I've met people who started weightlifting because they had a serious health concern, or because they had friends who convinced them to try, or simply because they wanted a new hobby. I've met people who became dedicated lifters because they liked it more than the sport they were originally training for; I met a girl who started lifting because she liked to cosplay, and wanted her body to better match Wonder Woman's; and as the head of Curation here at Vocal, I've read the stories of dozens of people wishing to build muscle. I've seen that everyone is scared. Everyone who wants to start doesn't know where to do so, and sometimes I wish I could reach through the screen and guide every single creator with a dream, but technology's not quite that advanced yet.
Maybe you're one of the lucky ones who got to honeymoon in Bali or spend a year teaching in South Korea. Maybe you moved to Japan for a few years on a whim and immersed yourself in food and language and culture; or maybe you're only familiar with the wonders of the far East from idealized, Orientalized stories, or binge watching Anthony Bourdain eat too many noodles and Jollibee (RIP).
One year ago, Vocal ran a contest in partnership with O.school for creators to share their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad date stories. The result was overwhelming, and very funny. The contest saw hundreds of submissions, nearly 200 of which were published, and all of which were absolute nightmares.
K-pop is less of a music genre and more of a cultural phenomenon. Being a fan is an identifier, connecting people in the way that being a fan of the same sports team brings people together. It's an insanely eager community where members absolutely dedicate themselves to supporting their artist of choice.
Okay, I'll say it. Marie Kondo has changed my life. Or, at least, she's changed my life for the next two or three weeks until I inevitably sink back into my old, quicksand-y habits of throwing things on the floor and promising myself that I'll deal with them later, or deep-cleaning my apartment every weekend and then getting so stressed out about the state it's in by Friday night that I'm near-tears and ready to rip out my hair one strand at a time, asking myself if each individual piece sparks joy. Happy January, everyone.
We say it at the end of every year, but this time I think we all really mean it: 2018 was the longest year in history. We all had the shared experience of trying to find joy in little things while the world collectively coped with political division, social shifts, mass tragedies, and the unexpected losses of so many of our personal heroes.