BTS is sweeping the globe, and at the core of the 'BTS phenomenon' is its leader RM, the glue that holds the group together. A bubbly and playful character yet simultaneously being the most down-to-earth guy there is, we wondered how RM powered through his bleak years as a trainee, and how he won the battle.
"Solitude and darkness are inevitable."
In an interview with Yonhap News on January 28, the BTS boys discussed their anxieties. Members poured out their hearts, speaking about how, since their debut in 2013, they had come to face the cold hard reality. Making a reference to Suga's 'The Last' of his mix-tape, the members discussed the discrepancy they felt between now in the spotlight and back in their training years, and how they had been exposed to depression and obsession.
Which all led up to the question: Looking back in your trainee years, how did you beat the instability and how far do you think you are down the path of your dreams?
To our surprise, RM started discussing 'what it means to be human' rather than 'how agonizing his trainee years were and how he overcame the years.'
RM stated, "Men seem to be programmed to feel ambivalent. I think that's the driving power which led mankind to be the supreme creation, to rule over others." RM gave examples of what he meant by ambivalent feelings, such as being deeply immersed in love yet thinking about the end, and how one peaks and pops up the vision of downfall and failure.
Then he started discussing anxiety. RM stated, "Anxiety is like a shadow" and added "In my case, my father suffered from tinnitus after 25 years of work. It was okay when he was up to his neck in work or was doing something he liked, but when he was under stress or in things seemed uncertain, tinnitus started acting up, affecting his daily life. Anxiety, for some, appears in the form of tinnitus."
RM went on, stating "Anxiety is like a shadow, so you can't really say that you fully overcome your bad side." "But," he added. "since solitude and darkness are inevitable for men, one needs a place to rest one's mind. Music was my first haven. Luckily, music gifted me with great friends, a peak in my career, and financial income. So I've made myself several other havens as well, for me to befriend my anxiety. Collecting action figures, shopping for clothes of my choice, going to a street foreign to me and seeing how people live. When I hop on the bus, stroll around in an unfamiliar neighborhood and embrace new scenery, it becomes an opportunity for me to be closer to people, and give me a sense of belonging in this world. That way, I can relieve my anxieties."
Suddenly in the fast lane, these days RM would be constantly thinking about failure and fall, and the anxiety that trails him like a shadow will get longer as his success grows. ARMYs should be a safe haven for RM to rest on and cheer him on so that he could make friends with his anxiety.
By Grace and Suwon Han email@example.com