Let’s talk: Namjoon’s Vlive (210913)
by Admin 1
This is a very random thing to start off with but Namjoon’s habit of drinking from a straw on the right side of his mouth is adorable, don’t ask me why, it just is.
And also when Namjoon lit the candles on his cake and decided to twirl around once on his chair which resulted in the candles being blown out and his face when he noticed that happened? So very cute but also very devastating at once. Honestly, I’m just so weak and soft for this man.
Anyway, now that that’s out of the way, there are two main things I’d like to talk about when it comes to Namjoon’s recent vlive being, of course, the bicycle gift and something he said that I thought was very meaningful and important. But let’s start with the easier, lighter, of the two: the bicycle.
Excitedly Namjoon goes to fetch something from outside of his studio saying he has to show us something and quickly returns with a bicycle happily telling us that he got it from Seokjin. He talks about how Seokjin got it two weeks prior and made it to look as closely to the bikes you can rent across Seoul. Apparently those are Namjoon’s favorite, so Seokjin got the bike from the same brand and then, at least according to Namjoon, assembled it himself. Which, thanks to Seokjin’s weverse post, we know wasn’t quite correct:
(Love how he also told us through that that he was watching the vlive along with us, cute.)
The main point in all of this is though how weeks prior at the zoom fanmeet Seokjin jokingly said that he’ll get Namjoon a bicycle for his birthday, and despite everyone, including Namjoon, thinking it really was just a joke, he kept his word and did it. And instead of just getting the most expensive one, or the fanciest looking one, he got one that was exactly following Namjoon’s preferences and thus would make him the happiest.
When I went to the gym earlier...Jin always goes to the gym when he comes into the office. Only when he comes to the office. And I saw him at the gym. He was on the bicycle and I asked, “Did you get a new bike?” And he said, “no it’s your birthday present.” And I thought he was kidding. Because he always jokes around so I thought he got it for himself or it belonged to someone else and he was just joking around. I thought he was just joking around with me. And he said that it was really mine. So I was like, “What? He got me a present!” (...) Since Jin got it for me, I’m going to ride it for the rest of my life. It was so moving.
It such a thoughtful gift, very sweet and meaningful. It shows how much Seokjin cares and pays attention. It’s funny, when it was Namjoon’s birthday and Seokjin posted his notes app birthday wish for Namjoon, some were a little disappointed, even more so since it lacked the usual “bro”, and yet in real life Seokjin got him such a wonderful gift. It shows, once more, how the greetings we see the members post for each other are usually just a fragment, not necessarily the full picture.
Also, once again Seokjin showed that he truly is a man of his word. First with the vlive, which really did happen a little more than a month after he said he’d come along with Namjoon, the selca he promised to post after getting his hair done until 1am, and then with the bicycle. Wonderful.
Now onto the second topic I wanted to talk about: the daily fights of life.
First Namjoon spoke about how, because it’s been so long since he last got to actually see ARMY, as well as have a proper concert with a crowd like it used to be, that he’s trying his best to stay in shape (yeah we definitely noticed that, ha) but that, at the same time, he’s worried and a bit scared. That if the time will eventually come he might not be able to do it anymore the way they used to even though they should show how much they’ve grown and matured. How, really, it’ll only really feel like his birthday once they’ll have a concert, whenever that will be, eventually.
It’s such a real, raw thought, facing reality that, sure, they had BangBangCon, Map of the Soul ON:E and Muster, that was still something completely different than a proper concert with a crowd, with the energy you get from viewers, from the joy and screams all around you. And wondering if you still remember how to do it after more than two years? It’s such a Namjoon though, by which it sounds like a worry he would have, this introspective thinking, but at the same time, it’s very reasonable and valid. They used to have lots of concerts and only a few months between tours, and now? When as someone who isn’t a performer, I can imagine how the mere thought of a concert must be both exhilarating but also so very daunting.
Then came the part that I thought was the most meaningful, raw, and hard hitting, showing that the struggles of real life, like depression and the thought of you potentially falling into it, they seem like something celebrities or rich people don’t have. And yet, here we have Namjoon talking about how every day is a fight, how he struggles, too. Because depression doesn’t care about money or your position in society. Depression and mental illnesses in general don’t discriminate.
