✨ Change ✨
Wow, how do I begin to express the impact BTS has been in my life. I've always imagined that by the age of 40 I'd have things figured out and be this confident adult. I never imagined myself in a fandom, starting a fan account at the age of 39. So how did this happen? Well, here's my story...
I've been listening to kpop for a long time, since the 90s. You can imagine how happy I am now that it's actually popular. Talk about feeling like an oddball; listening to music in a foreign language back then meant two things, you're weird or a FOB (Fresh off the Boat). Since I was born in the US I guess it meant that I was just weird.
I grew up being taught that I should try to fit in, not get noticed and just get by. If someone is in trouble, don't get involved, why bring trouble to yourself. If something is not right, unjust...just let it go, be a doormat. All of these contributed to how I lived as an adult but deep down inside I knew something was wrong. First off, I am different, very different and I knew that at a very young age so trying to fit in was like trying to stick a triangle in a circular hole. Second of all when I saw injustice or someone in need, I knew I should do or say something about it but I couldn't.
As an adult, I've learned that I've suppressed myself so much and I'm SO cautious that I've become useless to myself and society. This is when BTS came into my life and changed it all.
It began with Dope (of course). When I first watched the MV and saw the lyrics it immediately inspired me. What stood out to me about BTS was the precision in how they danced, their uniformity, their hard work (song lyrics). With each comeback I remember thinking oh their just a passing band I like, I'll move on. It never happened, why? Because of who they are, because of what they believe in.
It's been such an amazing journey watching them grow into men. They truly inspire me. The song that ultimately tipped me over the edge was Not Today and Change. I remember listening to the teaser for Not Today and thinking oh I don't think I'll like it that much, it's too hardcore for me. But when I read the lyrics and saw the MV which I watched a gazillion times, it hit me so hard. It was like the anthem that I needed to start standing up for the things I believe in!
I have an old pastor who does advocacy for the homeless, immigrants, black lives and so much more. I have him on my timeline and I see him day in and day out fighting for the underdogs. I soooo wanted to be a part of it but was too chicken to. One month after Not Today was released RapMon and Wale released Change. Another blow at me to wake up! Stand up! Do something!
I called up my old pastor and met with him, telling him I am so inspired by what he does but am so scared to stand up and fight. He was so gracious, non-judgmental and encouraging.
I'd like to say that after I met him I became a big advocate for the underdogs but I'm not. For me to gain courage to fight for others I learned that I first have to fight for myself. I have to learn to "love myself" enough that what others say about me will not crush me. My courage right now is allowing myself to be seen and with that I am finding my voice and standing up whenever I can.
Wow, I was actually going to tell a totally different story but this one came out instead! I have too many BTS life-changing stories to share. I think I'll save it for another edition of Ahjumma Story Time. Thank you ARMYs for caring for one another and reading each other's stories. I learn so much from all of you! Oh gosh yes! That's another story I'd like to tell one day. The impact young ARMYs have had on me! But again, I'm not writing a novel here. I should stop. Thank you BTS! Thank you ARMY! ~ Jamie 🐌