As the new year progresses, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting back on 2016 and my journey throughout last year. Personally, it’s been a difficult and gruesome but nonetheless meaningful and interesting year and I’m excited to see what 2017 is going to be like.
My relationship with K-Pop has been one with ups and downs, right and left. It’s been rocky the past couple of years lately with so many things happening in my life that I just didn’t have as much time and passion for K-Pop and Korean dramas anymore which is why I wasn’t updating this blog as much as I would have liked. I see myself listening to Korean music and watching Korean dramas for quite a long time and I’m not sure if it’s just going to be another phase in my life, but the Korean entertainment industry has provided me with happiness, joy, and laughter throughout my life and it especially helped me during times when I didn’t have anything or anyone else around me which is why I have a lot of love for K-Pop and Korean dramas. This is also why I don’t see K-Pop and Korean dramas just being another phase in my life (or at least for right now). It’s been there for me for a decade now and I hope that it’ll continue to do so for the next decade. Within the past few years, there’s been a handful of groups that have debuted and a handful of Korean dramas, but only a few that have stood out to me and that I have dedicated myself to loyally. As some of y’all know, BTS and BEAST are two of my favorite groups and will always hold a special place in my heart. This appreciation post will be more for BTS than anything else, but I am grateful to many groups, moments, dramas that has contributed to my happiness and joy however small or little or however recent or old.
This post can be kind of personal too, but hey, what’s an appreciation post without being personal right? 2016 for me was a really rough year I’m not gonna lie. There were a few things that happened simultaneously that placed me in a bad position and made things really hard for me. I was struggling. I could barely take care of myself. I just wasn’t myself. It was difficult to rise up and come back and take care of myself again.
But then, along the way, a miracle happened. And that miracle was BTS. I’ve been an ARMY since BTS’s debut on June 13, 2013 and I’ve been following them ever since up until now, but I wasn’t always up to date with them and caught up with everything they were doing. I was so busy that I didn’t always have the time to check up on them to see what they were up to. So with that, although I still loved BTS, my level of love for them wasn’t as strong as it used to be. But then with the incidents that happened in 2016, I went back to BTS. And luckily, they returned with ‘Blood, Sweat, and Tears’ at a time when I needed them the most. Not only did they come back with a great, mysterious, touching, and emotional album, they came back much more powerful and with much more for us fans. Listening to their songs gave me a lot of strength, watching their Bangtan Bombs and interviews made me laugh and made me happy. Slowly but gradually, I came back to loving myself again and I was starting to forget any hurt or anguish I was feeling. I was slowly becoming happy again all thanks to BTS. They made me forget about my worries, about my pain, about the self-love I wasn’t giving myself. And instead slowly started to make me do the opposite. They made me happy, they motivated me to also work hard, they made me want to become better, to love myself again.
Then came the end of the year award shows and BTS ended up winning daesangs and I was so happy. So proud. I’m not that good with words so what I type on here won’t ever fully express how I feel towards BTS, but these boys – I am so grateful for them. They work so damn hard without any care to receive anything in return. They are all and individually angels in their own ways. They deserve the world, they deserve so much. Whether it’s through their music, their concerts, their interviews, everything, they always put forth their best work and effort – all for us ARMY’s. As some fans have jokingly mentioned, we are so spoiled. These boys work so hard comeback after comeback, project after project, and still have time to update us and communicate with us via platforms like their social media accounts or through the V App. They love us so much and never forget to thank us or mention us in their award speeches or interviews.
BTS might not know this, but I have a lot of love and respect for them. To be so busy, to dedicate all your time, blood, sweat, and tears into everything you do while being concerned about the outcome and results and whether people will like it or not is never an easy thing. Not knowing if you and your music is enough, not knowing if you will make it. The group has been so raw and honest with us fans more than anything else and that’s something else I really appreciate about BTS. They are always honest with us fans and don’t hide anything from us. They share with us their concerns and thoughts, they communicate with us on how they’re feeling and allow us to see their vulnerability and sensitivity. But at the same time, they always put us first and worry about us more than themselves. They don’t want us to worry about them so they pretend like everything’s fine and put on smiles even though inside they’re probably tired, probably hurting, probably breaking inside because of the countless hours of work and practice that they have to commit to. I could especially see this during the end of the year performances when they all just looked so damn tired. So damn tired. I noticed that they weren’t as energetic as they were, but they still tried to put on a good performance for their fans and for the audience. They used up any last ounce of energy they had in themselves for these performances that required so much hard work and effort and time and practice. As if all the concerts, all the activities, all the practices, all the performances prior to the end of the year award shows wasn’t exhausting, demanding, and challenging enough for them, they still had so much to do until it was the very last day of 2016.
