So, I was gonna write about my joining BTS ARMY in the order of the songs that impacted me. But, I’m watching and listening to Jimin’s “Lie” this morning and recall the emotions that went along with the first time I heard it.
Well, since I can’t understand but maybe four words of Korean, naturally it’s the music that drew me in. From the first time I heard it, something about it was so inconceivably heart-wrenching, I almost had to stop. You know the feeling, right?
There’s that feeling in your chest you don’t understand – where it comes from and why it’s there – slightly uncomfortable and indescribable. And, it’s a feeling that threatens to move up your throat, you can almost taste it. And, if you’re not very, very careful, it will turn into a choke or, god forbid, a sob. And, if it does that, you’re lost. You will be deep in that emotion, and your brain will be empty and upset.
But, … listen to the music. Something about it permits you to have that feeling. It allows you to fall into that sadness because it understands. Maybe Jimin (the BTS member who sings it) understands. Maybe he feels it, too, or has been in that internal space with you.
What was this “lie” he sings of? Then, I watched a video . . .
(Turn on closed captions)
Beautiful, heartthrob visuals aside, when I read the lyrics (closed captioned conversion to English), my heart decide to rest in my throat. I was already drawn to the English sentence in the song, “caught in a lie,” as it spoke to something in my subconscious.
Perhaps it is because of this pandemic that I have felt a strong disconnect to the life I’m living and the person I have always imagined myself to be. Or, perhaps, it’s been the depressive state I fell into months before COVID-19 came to the U.S. Or, again “perhaps,” working retail as I tried to build a socially conscious business around me created a huge disconnect between the life and person I was/am showing to the public and the spiritually-aware, mystic-like person I think I am privately. I don’t even know . . .
[Verse 1, translated]
With your sweet smile
Tell me like you’re whispering in my ear
Don’t be like a prey
(Be) Smooth like a like a snake
I want to get away
The persona I’ve been showing the world – She with the “I-don’t-give-a-damn” attitude as she smiles sweetly and happily at everybody around her — is that fork-tongued, slick-skinned snake mask I wear daily. I want to get away!
And, I thought I did when I’d get home to close the doors to my home, and myself, leaving the selfish, virus-ridden world outside where they/it belonged.
Whoever it may be, save me, me
It continues even when I run away
I am caught in a lie
It doesn’t work that way. The lie, and the anxiety, and all that goes with them follow you in. They are part of you. And, no amount of hand sanitizer or hot showers will get rid of the snake that’s wrapped around you and presents its face as yours.
Depression is a bitch. My Depressive Self is ruthless, without compassion, and a general asshole. She’s angry and must struggle to see the good in anyone. She is careless in thought, word, and deed. Care-less. Imagine that. It is not the same as “carefree.” It may, with the right/wrong person, be the basis for psychopathy.
[Side Note: in the middle of writing this post, I received a package. I thought it was from my awesome cousin who has been generously sending me BTS albums/dvds as gifts (I got him hooked). His thoughtfulness and generosity has been inspiring to me in these past three months. In fact, it was from another friend who I’ve recently talked to about my new “obsession.” She understands having been going through a depressive state herself and also because she’s the ultimate “fan.” She sent me a BTS sweatshirt. I ugly cried on my couch. Here I was writing this blog post, and this lovely present comes. These two friends who understand my new “hobby,” as well as my lovely sister and co-workers who’ve texted me BTS-related news in support of my happiness . . . it’s overwhelming! It’s love. And, it’s a definite message (to me) that I’m not alone. That, in fact, there are beautiful, loving souls outside the safety of my house who are here to save me. Thank you to all of them and to you, who took are taking the time to read this.]
. . .
A week has passed since I’ve begun writing this and I received the present. And now, I’m recovering from staying up for two nights watching Festa. Can I go back to what I thought I was writing? Reading back on that last paragraph, it seems this post was headed toward a self-criticism. And, in fact, that might have been fitting because it’s that very negative self-talk that has made me feel so connected to Jimin and his struggles. And, somehow, despite the Korean language I didn’t/don’t understand, that shared struggle was conveyed through the music to give me that feeling of discomfort and (true to my self-hypercriticism) shame.
An author’s article explains Jimin’s song as one “in where we see an inner fight between his two sides, his true and insecure self, and this mask that he created to face the world but is swallowing him up. It’s a complex song where metaphors, vocal and music composition details mix to vignette a cry for help.”
If you’re interested, you can Google why Jimin himself was crying out for help. These lyrics describe, for me, my internal cry for help:
Find the me that was pure
I can’t be free from this lie
Give me back my smile
Caught in a lie
Pull me from this hell
I can’t be free from this pain
Save me, I am being punished
The hyper-self-criticism is the punishment. Putting aside the snake face one presents to the world … putting aside the many decisions you must make daily and the different masks you wear for those decision-based actions … pain comes from the internal disconnect. Find the me that was pure. There’s that spirit within you, within me, that is pure, loving, childlike, Godlike that is surrounded by darkness, anger, sadness, hopelessness . . . who can help me? Who can save me?
But, that’s just it, isn’t it? Therein lies the message that BTS members and their music have been telling the world. No one can save me. No one outside myself. My Self. The savior is Me.
I am still the same person I was before
I am here, the same person I was from before
It’s in remembering my True Self that I can begin to come out of the depression. And, it is in loving that person fully and whole-heartedly (Whole. Heart) that I can reach balance of Self, show love to others, and come back to that pure person I was before and am in my deepest heart of hearts.
I like to think that’s the journey Jimin has taken and is continuing to take. As he’s grown into an incredible man throughout these 10 years with BTS, he’s been sharing his struggles and healing growth. And, for that, I sincerely thank him and all of BTS as it is allowing me, and other ARMY, to self-heal. Borahae.