Pt. 6

It’s funny how a song can spark a fire. One minute, I’m sitting there, head in my hands about to cry over some meaningless friendship, and the next a song comes on shuffle that changes the course of my future. Yes, you heard me–a song. By my favourite artist, no less. Sitting there, I suddenly had the epiphany that only I can direct the course of my happiness and my life. If I decide to move on, only I hold that power. I could sit there, feeling sorry for myself and refusing to move on, or I could pack up my emotional baggage, strap on my backpack, and move forward. Change my SNS, turn on a new track, contact a new person, and go do things that make me happy. It’s that simple.

Wow, it’s really that simple, isn’t it?


Pt. 5

I used to think my life would be something straight out of Sex and the City. Happy nights, a good friend group, great clothes, a writing career in fashion—you know, the good stuff. But somehow, I’m found myself smack dab in the middle of Catcher in the Rye. Alone, confused, and not really knowing what direction to take. I have begun to lose a passion for the things I love, like writing, editing, blogging. What is this? I know I suffer from depression, but this is something to a greater extent. It’s like I have bursts of motivation, those fleeting moments where sparks are ignited and oil is burned, but then, inevitably, the moments of lowness follow. And they stay… and they stay some more… and they just… don’t go away. The ratio of productive to uninspired is completely unbalanced. It’s not like I don’t want to do those things. I know I have to and I know they’re beneficial. I like doing them, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m not happy. I am happy, trust me. But it’s something else… Something I can’t quite pin down. My head and my heart are not on the same page right now and I don’t have the strength to flip through chapters to get us there. I know what I have to do to get that sex and the city life, but my inner Holden Caulfield is angstily sitting this one out. Again. For the fourth time this week. If this is the quarter life crisis my friends told me about, where do I check out? I don’t need this in my life, especially not at the moment where my future is on the line and the decisions I make now finally, after all these years, have consequences. Not now, Holden. Not now. 

Pt. 4

It’s kinda funny now I’m just never going to get that part of my life back. Like sometimes I actually have to take a moment and realize high school is over. Hell, even university is over, and the ability to go back to post secondary is posing an immediate challenge that my fragile existence cannot handle right now. Sometimes I wonder if I could go back, you know? Like I hate admitting that those times in my life are over. Sleepovers, obsessing over vampires, slushies, and late night McDonalds runs. They’re over. Innocence, ignorance, and youth… while the latter of the three isn’t entire at it’s end, the former 2 are gone. This thing called adulthood has instead taken their place, with responsibility, courage, and… realism. I hate that word. Maybe it’s the pisces in me that rejects it so much, but I refuse to let it dictate my perspective on the world. I can’t grow up when I was raised in an environment that taught me to dream until your dreams come true, or to chase after adventures and literally loath the idea of getting old (and, you know, that a little fairy dust will make you fly). I can’t accept this mundane fate. I just can’t.

Pt. 3

It tasted like chocolate, this daze I was in. Momentarily inspired, I thought hell, it couldn’t hurt to put pen to paper and ignore the buzz around me. Dings and bells were utterly distracting. It’s always those moments where, when you’re really trying to focus, that you just… can’t. Whether it’s studying for an exam, writing a paper, or listening to someone’s breakup story. You really want to care. You really, truly do, but it’s always in those instances that everything could be more interesting than here. The coffee cup ring on the table, the pillow’s threads you’re mindlessly picking at, or the intricate French music playing in the background. Distractions are like little devils waiting to pray on your innocence, your momentarily diverted attention, and they reel you in with their little pitchforks. Damn you, feisty things.

I smacked my face trying to wake up. Why is it always so damn hard to wake up? In the morning, waking up is impossible. The bed is too warm and work is too far to actually put two feet on the floor and make my way to the vanity. In life, waking up from your blissful daydreams is just as hard. Like in that moment. The sweetness of my cloudy state was intoxicating. But something needed to be done because I couldn’t just live my life like that.

I felt a hand on my back, a touch that jolted my tiny soul out of my subconscious and back into my unfortunate reality.


I’ve always felt like I’ve been leading 2 lives. It’s like I’ve constantly had my feet on opposite sides of a doorway. The best metaphor I can think of was this time when I was 13 and my cousin came to visit my family at our house just outside of Vancouver. Our town was nestled right in the mountains that bordered the US and so, naturally, we had what we called “wilderness borders”: borders that, as the name implies, were nothing but woodlands and endless, endless mountain ranges. The neat thing about these “wilderness borders” was that you could do that cool thing you see in all the movies (and by ‘all the movies’ I’m honestly only referring to A Walk to Remember because that’s the only one that really matters) where you could be in two places at once. Plant one foot in Canada and one in the US and boom, you’re defying the laws of space and time (well.. not really but don’t tell my 13-year-old self that, OK?).