Watching Rap Monster’s award speech at MAMA 2016 and hearing him mention how many people hadn’t expected BTS to make it, had told them that they wouldn’t make it, absolutely broke my heart. Because while the comment is an awful truth that accurately reflects the reality of the Korean music industry that’s evolved in recent years, seeing just exactly how far BTS has come to have earned and won daesangs this year makes me so proud. Who knew that the seven-member boy group who debuted from a small unknown company in 2013 at a time when so many other groups were also doing the same would improve and grow to become popular superstars with now millions of views on their YouTube music video’s? It’s the most ironic thing ever, but at the same time makes me so happy and proud – that they’ve come to achieving their dreams and succeeding. Nowadays, the chance of success within a music industry over saturated with hundreds of groups debuting every year is so small and slim, but BTS was the exception. BTS was that rare case of a group succeeding and it was because of their hard work, their strength, their passion, their perseverance, them. They literally started from the bottom, having gone from watching MAMA on their TV screen back at their dorms during their trainee years to performing on that huge stage and winning a daesang at the same exact grand scale award ceremony that they could only dream of performing at when they were trainees. These guys are the epitome of hard work, of goals, of success, of ambition, of love. They deserve everything in the world. They have fought hard and have earned every single win, every single fan, every single thing that they have gotten in this world. And I honestly cannot wait to see what else is in store for them in 2017. It’s taken them 3 and a half years to finally be where they are now with glimpses of success now in sight, but they’re here now and they’re not going to be going anywhere soon. Their journey has just barely started and they can only climb from here up. 3 years ago when I decided to stan BTS and became a fan of them, I just knew that they would hit it big. I just knew that they would make it big. And here they are. They have. And they’re going to keep rising.
I’m very very happy to say that I was able to get tickets to BTS’s world tour concert this year in April (after many weeks of anxiety and nervous waiting) and will be seeing them live in concert. I just can’t express my feels about seeing them live in person, but all I know is that I just can’t wait. It’s going to be great. And this is what’s going to keep me going for the rest of this year. I will be getting the chance to witness and see the seven boys who have provided me with so much happiness and life the past 3 years of my life, who has been there for me when I didn’t have much. I have so much to thank BTS for and there are so many things about them that I am grateful for. Individually and as a group, they have done so much for me and I am eternally grateful for their presence in my life. My life has been great ever since. Who would have known that the small decision to check out their ‘Graduation Song’ MV and ‘No More Dream’ MV 3 years ago would now be a decision that has led me to stan the amazing and talented group who has changed my life endlessly and effortlessly within those years?
When I think back upon my years of being an ARMY, I get emotional. Having been a fan from the very beginning and witnessing the amount of improvement and growth that these boys have gone through, they have changed immensely in all aspects. When I revisit their older music videos or when I see old clips or pictures of them, I get emotional because I know just how much they have grown over the years. And in a way, I sometimes miss the moments and times when BTS wasn’t that popular yet. When they were more than rookies but less than the trendy group they are now, when their name was known but they weren’t that big yet. I was able to keep them to myself and just enjoy the small little moments of being their fan, but now that they have grown exponentially, some things have changed (not that it’s bad or anything). It’s bittersweet in a way.
So thank you Bangtan Boys. Thank you for all your hard work, for all that you do, for all the hours of practice, effort, passion, and love you pour into your work. You guys are wonderful at the work that you do and while I know that there are clouds of concerns, doubts, anxiety, nervousness, and worries that fill your mind, I hope y’all know that ARMY’s love you for the way you are. I hope that among this world that can be filled with negative and hurtful things, y’all find the hope and inspiration to continue being the change and radiance that this world needs. Y’all have done so much for so many the past few years and y’all will keep doing big things. Your journey has just barely started, let’s keep flying and spreading our wings for many years to come my loves.
Sources: Peppy Grace Subs @ Youtube. Credit goes to all original owners. GIFs and pictures are not mine.
2 responses to “Appreciation Post: Reflection on K-Pop 2016 (+ BTS)”
I LOVE BTS! I am new in sort of discovering them (have been an EXO fan forever), but already I have been drawn to their personalities, and of course, their addicting music. Thank you for sharing your open and honest thoughts! That’s not always easy as a blogger.
I, too, have wondered if K-Dramas are a phase for me, but I always come back to it. Even if there’s some kind of hiatus, I love Hallyu and everything that goes with it. It’s a part of who I am! And one does not outgrow themselves. 🙂
i have been a fan since their debut so glad they came into the K-pop world love them so much