It’s a little scary out there

Well, I did it. I officially applied for graduation and I’ve never been more terrified.

Honestly, this is not the reaction I was anticipating. Years ago, as I visualized clicking that exalted “Apply for Graduation Now” button on my student account, I imagined myself relieved, happy, and maybe, just maybe, even a tad bit hopeful. Hell, I imagined feeling anything other than this.

Because how I reacted to my application was anything but those 3 emotions listed above; instead, I cried.

Up until now, I had been excited about this next step in my life. I mean, I can’t stay in school forever, right? There’s a world out there, a world that I hope, to some extent, needs me in it.

But while a part of me thinks that, another part of me can’t let go of my past. I’m stuck in this position of trying to be positive about the future, trying to envision myself in a job, secure, working towards something larger. There’s fleeting moments of foreseen happiness that hit me sometimes, when I’m alone, on the SkyTrain or walking to class listening to music. I see it — my future. I see it clear as day and I get excited. Having a place of my own, working, living with my partner. Maybe we have a huge library in our living room, right next to the fireplace, and maybe I play old classic rock albums as we cook together on weekends, and maybe we go for walks along the water next to Science World, and maybe I have a designated coffee spot in Gastown where I edit my online magazine on weekday mornings, and maybe we go to fitness classes together downtown on Saturday mornings, and maybe I’m happy. Maybe.

But it’s those maybes that constantly build upon themselves, layer by dreaded layer, and construct my uncertainty, my reality, and my pessimism.

Because they’re just maybes.

They are the creation of the world’s most resented word — maybe. Those 5 letters hold so much unpredictability, so much potential doubt that I never let get to me before. In the years of my teens, I never let the word maybe scare me to the extent that it does today. Maybe held promise. Maybe I’d get into university and write for the student newspaper. Maybe I’d land that internship and be on my way to becoming the next Anna Wintour. Maybe I’d nab that scholarship and half my tuition would be paid for. Maybe. There was hope and there was light in that word for my pre-undergraduate self.

Now, I can feel myself becoming like my mother, her realist, grounded ideals bubbling up inside me. “Was she right?” I constantly ask myself. Was this school, this major, this life, this path the right thing? Because maybe I made a mistake. Maybe I overestimated my abilities. Maybe my head was too high in the clouds, my mind too far into my dreams to see how the world really is. Maybe I reached to high, shot for the moon and didn’t even reach the atmosphere.

But maybe, just maybe, I can find my way back to that old self. Maybe the future isn’t that scary and I need to believe. Believe — my favourite word. Much like maybe, there is promise and hope in believe. The beautiful distinction between the two, however, lies in the lack of a negative quality in believe that maybe will always possess.

I may never know what 2017 or 2018 or even 2040 has in store for me, and as much as I hate to say it, that scares the hell out of me. But someone very close to me once said that in order to grow, we must be comfortable in our discomfort. And in order to do that, I must confront those maybes head on, and start believing that something is out there and it’s waiting for me.

So, my friends, here’s to turning those maybes into believes.

Until next time,

Jasmine

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Some endings and some beginnings.

It feels a bit nostalgic to be writing here, at the end of what is to be my university career. It’s nostalgic because this blog started when my journey through academia began, back when my hair was shorter, clothes louder, and personality bordering on unstable. You could say I was lost, and through this blog I began to find my way. Well, kind of.

There was something about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) that put order in my life. When everything seemed to up in the air (grades, friends, future, and all that good stuff), this blog brought my thoughts back down to earth. I began to explore my interest in fashion, and I was finally able to put my writing out there for others to experience. It was nerve-wracking, but I needed that exposure, even in its minuscule state, in order to learn about myself.

Looking back, I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. While there are moments I wish I could go back and change, I can’t say I regret a single thing about my time in university. This is unbelievably cliche, but these experiences have shaped who I am today and have brought me this far. Even within the past year I’ve felt myself grow, letting go of ideas, people, things, and stresses that first-year me would have never been able to cut ties with. These might seem insignificant, but they’re profound steps in my eyes. Realizing my needs and putting my wants at the forefront, as hard as that has been, has been life-altering. There is something about opening your eyes and seeing yourself in relation to the world that changes you, right to the core.

