A Surprising Source of Inspiration

It’s so late, but I want to talk about my sudden source of inspiration for my lifestyle change and why it means so much to me. I am 100% British, but I grew up in a time where American ‘anime’ was popular on children’s TV. Growing up I was always into animations and I consider getting into anime and manga (Japanese animated cartoons and Japanese comics) a huge source of inspiration to me creatively. However, I never considered my interest in the culture or language particularly life-changing, especially not at 15 years old trying to figure out how to write corny love letters in a language that literally no-one around me can read (spoiler: learning another language is a fun way to get secret messages around and it’s great for hiding diary entries). However as a 19 year old I found my interest in art, culture and music taking me to Kpop.

So, I image a lot of people will be rolling their eyes now, maybe even stopping reading but I think the best way to get to know me is through my story of Kpop. I got into Kpop through an American web-series creator called BuzzFeed, Eugene, the resident Korean member had inspired an entire series dedicated to his culture and, since Japanese culture was referenced a lot I decided to give it a shot. Kpop was probably one of the best and worst things I have ever followed in terms of content. Kpop itself is a blustering lifestyle of fitness, beauty, media and music wrapped into one business. Kpop idols are known for their beauty standards and hardcore lifestyles that can make even a businessman wince at the sheer energy, effort and time put into the content they create. This is where my inspiration comes in. Generally speaking British people don’t tend to enjoy their jobs, we’re also not really known for our determined work-ethics, but seeing idols and the hardships and the sheer effort they put in for their passions was something that really got to me. I have seen idols pass out, break-down and get injured but hearing them talk about how its worth it, how their love for their work makes it ok, I wanted to have that sort of drive and passion

For a while it just felt like watching these people made me feel even more flawed, as if my existence was nothing compared to them. Who would notice me against these amazing people? But, once I watched more groups and actually listened to them in their own words, it just made me want to work harder. The best thing I have learnt is that, you can always do better and be better but you should never lose yourself as you do. There is a difference between wanting to better yourself and being obnoxious with self-doubt. Whether you are at the starting line of your journey or at your finishing goal, you should always be happy with who you are but you should always try to better yourself for your own satisfaction and well being. Being able to run that extra mile, being able to smile through struggles, even if it’s just trying to gain more abilities and interest, those things are going to make you happier and healthier and I think everyone just wants to be able to say they are happy, healthy and in a good place in their life.

I won’t lie, the majority of fans and general outlook on Kpop really sucks. Entitled fans causing problems for idol groups and their members really takes the beauty and creativity out of following kpop groups. To me, their content, especially behind the scenes content reminds me a lot of vloggers. Sharing their lives and experiences to influence viewers is a really good way to show support for those that need the motivation or help in life that sometimes only a figurehead can help with. I don’t really agree with the whole ‘celebrity’ mentality, I think putting well-recognized people/celebrities on a pedestal can only lead to issues of self-entitled fans, creepy followers and general misunderstandings. I’d like to think that, should I ever meet someone I look up to, I would want to be as honest and natural as I am with everyone I meet and want to befriend and I think that should be a lesson worth learning.

On a positive note, the kpop lifestyle choices has really influenced me into better lifestyle choices, getting into media has really helped with my confidence in terms of trying out new things and the general mentality of being the best version of yourself to make yourself proud is a really good lesson to learn, especially as someone with low self-esteem, anxiety and low motivation.

I would love to hear if you guys like anything culturally different and if you would like to hear more about my interests in things like Kpop, music and media. If you would like more easy-going and fun posts on my interests I am interested in doing reviews and general overviews of music groups I follow. If you’re into cultural stuff and have some ideas for posts I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how I can improve my content.

Stay Happy, healthy and hopeful
~AJ

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