I remember us driving up, winding through the trees that always reminded me of Twilight. I was obsessed with that novel at the time, and the fact that my little ol’ town looked exactly like the backdrop Ms. Meyer had created for my fictional fantasy had me overjoyed. I was Bella, wandering through the expansive green landscape looking for my Edward (let me remind you I was thirteen, ok? Don’t judge me). All teen novels aside, the area surrounding my town was and still is utterly beautiful and I specifically remember that drive up being taken aback by it’s presence.

We arrived at the spot and I remember thinking just how cool it all was. Being in two places at once? Was that even possible? But as I walked towards the little stone marker telling us which side was which, as if we didn’t know where we were, I slowly realized that there wasn’t much of a difference north or south. The Jasmine that stood with her tiny right foot in American soil still felt a lot like the Jasmine who, for the past decade and three years, had lived with both feet in the true north strong and free. Left or right, there wasn’t much of a difference, and my excitement quickly turned to disappointment.

However, I distinctly recall just something feeling off. This magical moment of defiance made me feel almost… incomplete. As if I wasn’t totally whole. Maybe it was because I’ve always felt a little off in the US (nothing against America whatsoever) but, while the two halves of myself still felt like myself, they didn’t feel whole.

We left that mountain a little less enchanted and a lot more confused, but that memory still haunts me today. Not only can I still vividly remember the details, even down to the outfit I was wearing (which was, I’m sad to report, an ill-fitting black sweater and cropped black workout pants… not my best moment, I’ll tell you that), but I can even recall the thoughts running through my mind. Maybe it’s because this memory is so engrained in me that I’m linking it to now, here, in this moment of my life, in this corner of the world.

My heart is in two places and I don’t feel whole. Much like that moment on the border, I feel like, while not physically, I’m mentally on the border of here and there. Here, I feel like myself in the same way I did with both feet in different countries, but this time, my feet have to be figurative. My feet, at this current moment, aren’t necessarily planted on anything (they’re actually resting on my mattress as I type these words), but they’re still within a country that I call my second home. I feel myself here, a version of myself that I’ve longed to find and have yearned to call my own. Now, I have that edition of myself and I’m happy. I’m elated to chase after my dreams here and seek out my happiness in ways I had only dreamed of before. I’m comfortable.

However, there’s a part of me tied to the other side of the ocean, back home. This other half or other foot of mine longs to be on a different shore, closer to my friends, family, and, hell, even my dog that I haven’t met yet. I want to bask in the Pacific sunlight, reading books in a living room that looks out towards a western horizon. I miss nights at the pub with my friends, spontaneous brunch dates with my roommate, and feeling a sense of purpose in my life. I have purpose here, but it’s a drive that has an expiry date. This happiness, this life, this dream–everything is temporary.

I paused too long after writing that last sentence because the weight of those words hit me too hard. Everything, down to the last instance, the last touch, the last moment–everything is temporary. There’s nothing permanent in this world of dreams I’ve created and maybe that’s why I feel torn. Happiness and life shouldn’t come with a best before date, but mine inevitably does. Maybe that’s why I can’t shake this feeling of brokenness or can’t look past this sensation of being pulled apart. Because I know that I cannot be whole here, nor can I be whole there. I will always, always be living in between. My existence will be like that day on the border, constantly being influx and unsettled.

How am I supposed to live when I can’t put my mind and my heart at ease? How can I truly be happy if I’m constantly looking towards a different horizon, longing to pull continents together and collapse space and time?

Because I’m not some magician or a sparkly vampire with psychic abilities. My defiance towards the laws that govern this Earth ended back on that hill, when I first felt the weight of being in two places at once.

Irrational Fear

Well a promise is a promise; I promised myself more dedication to this blog, and so I’ve returned, with nothing but the thought of ice cream on my mind (what else is new). Nonetheless, I’m here, and I’m ready to write about happiness.

Why are some of us so afraid of happiness? Doesn’t that feel somewhat counterintuitive? We’re supposed to be attracted to happiness because it brings us joy and, in retrospect, is supposed to cancel out the bad in our lives. So why is it something to fear?

