NSK Co-Founder, Senior Designer, Podcaster, and Broadcaster, Dae Lee announced his graduation from NSK today. In a heartfelt letter to staff, he explains his decision and plans for the future. He will officially step down from podcasting and other duties at the end of the next week. We at staff wish him the best.
I’m announcing my graduation from NSK. I was talking to a friend about how I was feeling in NSK and that now was the worst timing for me to pull something like this. He said that from his point of view, it was the best time to do it. So, depending on how you see the timing of this: I’m sorry. Or, you’re welcome :D
I congratulate you guys for reaffirming your strengths, coming to terms with each other, and creating interesting new paths to go down. You’re seeing the fruits of your labor, and NSK’s future is looking pretty cool. We’re more organized and focused than we’ve ever been, and it can only get better. You are a persistent bunch, and if NSK ever falls into a slump, I trust that you guys will be able to bring it back up again, as long as you are driven as you are now.
Many of you know I’ve struggled with depression all throughout my years here. In my personal life I’ve cut ties, burned bridges, and shut myself in to the point where NSK was pretty much all I had– and it only got worse as time went on. But as bad as it got, you guys were there to hold onto. NSK has been responsible for many of my most enjoyable, agonizing, stressful, and fulfilling experiences. I’ve spent hundreds of hours talking, recording, creating, planning, and getting to know you all, and it’s the most ambitious thing I have been a part of thus far. Without a doubt, I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve done, and what NSK can and will accomplish.
It’s not that I’ve lost all passion for idols or that I don’t find them fun to follow anymore. It’s just that I think I’m at a point where I want to step through the looking glass be back more on the consuming end, and at my own pace. At this point I’ve fallen into a rut of repetition and bad habits when it comes to covering idols, and even with this great new overhaul with the website and getting the fire going, this negative element stayed unchanged within me. I’m genuinely happy that we’re at a point where it’s exciting to see what the future can bring and exploring all the different ways we can produce content, but I’ve come to the realization that the passion I carry for idols just doesn’t convert into the energy I would need for creating content that NSK needs. And if my heart isn’t in it, there’s only one real answer.
Deciding to step down from NSK was much tougher than choosing to stay. Continuing my duties in NSK seemed like the easier option, and I continued to choose that path time and time again over the past year, even though I could feel myself getting left behind and feeling trapped in a cycle.
Another element that contributed to my decision started with an idea for a new website that focuses on local interaction and connections, producing content about anime. It was just a kernel of an idea I had in my head in the past two years, but in the past year and half, it seems like it’s finally becoming a possibility. Some of you guys have dabbled in things like 2D Club with me, and it’s been one of my favorite things to do on the site. Anime has always been a constant in my life, and as I discovered, it was something that just felt more natural to me to cover. At first it was just a pipe dream, but as opportunities opened and I saw real potential, I started to pursue it.
Initially I was planning on working on both websites, but as I’ve been planning for this new site, having additional weekly meetings and covering anime as well as idol content with a professional mindset, I quickly realized that I was on shaky ground. It made me really sit down and finally ask myself the tough questions I’ve been avoiding all this time.
I’ve kept myself going with NSK for a good while because it was easier than quitting, and I guilted myself for wanting to leave. I wasn’t being honest with myself, and I think a lot of you guys probably saw right through me. I don’t know how much NSK will be set back without me, but like any idol group worth its salt, I have good reason to believe that NSK will keep on and likely get stronger as a result. So hurry up and reach super-stardom so I can feel bad that I left right before NSK hit mass appeal, Oshima Mai style.
So that’s pretty much all I wanted to say, besides the epilogue:
There are obviously a few things left on the plate so I’m not just going to vanish. I’ve committed to a few long term plans and I plan to see them through, Idol Matsuri being the main one. I’m going to be withdrawing from podcasts in two weeks.
I’m still fine with creating site graphics in a pinch when you guys need them, though future t-shirt designs will take more time unless you guys get another designer.
I’m sure I’m not alone in that I feel a familial bond between us in staff, and I want to say thank you for making NSK what it is today. I’m interested in what you’re doing and I like talking to you guys so I hope to keep in contact in the future.