Thoughts when the third eye opens

I’ve been thinking a lot about the past lately. I’m not quite sure if it’s the sentimental lingerings of the passing Cancer season, or just the emotional turmoil of the upcoming eclipse/new moon in Aquarius, but something about me keeps looking back to “the good ol’ days”.

It’s often times like these, where big, life-altering changes loom in the distance that my subconscious needs to take the reins for a bit. It’s almost as if it’s trying to protect me from what’s coming (uncertainty, fear, anxiety, etc.–you know the drill) and, instead, is leading me down an even darker path towards a full-on emotional breakdown. As someone who has lived with depression since high school, I’ve become all-too familiar with my triggers and, lemme tell you, nostalgia is one of them. Perhaps its my Cancer rising or my Pisces moon, but all I know is that thinking about the past makes me even more resentful of the future.

But that’s not how it should be, is it? Yes, the past was fabulous and fantastic and all of my favourite things packed into one, but aren’t those adjectives based on my subjective recollection? How come, when I think about where I used to be, I don’t conjure up images of the year and a half feud Nina and I had? How come I gloss over the eating disorder I struggled with for 4 years? Why do I fail to remember my struggles with friends for half a decade? When I remember the awesome trip I took to Germany after graduation, it’s only images of site-seeing in Berlin, eating pretzels on the train, and bike rides at night the flood my mind. It isn’t the awkward goodbye at the airport upon my departure, where, after weeks of passive-aggressive behaviour, my friend and I realized we maybe weren’t as close as we thought. Nor when I recall my grade 10 year, where memories of falling in love, experiencing high school, and new friends are the only still-frames I can see. Where are the memories of having my heart broken? Fighting with best friends? Feeling painfully insecure?

You see, our memory holds beautiful, heart-shaped but awfully rose-coloured glasses over our mind’s eye. My mum calls it “selective memory” and for years I resented the term, but now I can’t seem to stop agreeing with it. We remember what we want, and toss away what doesn’t serve us. Now this might be all and well for most, but for me, it’s detrimental. The past calls to me, makes me long for something I literally cannot have and that tears me apart. But I don’t want the past. Not really, not the real, literal past that I lived. I only long for the good parts, and if we take that apart and dissect it, then what comes into light is a facade. This is not real. This is not the truth I lived, the life I had, the experiences I went through. These are bits and pieces, like cutting up a magazine to make a collage that only shows what you want to see. It’s not real.

The only truth is the truth I am living now, and the truth I want to live in the future. I can’t control the past, despite what my memory leads me to believe, but I can control how I feel and act in the months and years to come. Yes, my past was great and amazing, and those moments of pure joy will always be true. But longing for something that cannot be serves no one. I don’t have time-travelling abilities, and, quite frankly, if I did, I definitely wouldn’t be going back to visit 15-year-old Jasmine because I’d be too busy having a café latte with Audrey and Freddie in Paris right about now. But I do have the ability to shape what’s ahead of me, and so that’s what I’m going to do. Full force, right into Leo season and beyond.

Stay beautiful, friends.

Jasmine.

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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.

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,

Jasmine.

Adulting

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,

Jasmine