If you’re anything like me, then it purely comes down to timing. Everything has an expiration date–eggs, milk, relationships, school, dreams, and, ultimately, happiness. It’s as if there’s some invisible “best before date” sticker slapped right on the back of our happiness and, unbeknownst to us, that joy will turn sour at the turn of the full moon. One minute we’re laughing in our bliss and a fortnight later things begin to take a turn for the worst. Isn’t that always how life works? You can’t have too much of a good thing and like the Canadian genius Nelly Furtado told us, good things always come to an end (though her rendition posed the idea more of a question but you get the picture).

I’m baffled at my logic. Maybe it’s because it’s been so long since I felt happy but now that I’m experiencing some form of enjoyment and excitement in my life, I’m suddenly more cautious than ever. It’s as if I feel the absolute need to protect my heart from some unforeseen darkness that looms just around the corner of this miracle on 34th street. Like I’m on a ferris wheel and all at once we’re going to tumble to the ground. Have you ever have that thought? When you’re on the ride, at the very top, taking in the view and the fresh, untainted air and you look down. All at once you get the looming thought of doom: “this could unhinge and roll away at any second”. Am I the only one?

Well happiness feels a lot like that terrifying sensation. It’s not a bad thing, I guess, being leery of happiness. As we grow older, our trust in others, their emotions, and even ourselves seems to deteriorate. Take free things, for example. We, as adults, are so repelled from accepting anything free. I noticed this one time in university, when my student club attempted to hand out free candy as a “random acts of kindness” campaign during finals. 9 times out of 10 the students not only blatantly avoided our actions, but some even questioned our motives. I specifically remember one student who, upon realizing my confusion towards the latter question, simply stated “nothing is free in this world”.

Maybe that’s our mentality as adults, because I definitely don’t remember thinking in this capacity as a child. Maybe, after so many years of existence on this Earth, we’ve experience so much rejection, hate, fear, and judgement that we’ve lost our ability to trust. I know, deep down, that I have. The idea of putting faith in people and projects and even happiness is so terrifying that I, instead, run from it.

In order to embrace my happiness and understand that maybe, just maybe, it won’t go away, I think I need to let go of this fear and embrace emotions for what they are. I’m not saying this is an easy task by any means, but I really, truly believe that happiness is not something I should run away from or shun or question. Instead of giving into the societal pre-conditioning I’ve been primed with, I need to start taking a step back, taking off the critical lenses I’ve been accustomed to, and let it go. Believing that this happiness, even if it doesn’t last, will lead me to somewhere good is my new goal for this year. I deserve happiness, just like any one else, so who am I to push it away when it comes knocking at my door? Instead of turning off the outside light and locking the door, maybe I should let happiness in, offer it a nice cup of Earl Grey, and ask it how it’s been. It’s been awhile, but happiness and I have all the time in the world to catch up.

Until next time,


A look back

What is it about December 31st that just makes us, as a species, so reminiscent? Is there some magic veil we all walk through at the stroke midnight that suddenly transports us into this reflective state? Maybe it’s the fear that this is it! This is the last day of this year and we just can’t bare the thought of not existing within it any longer. I’m not quite sure, but I do know that I fall victim to this nostalgia every year without fail and so here I am, looking back on what these last 12 months have been.

2017 has been… a year, to say the least. It’s had many ups, and, if I’m being quite honest, had many, many downs. While the bigger half of myself likes to dwell on the “might-haves” and the “could’ve-beens”, I think the growth I’ve made this year would have been in vain if I let myself fall into those ways again. Because, you see, 2017 has been my year of challenges, set-backs, loop-holes, and complications, but it has also been one of the best years yet. This year, I saw more personal growth than I have since middle school, all sparked by the revelation that toxic people are not worth my time. I know–sounds like something straight out of a coming-of-age teen movie, but it’s probably one of the biggest ‘ah-hah’ moments I’ve had in my life. If you know me, you know that I’m a people-pleaser. For years, I’ve always let the emotions and judgements of others dictate my own choices and well-being. Whether it be friends, family, or partners, I’ve consistently held the place of “Jasmine: the doormat” throughout my entire existence and this year, that doormat had had enough. By cutting ties with those who were pulling me deeper and deeper into a darker state of being, this doormat, by the grace of some Aladdin-esque magic lantern, became a flying carpet. Weird analogy, I know, but stick with me.

