Poonam Singh

On his 29th birthday, BTS leader Kim Namjoon, known as RM, shared a heartfelt letter with his fans, ARMY, as he prepared for his impending compulsory military training. 

In the letter, beautifully translated by @seoulocello on X (formerly Twitter), Namjoon expressed that birthdays aren't particularly significant to him personally, but he deeply appreciates the immense love from his fans.

Acknowledging that he's entering the last year of his twenties, Namjoon admitted his ongoing struggle to articulate his thoughts, a sentiment he's shared before. Yet, he emphasised that his approach to life has become more optimistic, adopting a 'why not' attitude. He opened up about how he finds the purest form of self-expression through music.

Concluding the letter, Namjoon reassured fans of his well-being and conveyed his gratitude for the love they showered upon him. While he may not explicitly ask for their love, he pledged to reciprocate the affection he receives from the ARMY, illustrating the deep bond between RM and BTS fans.

Here’s what RM wrote:

“This is the last birthday of my 20s. I’m not sure if it’s due to the nature of my occupation, but when it comes to birthdays, they’re always accompanied by a slight feeling of bashfulness. Although I think to myself that this is just a day no more special than any other. I feel truly happy and blessed that so many people are sending me such sincere congratulations.

Every now and then, I think about how love is the act of bringing someone’s name into existence. For Kim Namjoon to have become ‘Kim Namjoon.’ Today may be just one of many days, simply another one out of the 365 days in a year — but the fact that this birthday didn’t become just another passing day, even for my 29-year-old self, is all thanks to you all.

 I’d like to be the most honest person I can be, but I cannot help but wonder: When it comes to fans and artists — these beings that lie somewhere between the realms of the intangible and the tangible — what hurdles are they capable of overcoming, and to what limit can their relationship be taken to? Under the phantom of kindness called “love,” can it be said that all things are granted unconditional acceptance? Even now, I’m not very sure, as I still quite often experience instances where opening up to others turns into a weakness and sharing honesty causes hurtful feelings.

I’ve mentioned before that I feel sad about finding it more and more difficult to put my thoughts into words, didn’t I? I think this still remains unchanged. Even so, I can say that I’ve become much more at peace. Like a downpour of heavy rain, I’ve been showered with so much heartfelt love — something that would be a privilege to receive even once in a lifetime — that I came to realize that I’m a person of optimistic nature. Me, who used to idolize pessimism and nihilism. Isn’t this a miracle? These days, I stick by the phrase, “Why not.” I’ve been sharing this newfound optimistic spirit that has been unravelled by all the love I’ve received, even if with just those closest around me. I’m also firmly planting this side of me into the songs that will be released someday.

Right. Can a mere person like me express honesty through any other means that are more beautiful than music? Despite knowing the answer, I sometimes feel that it’s not quite enough. I suppose this is perhaps a reason why I became BTS. Because I wanted to fulfil this need in various different ways, whether it be through TV programs, interviews, dance, or whatever it may be.. How blessed is this life? These things also motivate me to always look clearly at where exactly I am with my own eyes and to contemplate myself.

They say that when there’s an overlap of coincidences, it’s an inevitability. And that coincidence is really fate disguised as coincidence. I think my giving this letter to you at this very moment is a similar idea. I have this feeling that no matter what version of myself I might’ve become today, I would have been writing this letter in September of 2023 all the same. Every birthday letter of mine comes from the place in life I’ve reached that moment, each letter being its own unique love language. Thanks to you all, I’m really doing well these days. I want to live well. I just wanted to deliver to you that I love you as the most recent, best version of myself I can muster every time I say this. I may not be able to physically hug each and every one of you, but the love in my heart extends far beyond that. I won’t ask you to love me no matter what state I may be in. I just hope to give back as much as I’ve received from you all.

My last birthday of my 20s is once again passing safe and sound. Even if we may not be under the same sky, let’s all stay healthy and be happy for a long time. Let’s meet again after a little while.

I’d also like to wish you an early, or perhaps a belated happy birthday from the bottom of my heart! Thank you.”