Writer + Photographer

My K-Pop Journey

Perhaps the reason this night looks so beautiful (Oh)
Is not because of these stars or lights, but us

Mikrokosmos, BTS

Oh, hello there. Been a while, hasn’t it?

I’ve been busy revising, querying, still living through a pandemic, stressing, getting a new job, recording podcast episodes, listening to k-pop, singing to k-pop, dancing to k-pop, etc.

In fact, you may have heard through my extensive posts on Instagram, but I deemed 2021 the “Year of K-Pop” and learned one new choreography per month (as a very bad dancer, mind you).

Check them out here!

So, you may be asking…

How Did I Get Here?

Well, flashback to high school. I listened to a bit of k-pop as a teenager after my friend introduced me to BIGBANG. I adored their music but didn’t listen to many other groups except one-off songs here and there. (Don’t get me started on Gangnam Style.) Once BIGBANG went off to the military—something every Korean boy group must deal with eventually—I remember getting upset that BTS was becoming big in the States. I basically thought they took BIGBANG’s spot, and it didn’t help that Covid canceled the Coachella they were supposed to perform at.

Speaking of Covid, around January 2020, I decided on a whim to listen to BLACKPINK. And then once quarantine hit, I somehow got myself completely entangled in the world of k-pop. I’m talking a headfirst dive into a 1-million-foot pool.

I listened to a few BTS songs over the years, but never got into them as a group. They are now (spoiler alert) my favorite group of all time ever, but it took me a while to work myself up to it. Why?

  1. Their backlog is INSANE and intimidating
  2. ARMY is INSANE and intimidating
  3. The completely asinine animosity I felt toward them because I wanted BIGBANG to be the big group to make it in the States, lol

Where Am I Now?

But now, in December 2021, here I stand. A proud ARMY who flew across the country with thousands of others to be a part of the most magical concert I’ve ever been to.

Becoming ARMY during a global pandemic (when the rest of the world was also falling for the boys) was truly a treat and a curse. I remember staring at tickets for the then postponed world tour, wondering when I’d ever get a chance to experience the magic of being in a sea of ARMY bombs. I remember lying in my bed watching one of their streamed concerts at 5am, feeling like I was a part of something magical, but at the same time, hope fading that I would ever get to be there in person.

Just a few months later, they announced Permission to Dance on Stage in LA. And I got tickets.

If you would have asked me years ago if the highlight of my 2021 would be dancing like a maniac and screaming broken Korean in a stadium, I probably would have assumed I got a chance to see BIGBANG… certainly not BTS.

And I certainly wouldn’t have guessed I’d have hundreds of k-pop songs and albums in my music library, know so many idols’ names and personalities and quirks, and spend 2021 learning choreography (AND POSTING IT ONLINE) as a bad-as-hell dancer.

I even made some year-end compilation lists…

As you can see, 2021 has truly been the year of k-pop for me. (Well, the entire pandemic has been the pandemic of k-pop, but 2021 was the first full year I had as a k-pop fanatic.)

All in all, I needed this. I truly needed the happiness this music, these people, give me. I can’t thank my past-self enough for leading me here.

Thanks for listening and putting up with all my k-pop content the past year. I’m so grateful to have been on this journey and I’m excited to continue to see where it takes me.

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