“I was afraid of people, so I hid in the bathroom and stared at myself.”
Min Yoongi, who also goes by Suga and Agust D, suffered from years of social phobia and other mental illnesses, like depression. The lyric above, taken from my favorite song off his mixtape, “The Last,” talked to me in a way I did not expect it to.
Let’s structurally break it down first. Though this is obviously an English translation for a Korean rap song, the essence of the message still sticks. The lyric joined together by the conjunction ‘so’ could stand as two separate sentences. However, I believe it works for a stronger impact with the two held together. One part acts as a consequence of the preceding part; ‘so’ can be replaced with ‘therefore,’ ‘and for this reason,’ etc. His hiding in the bathroom is the action inspired by a fear.
At the same time, there is no specificity on the consistency of this fear. Was this instinctual escaping a recurring method? (I obviously know it was because I have heard the entire song a million times over, but if we just go based off this sentence, we cannot tell. Adverbs are important.) Nevertheless, we know this hiding is a thing of yesterday, for all of the verbs are stuck in past tense.
Changing gears now, I will explore the emotional construct behind these words. This lyric brings up many a question in my head. What was so scary about people that forced him into hiding? What did he gain from hiding? What did he lose from it? How did he stare at himself? What expression would he have had on his face as he acknowledged the fact that the public was a source of terror for him? How could he make it better? I feel like this event that happened over and over was a moment of reflection for the young, lost boy with social phobia. If you stare at yourself in the mirror, you can either tear yourself down or build yourself back up.
That’s what we do. We look at ourselves and we judge what we see. Or we motivate. I guess after a couple of times of letting himself be his own worst nightmare, he talked himself into being the success he is now.