2017 was the year that I finally started to put my own interests first, and I surrounded myself with people that were there to motivate me, inspire me, push me, and encourage my growth mentally, academically, and professionally (though not, much to my dismay, physically). The change from 2016 Jasmine to 2017 Jasmine is not so much day and night as it was fall and spring. Fall, 2016 Jasmine, though much more aesthetically-pleasing, was shrouded in self-doubt, emotionally manipulated by some not-so-great people (who, she later found out, were working on their own things and who 2017 Jasmine has learnt to forgive), and failed to blossom into the person she knew she was. Spring, 2017 Jasmine, on the other hand, began to take the necessary steps towards personal growth and a positive mental outlook through putting herself first. While not firey hot like summer, spring Jasmine quietly took the reins back of her life and began to heal the wounds winter left behind with small buds of future possibilities.

While I may not be perfect and while I still have a long way to go, I’m proud of this new spring Jasmine. She’s come a long way this year, learning new things, earning a degree, travelling abroad for work. So, for the last few hours of 2017, I’m going to revel in my spring self, slowly praising the person I’ve become and looking forward to potentially a summer, 2018 Jasmine that continues to nurture herself, and look for new ways to find happiness.

Here’s to you, 2018 Jasmine. I’ll see you soon.

Until next time and a happy new year to you all,


Pt. 1

The sound of mosquitos terrifies me. I don’t know what it is; maybe it’s the buzzing or maybe it’s the animosity of their existence, but I’ve always been scared. Memories of nights lying awake in terror strike me at the mere whisper of their sound and I’m instantly transported to that summer. It was a blur of a time, days of working long hours blend with leisure time, driving down an unmarked road and discovered new peninsulas at night. I think I was happy then, but I’m not sure. To be honest, I can’t quite remember when I was happy. Somewhere between the ridges of my undergrad and graduation, I must have lost myself. I was warned, that I can’t deny. People told me you lose yourself in college amidst the zealous first years, the endless clubs, the long-stretching nights of study, and the ceaseless herds of tour guests. I was happy, that I know, but to pinpoint the time, the place, and the situation seems impossible.

I remember this one night, this one never-ending night where we were driving back to campus. It was one of those typical college scenes, with friends laughing in the back seat, clutching their McDonalds, screaming along to the music. I remember thinking just how infinite I felt, like something straight out of a teen movie. Speeding up my university’s mountain, our heartbeats in-time with the music as we stuffed fries into our mouths and attempted not to choke. Was I happy then? Or does my mind wear rose-coloured glasses when remembering the past? Memories seem to replay the good and eject the bad. But I’d like to think I was happy.

We walked back to campus that night with the smell of young adulthood heavy in the air. I’m still young now and it’s almost comical to think I’ve aged, but something about that night felt so new and fresh. Open hearts as bright as the lights off the hill because there was nothing to fear. Sure, the odd mind wandered to thoughts of relationships and school and work, but in that moment nothing could bring us down. That’s how I remember it.

His face would always come to my mind at times like these. Sure, he wasn’t friends with my friends nor did we even attend the same college, but he was mine and I was his. He, who let me discover passion in a way I never had before, was my shining star. The boy I’d written poems about, the boy who had saved me in my darkest time. He was everything and yet he was not there, in my shining moment of youngness. He was young, too, but that was beside the point. Sometimes it’s our happiest moments spent away from those who are closest to that we begin to find people that meet needs we never knew we had before. That’s not to say that those original people lose their importance. Frankly, it’s the contrary. It’s in these moments that we begin to find new spaces within ourselves for new people, and begin to cherish the old, occupied spaces a little bit more in a new, more heightened way.

I think that’s what happiness is all about—finding ways to make space to feel happiness in new ways and allowing others to revel in those experiences as well.


An open apology to my textbook

I wouldn’t say I used to be afraid of failure. Like any enthusiastic teen, I saw life as a challenge and an opportunity all at the same time, and I almost reveled in the newness of adventure. I was passionate, and boy, was I determined. There was a glow to each new interest I acquired, and I felt compelled to finish what I started–dotting all i’s and crossing all t’s.

But lately, as I approach my twenty-third year of existence (twenty-fourth in Korea, but that’s another story) I’ve been noticing a lack of motivation towards things I used to find intriuging. There’s this void that I feel now. I wouldn’t say I’m not passionate, but rather, it’s more like an absence of drive. The push factor, the “umph” idea that so many things I enjoy used to possess now seems… obsolete. What’s wrong with me?

