“As long as it’s not a crash but a landing, there would be no regrets,” – SUGA, Break The Silence, 2020.
I’m probably just one of a handful ARMYs right now who isn’t sad about the revelations in the 2022 BTS Festa dinner video.
BTS taking a break from being 7 to find their own paths as solo artists and as individuals is honestly a relief to me.
One of the many reasons why I fell in love with them is because of their dedication to staying as one unit. Where other successful bands have cracked at the first sign of at least one member getting burned out, BTS powered through as a group–not just out of contractual obligation to BigHit but because they genuinely love each other and they genuinely love ARMY so much that they wouldn’t want to let go of us either.
Now that they’re taking a break from being a band of 7 so they can become “better versions of themselves” feels more like a wonderful gift… only wrapped in rough paper.
I am taking comfort in their promise that we will still see them together again in the future–as better versions of themselves. How long we’ll have to wait for that is still unknown but at least we won’t have to deal with the drama of finding out members having secret fights with one another or nasty scandals or whatever, because we know they know their worth and we know they would all willingly die for each other.
To many ARMY, this video felt like a breakup, especially since they dropped it a day after their 9th anniversary. But to me, it’s more like that wood plank they put in between a dock and a boat so people can walk into the boat safely without falling into the water. It’s wobbly and scary, but it does the job of carrying you into that boat that would take you to your next destination. “A safe landing and not a crash,” as Yoongi once put it.
BTS taking a break is something we all expected to happen but still a surprise for them to be doing right when they’re at the top of their game. And I admire that. “Rather be dead than cool,” says Jung Kook’s tattoo, and here they are now, shedding off childishness and acting like men, standing up for themselves, and dealing with that “first death” they sang about in Black Swan (my favorite OT7 track).
To be honest, more than the news of not getting to see them together as 7 for a “long” time, I was more affected by their revelation that they worried and feared they would end up disappointing the fans if they even so dare ask for space and a room to grow. I just wish they can let go of that fear soon and be able to speak more freely to ARMY because I know true ARMYs will love and understand them no matter what. We are family and we don’t ever abandon our family.
So to my dearest Bangtan boys, er men, FLY HIGHER THAN HIGH as individuals. Enjoy your life because you deserve to be happy and you deserve to live the kind of life that you want for yourselves individually. Like you allowed many of us–me, especially–to dream again, to learn how to love ourselves, and to fight for our soul and existence, allow yourselves, too, to be REALLY you and to discover the many other amazing things you can do.
I love all of you. You are like my brothers, my friends, and heck yes even lovers because you have allowed me to feel the love I now know I deserve but have always felt guilty about feeling because I didn’t think I was worthy to even dream of it.
I am forever grateful for your presence in my life and for being the catalyst for me to meet new ARMY friends who are now part of me and are helping me navigate this mess of a boat called my life. By teaching me to love myself, I am able to love others even more, too, and that is perhaps the best gift you have given me.
Saranghae, Bangtan. I will definitely miss seeing all 7 of you together but I will be here watching and supporting all your solos and will be waiting for your return as 7 again. APOBANGPO! 🐳
PS. I appreciate the fact, too, that they didn’t say all this is in some tone-deaf press conference or a simple letter devoid of heart. They said all of it over a candid drinking session–like how we do when we have deep conversations with our own friends–on the day they were moving stuff out of their shared condo (dorm,) which they are now giving up as their lease ends. I am excited for our most beautiful moments that are Yet To Come. 💜