into the university I wanted, and one day I knew that I was in trouble. In a city far from the support of my family, I had no one I can rely on. I couldn’t show my tears. I was unable to express my emotions. I was afraid people around me wouldn’t have the capability to understand my struggles. I crashed down, a bit deeper than I usually did, and that was the moment I knew I needed help.
It was 2017. BTS’s year, they said. They achieved many things that were unbelievable at first. They released music that I still could relate to. They still sang about loneliness, impossible dream, people who looked down on them, and the support they received from people around them. It was 2017, and I took one step forward. I faced myself, trying to find what’s wrong with my life. I crashed and burned, but I also understood myself a little better. I realized that there were many traumatic events in the past that I never truly addressed. It was 2017. I took one step forward into healing.
But healing was difficult. Healing was feeling a lot of pain. Emotions that I buried deep inside began to surface. Problems that I ignored for years showed their face. I was terrified. It was 2018 and I was so confused. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I didn’t know who I wanted to become. I didn’t know why I was there. There were so many questions. I faced so many monsters, just realizing that they had drained my life energy for a long time. I tried to sever my ties with them, but they kept coming back. It’s 2018, and BTS—whose music had been my pillar of support—had grown so big. It was like they healed so much faster than me. It was like I was no longer in step with them. They had moved on from their struggles. They had lived their life. They had enjoyed their adventures now. But it’s 2018, and somehow, I was still here. I felt left behind. I no longer sympathized with their music because I no longer understood. They were happy and I wasn’t. They had become so mature and I hadn’t. They had forgiven their past selves, but I was still fighting against my inner demons. It was a childish feeling and I might make it sound more exaggerated than it actually was, but that was my feelings. It’s 2018 and I felt so alone.
But you know, I gotta stay alive too. So, I welcomed 2019, filling my bucket list with a lot of things, let my mind wander, let my desire take me wherever I want to go. I distracted myself with so many plans, so many responsibilities, so many projects. I tried to feel alive. And maybe I did. It’s the first half of 2019 and it seemed BTS was living their life too. I rarely listened to their music because I felt that the me at that time was still not in sync with their journey yet. I felt like I was still unable to forgive myself yet. So, without realizing it, I was being harsh to myself. I put my energy to perfect an ideal of myself instead of taking care of the current me. So, when August went and September greeted, I crashed. I crashed, fell, and didn’t know how to climb back up. I was angry and frustrated. I was sad and exhausted. I didn’t recognize myself. I didn’t know where my journey leads me to. So once again I screamed for help. I desperately wanted to get out from the hole that’s trapping me. But I was so scared that climbing up would not change a single thing. If my legs still sway, if my head doesn’t clear, that hole will swallow me again. It’s that moment I knew there needs to be a change. That distracting myself isn’t the answer. That pretending I’m okay isn’t a solution. That I am not okay right now and it’s okay to admit it. I’m not okay right now but I will be. I will make sure I will be. So, it’s almost the end of 2019 and now I know healing is near. Now I know what BTS has been through. Now I know what I am going through.
From No More Dream to Persona, it’s a story of pain and healing. Of licking wound and watch it fading. Of being lost to finding oneself. Of losing a dream and being rescued from the darkness. Of suffering in silence to being light up in joy and happiness.
2020 will come soon, and I wonder what it will bring. What kind of me I will meet next year? Would I like her? Would I be proud of her? Would she be okay in 2020? What would she discover? Am I near to okay right now?
I don’t know what the future may bring, but I know it’s another chapter unwritten yet. I gotta fill it up with a better me, a near-okay me, a me who finally understands what it is to being happy, to truly enjoy the present moment.
It’s not 2020 yet, but let me tell you what I know.
Things will change, wounds will heal, and I gotta stay alive to see it happens.