They say as you grow older, your love of childish concepts and adolescently-geared notions diminishes, and honestly, that thought terrifies me. Looking at the “adults” around me (I used quotes because, by societal standards, I, too, am an adult. But my bank account drastically tells me otherwise), I see this lack of empathy with young minds grow and foster distance between generations. Take my mother, for example. I love this woman to the ends of the Earth, but when it comes to connection between my brother (who just turned a grand ol’ thirteen-years-old this past July) and herself, something is missing. There is an absence of understanding, a gap in empathy. While I, myself, can still relate to my younger brother (I’m still considered a millennial, I’ll have you know) on a deeper level about issues such as his favourite show ending, or running out of data (#tragic), my mother seemingly cannot. And I don’t know why (well… maybe I do).

But this has got me to thinking–will I end up this way, too? Is this what the future has in store for little ol’ Jasmine? Because I’m starting to feel it.

In the past, my passion towards the Korean language was endless. I’m talking notebook pages filled with new vocabulary, and constantly pestering my boyfriend (who, if you don’t already know, is Korean) to help me translate phrases to write on my binder (most commonly “G-Dragon I love you” and “Big Bang are my everything.” Don’t judge me–I was 15). Everyday I was finding new ways to learn, to grow, and to achieve something that I was passionate about. I was motivated to study and to become fluent. Even last year, when I spent my summer studying the language at one of Korea’s best universities, there was still a fire inside of me that urged me forward. There was something and it pushed me, drove me to expand my knowledge.

So what the hell has happened?

Lately, I can’t seem to find any reason to pick up my self-guided textbook (which I specifically bought for this specific purpose because I knew I couldn’t take classes and I knew I wouldn’t be motivated). I stare at it, daily, as I’m getting ready to frequent my favourite local cafe, and I feel nothing. It sits there, and I almost feel sorry for it (how Canadian of me, eh?) because I have barely touched the poor thing in weeks. But why?

Fear. It is innate fear that is holding me back, and I didn’t realize it until today. As I sat in my classroom prepping for tomorrow’s classes, in the distance I could hear one of my fellow foreign English teachers conversing with our director in fluent Korean. And it hit me–I’m scared of never being good enough and being compared to other teachers, better teachers.

I know this seems backwards, but hear me out. For as long as I can remember, I’ve surrounded myself with supportive, encouraging people who have helped make my language learning journey amazing. But thinking back on it, I’ve always been the only person actually partaking in said language learning–everyone else has merely been observers. But now, I’ve surrounded myself with people, just like me, who are also running down this path to fluency. However, there’s a catch–these individuals have been here a hell of a lot longer than I have.

And yet, here I am, comparing myself in typical Jasmine fashion. (Oh, when will I learn).

I can’t do this though. If there is one thing I’ve learned, and I hope you can learn, it’s that we all work on different schedules, and are at different points in our, for lack of a better word, journeys. As much as I don’t want to make a book reference (but let’s be real, I’ve been dying to do it this whole time), we all are on different chapters in our lives. How can we compare chapter 2 of The Great Gatsby to chapter 14 of The Portrait of Dorian Gray (sorry, I had to)? You can’t, and just in the same way, I (and maybe you) cannot compare myself to others who are similarly learning this language as well.

I guess what I’m getting at is we all, at some point in our lives, need to take a step back and applaud ourselves. We’ve come a long way, and we still have further to go, but we really need to appreciate what we’ve accomplished so far. Let what you’ve become motivate you to continue growing, continue learning, and continue fueling that passion for what you love.

So on that note, I’m going to relieve that book from its misery over there, on my desk, and get back to making my goals a reality. And I suggest that you take a look at your shelves, dust off those forgotten dreams, and bring them new life once again as well.

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Until next time,



Well hey there, WordPress. It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

Can you guess where I am? Well, if you’ve been following me for even a sliver of time, you’ve probably guess it–Korea. Yep, I’m back at it again in the land of the morning calm (and the best food in the world).

I’m currently here teaching English, which has been my plan since long before I entered university. It’s been a uphill battle thus far, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about, is it. A post on that will come a little bit later, but first, I have an announcement:

I’ve started YouTube.

Yep, you read correctly. I’ve started a little Vlog and lifestyle channel dedicated to showing the world Korea and all it’s splendour. Along with that, I’ve decided to blog more in my spare time (like today, for instance). My teaching schedule leaves me with mornings completely open, alongside Tuesday and Thursday evenings, so I’ve taken it upon myself to do something I actually enjoy doing–creating online content and telling stories. I figure, why not seize the opportunity?

So I’ll be taking you along with me through my random (but never mundane) adventures throughout Korea, both through written and visual accounts. Sounds fun, hey?

So stay tuned and for now, enjoy my latest no-talking Vlog from my weekend in Gyeongju!

Until next time,