So I was saying that everyday is a fight. Basically...not to...not to lose...in front of depression, getting exhausted. Giving up. So every day I wake up, clean my room. Watering plants. Exercise. It’s been like two years so every day is a fight. I have to pay back for all the love that I’m getting right now. Like you guys telling me happy birthday. Every time, even with myself. So yeah...every day is a war for me. And I really hate that but that’s the only thing I can do right now. And it’s just living, just life. And I could feel how much you guys miss us. We feel the same. So after this sick and tiring war passes by, after that we’ll be getting back to the track, where we were. That’s my hope. And that’s all I got right now. So just doing what I can do. Still for two years. Not bad and not good at the same time. Just life.
For me, it’s always so interesting, though that sounds kind of morbid, to listen to Namjoon speak like this, be willing to open up about such a struggle with us, though it’s not the first time he’s done so. It was interesting to watch baby ARMYs be shocked by his words and have that stand in contrast to older ARMYs like myself and others who know Always and how he used it to voice his past suicidal thoughts, we know how mono. came to be and his struggles with depression that have been ongoing for a long time, something he’s spoken about for at least as long as Yoongi has as well. As sad and awful as it is, it seems like unfortunately that depression, or depression like state, is a lifelong companion to both of them.
In a way I can’t help but be reminded of this paragraph from BTS’ interview for The Atlantic in December of 2020, especially the final quote at the end:
It’s undeniable that it’s important to talk about your struggle and, as important as it is for any normal person, it’s also important for people like Bangtan, even more so because Namjoon, Seokjin, Yoongi or Taehyung sharing their struggles can give courage to others who also feel this way but thought they couldn’t speak up, that it wouldn’t help them anyway. It shows them that what they’re feeling is perfectly normal (as in not something you need to be ashamed of, you're not the only one, that kind of thing), that even their idols feel this way too sometimes, and that talking, opening up about it, reaching out to a friend or a professional, if you have that possibility, is a good thing, a helpful thing.
It’s things like this that help to slowly destigmatize mental illnesses and hopefully create a world in which you saying “I have depression” won’t make you an outcast anymore.
Lastly Namjoon spoke about how he makes a song every two or three months, that on that day he was actually wearing casual comfy clothes because he was going to record a song he was working on. Then he said something I think is very valuable for any kind of artist to hear, regardless if you make music or art or anything else:
No one acknowledges my work. No one acknowledges this work. No one will acknowledge this work that I do on my own. I have to appreciate my own work...Sometimes, I wonder what will come of this work that I do but/if I have to keep working like this. It’s something I do for myself. No one acknowledges it but I keep thinking that I’m the only one that matters. I keep hoping that this work that I do is somehow a monument that has meaning. So I keep going. Before, I used to place a lot of meaning on every little thing I did. But now, it’s become part of my life. This is something I’ve been doing for the past 14 years. Even at time like these when it’s hard to work on the songs, I hope that each and every song turns out well. For BTS songs too. So that’s what I’ve been doing. So please wait. We’re working hard and we’re not always sad. We’re doing the best we can. So I hope you’ll be like that too.
Likely the work he’s talking about here is the one he does for his mixtape, which he I believe mentioned working on some time ago. It’s the music that’s most personal to the given member, and until we hear it, most of the time we’re not even aware that they’re working on it. So how do you find motivation to keep going? Especially since you’re doing it on your own instead of as team, like it is the case with BTS’ music? You have to be your own motivation, do it for yourself, give yourself the validation you’d usually get from others, and acknowledge your own hard work going into it. In times of social media and everyone being driven by likes and follows and clout, it’s easy to be motivated when you post your art and get a thousand likes within the hour, but what if instead you only get one?
Seeing Namjoon talk about how he’s found his own pace that he feels good with, is his own source of acknowledgment of the effort and work he puts into what he does, it’s so important and I hope it’s a kind of mentality he can inspire others to adapt as well, despite how hard it is.
While Namjoon apologizes at the end that this wasn’t a “fun” vlive, I think it was a wonderful one, very honest and meaningful, the kind of vlive I would recommend everyone to watch so they can understand Namjoon, his thoughts, the kind of person he is. Truly, I love how mind, his passion, his way of thinking and looking at the world around him. To quote Seokjin: “I love your sexy brain.”
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