We were surprised at the beginning of 2020, when the world stopped overnight. Perhaps resilience is the word of the year. There are certain circumstances that just happen and to deny or to insist on them is to expend energy that can be saved and used for other things.
I feel that I have followed different paths than I had planned for this year, and I believe that most people in the world also feel that way. Our paths forcibly changed their route without warning. Since I am part of ARMY, I recognize myself as being bulletproof, resisting. And 2020 was yet another proof of that: to resist and adapt to survive.
As a psychologist, one of the lessons I learned this year is that we should not “cancel” a period that made us slow down and look inward, that even with so many unpleasant surprises, we managed to mature and learn within our own limits.
My career at the clinic, which started 3 years ago, was stable. The office was doing well and I was hoping for an opportunity for growth in the area through a master’s degree. The plans for personal life also seemed to go as expected, expectations were high for a new life and a great possible step. And overnight, my life also changed.
Seokjin told us in his “Dear Class of 2020” speech: “Don’t rush. Take a deep breath. You may realize that any moment can become an opportunity.” And that is what I realized I was already doing; I embraced new career opportunities. 2020 presented me with a project by Brazilian academic ARMYs in which I produce psychological analysis of Bangtan’s work, aiming to inspire more young people to study the countless possibilities that the “BTS Phenomenon” provides us.
BTS has been transmitting this concept to us since their debut, when they put on the scene that they are boys who are a proof that any obstacle can be overcome, and this year, we had demonstrations of courage and hope coming from them. Very important lessons were transmitted: “Can’t hold me down cause you know I’m a fighter,” when nothing can bring us down. “Light it up like dynamite,” an injection of positivity and BE, bringing comfort, hope, and resistance.
Even though we are starting to get used to it, BTS surprised us once again, bringing hope and positivity that year, through online concerts, interviews and appearances at official events such as “Dear Class of 2020” and the speech to the UN General Assembly. The incredible ability to tell stories about themselves, making millions of people identify with that context, causing a cascade of changes, that only they have. With the release of BE, I end this year with the certainty that “life goes on” and that in Seoul, there are seven Koreans who will not leave me alone, regardless of the path I choose to follow. With the realization that: it is not what happens to us that makes us more mature and resilient, but the way we deal with our problems. Together, we are definitely bulletproof.
My gratitude to BTS and friends that gave me strength in this year that is so difficult for everyone.
— Gardênia Pereira
Brazilian psychologist, graduate student in Neuropsychology and writer. Researcher on fandom behavior and the influence of music, promoting discussions on mental health. She can be found on Instagram as @gardeniapereiira and on Twitter and Medium as @eugardenia. (Brasil)
Illustration By: Oons
Pereira, G. (2021). Definitely bulletproof. The Rhizomatic Revolution Review , (2). https://ther3journal.com/issue-2/definitely-bulletproof
Pereira, Gardênia. “Definitely Bulletproof.” The Rhizomatic Revolution Review , no. 2, 2021, https://ther3journal.com/issue-2/definitely-bulletproof.
Definitely Bulletproof by Gardênia Pereira is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
© Gardênia Pereira 2021