An Idol’s Enlistment

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Before anything else, I owe you all an explanation for not updating my blog for a month. Thought it’s not much of an excuse, it was mostly and almost entirely because it was Super Junior’s promotion month for Mr. Simple. I was too busy fangirling over them to talk about other things unrelated to my boys. LOL I apologize for being SJ-biased but I assure you I try my best to keep from being that when I talk about other artists.

Hence, I am here to share to you something that probably any other hardcore fan would experience at least at one point in her fangirl life– an idol’s enlistment to the army.

It caught me off guard, it felt like he decided to try and push me off a cliff and I wasn’t doing anything to stop him. When Kim Heechul, Super Junior’s resident diva, decided to enlist and announce it a week before he left I was almost completely oblivious to it because I was too busy trying to cool myself off as SJ would perform on music shows. I was oblivious to the wreckage that was to happen in the coming weeks ahead. And then my ever so happy month turned into a depressing one in just a few seconds.

When I clicked on ALLKPOP the evening a week before he left for the army, I was shocked to see in the headlines “Super Junior’s Kim Heechul to enlist in the army on September 1st”. I didn’t know what got over me. My hands started to shake uncontrollably as I clicked on it without a second thought. I was forever denying the article before it even opened. It just didn’t feel right. I knew they gave me a heads up before that he and Teukie were leaving soon, but how soon is too soon for Heechul? The browser felt like it was loading forever until finally, I read the words before me and pretty much just broke down.

What can I do? I’ve been a fan long enough to love every single member so much that it hurts just thinking about one of them leaving for a long time. I could do nothing but cry. It wasn’t the kind of crying you get when you watch a drama, or read an emotional book. It wasn’t the kind where you feel happy. It was the kind that tore my heart into pieces, the kind where you feel like your tear ducts would fall off because it felt so heavy. It felt worse knowing he was leaving than when I read Donghae’s letter in 5jib about SJ not doing another album for a while (believe me, I felt like crap then too).

I then started to think about everything that happened the past year, about how Heechul slowly seemed to try to fulfill everything he wanted to do. It started when he withdrew from his DJ job in SBS Youngstreet which he did for over a year. I couldn’t understand why, but he said he wanted to concentrate on his singing career. I was happy instead of being disappointed with his decision… I mean, it meant he’d have more time to work with Super Junior right? Then, he joined forces with Jungmo from TRAX and formed a duo called M&D releasing a song Heechul himself composed and directed “Close Ur Mouth”. Though it didn’t get as famous as he expected, I was so so proud of him. Singing without the other boys, composing his own song, directing his own music video… That wasn’t what old Kim Heechul did. The old Kim Heechul was one who trusted only his looks to get by in the entertainment business. The old Kim Heechul did not believe he could sing, instead he focused on acting. How could I not be proud of such an achievement from him? And then practically two weeks before the announcement, he finally made a visit to KBS Super Junior Kiss the Radio (SJ’s radio show run by leader Leeteuk and Eunhyuk) by himself and showed off his charms for two days. I thought “Hey, finally he’s visiting the show. That’s awesome.” I didn’t think of why he was doing it, but I was just happy because everyone was happy. I didn’t know that all of this would lead to his decision.

3 days before his enlistment was probably the worse. I wasn’t feeling well at all. I couldn’t concentrate on my studies, I couldn’t talk about him without tearing up. Even when we celebrated Kibum’s birthday, I was a depressed mess. I didn’t think he would have that much of an effect on me, but I was wrong. The day before, I was glad that I was busy enough to distract myself from the truth. I was being pathetic, but I couldn’t even stop myself. People laughed at me, even my own parents and my own friends, for crying over someone who doesn’t know me and someone I haven’t even met face-to-face. How could I explain how I was feeling? I felt completely alone feeling that way, feeling so sad and missing him even if he hasn’t left yet. I tried to smile and make the most of his last days by supporting SJ on the music shows and streaming their songs in Melon in order to get them to win the Mutizen Award, but inside I was a mess.

People ask me why I’m so upset over Heechul’s enlistment. It may not sound like a big deal, but it’s a big deal for me. I’ve never had a bias in Super Junior. Most won’t believe me when I say that I love them equally. I find it difficult to chose who I like the most between all these amazing 15 men because my past 2 years have been filled with so much of them… So much happiness… So many tears… Super Junior as a whole has made me feel so much love, how can I not reciprocate by loving them all back? Seeing Kim Heechul enter the army so quickly has made me realize that it’s finally beginning.

It’s not only him who’s entering the army, it’s THEM.

No matter which way us ELFs would look at it, it’s a completely unavoidable truth that yes, sooner or later they’d all leave for two years and we’ll have to face the torture of not seeing them all together as one for a very, very long time.

The day he left for the army was the day I sucked it all up and smiled sincerely for the first time. Seeing him in a shaved head (he loved his hair so much), tears in his eyes, fans all over the world cheering him on ready to serve his country without regret was probably one of the biggest, proudest moment I have had for him. More proud than him in M&D. More proud than when he spoke his thoughts out about an issue even though he shouldn’t as an idol. He was out to make his country a better place and I knew that either way, I wouldn’t have wanted to skip out from his duty as a man.

Now, it’s been almost 3 weeks and I still miss him. I didn’t really know how much I loved him until he left, but I guess that’s a normal feeling. Whenever I see his pictures online, I see him smiling and being happy. Maybe that’s why my feelings of worry just flew out the door. Well, of course it’s Kim Heechul… Why would I be worried in the first place? :)

—-

HOW TO MOVE ON WHEN YOUR BIAS GOES TO THE ARMY

Cry

Nothing feels worse that keeping it all in. Tears are so precious. A fangirl’s tears may seem superficial in other people’s eyes, but the reason why a fangirl cries is because of love. It’s always about love. So don’t keep it in.

2. Reminisce

2 years is a long time, yes. But keep in mind that 2 years is barely a long time when it comes to the memories you have created with your bias. You may or may not have met him in person, but not doubt you have known his personality enough to remember a lot about him. It is never a bad thing to walk down memory lane. Sometimes doing so can help your love for him strengthen, so that when he comes back, you’ll be waiting right there for him.

3. Talk to your fandom

Being an ELF, I have a lot of ELF friends as well, and they’ve been good at listening to me when I ranted about how much I was missing Heechul already. It helps to pour it all out, because like tears, they just sort of build up and when it comes out it’ll just make you feel horrible. And the reason I said “fandom” is because no one else will be able to understand how you feel but them. Not even your family, not even other KPOP groups who will just simply say they do but not really feel the way you feel.

4. Send him a message

Sometimes feelings like these are best seen in writing. When we grieve, feel sad or mad, our eloquence simply comes out without much effort. Not only will this be the perfect opportunity to put your feelings into words, but this is also a good way for you to finally reach out to him in the times when he needs to feel your love the most. Believe me, the army is not exactly the happiest place on earth.

5. Promise to always believe

No, I am not stating the ELF’s famous tagline. LOL

I’m not saying that you have to love him forever, or that you have to keep him as your bias no matter what and ignore the other idols out there. No. I’m saying that even if eventually you would move on, promise to believe in him and continue supporting him. An idol who enters the army always has this fear that he when he leaves nobody will support him anymore. Please don’t do that, okay?

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