I wouldn’t say I’m a completely different person, nor would I argue that I’m prepared for what comes after I cross that infamous stage in June. What I can state with all certainty, though, is that I’m on my way to where I want to be, as vague and ambiguous as that sounds. And that’s enough for me.

So what’s next? Who knows. While I will keep this blog going and hopefully update more frequently that before, I want to focus my efforts on future opportunities in publishing and writing. And yes, I plan on pursuing even more education in the upcoming years, namely a Master’s degree and an editorial certificate. But all in good time. For now, I’m just going to enjoy this last semester in undergraduate studies, attend a few K-pop concerts, fangirl to my heart’s content, spend as much time with my friends as possible, and keep on exploring. Because that’s all I can do right? Celebrate the now and look forward to the future. Oh, and believe. Always, always believe.

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Until next time,

Jasmine

It feels a bit nostalgic

Being back home is harder than I had anticipated. Sure, I knew what I was in for, but I don’t think I was capable of fathoming this level of dejection, rejection, and emotion. It’s been hard to say the very least. All the growth and progress I had made being abroad for the past four months seems to have fallen at the wayside, and I’m left feeling alone, abandoned, and utterly confused. But amongst that internal chaos and coming to terms, I’ve started to understand what letting go feels like. And much like my previous revelations on being OK, I feel this needed to be documented, for both my sake and that of others.

I think I need to let you go because it’s obvious you don’t want to stay.

And that’s fine.

I think I need to let go because this push and pull is driving me insane.

And that’s fine.

I think I need to let this go because growth is the motto for this new year.

And that’s fine.

I think I need to let go because it’s hurting too much to hang on.

And that’s fine.

I think I need to let it go because you’re not holding on either.

And that’s fine.

I think I need to let go because we’re different, now, then we were before.

And that’s fine.

I think I need to let them go because times have changed and so have I.

And that’s fine.

I think I need to let go

for me
for you
for them
for us
for I
and me
and you.

 

Until next time,

Jasmine.

A little about passion

Home at last.

This past week has been a long string of goodbyes, hellos, and final paychecks. I left residence for the summer, saying my farewells to friends I will reunite with again in the fall, and others who I may not see for quite awhile. In both cases, it was tough. I don’t do well with departures, and this time was no exception. There’s just so many expectations and emotions; I get lost in the crossroads. But I did it and I survived, all 5’1 of me. It was a miracle, to say the least.

My co-op ended on a good note, and I left my cubicle for the last time on an accomplished high. I’ve learned so much about myself, what my goals are, what I like (and, you know, what I absolutely loath), and what I’m passionate about. That last one really became prominent as my term was wrapping up, because I’ve come to realize that work and passion can coexist and complement each other. Shocker, I know.

Passion is such a funny thing, isn’t it? There’s so much power to it. Passion is the driving force behind change and innovation, and it’s astounding to see where it takes people. As someone who revolves my life around my passions, I really love admiring this trait in others. One of my fellow co-workers in residence and close friend is immensely passionate about travel, urban planning, and Hong Kong. It’s inspiring to watch him take those three ingredients and shape a future for himself around them. He’s got such a drive, such a fire inside of him that I truly envy.

I guess it’s friends like this who have opened up my eyes to the possibilities of passion. I never really saw a parallel between my passions and my future career endeavours. They may have crossed paths once in awhile, but they were never running on the same track. The two were never friends, but rather, acquaintances who knew each other only on the surface. You know, that “I’ll make a pun and you’ll laugh and you’ll think I’m funny but you don’t even know where my hometown is” kinda acquaintances.

But this semester, whilst embarking on an adventure through the world of co-op and micromanaging my life, I realized that my passions CAN be at the forefront of my future. I just have to have faith in myself and believe that what I love to do can help me make a career for myself. So I’m going to go out there and write like no one is reading, discussing topics I love, and see where it takes me. You can bet your tuition that it’s going to be challenging, and this blog will more than likely be filled to the brim with endless accounts of me struggling. But I want to write about what I know and love–fashion, music, communication, and Korea. So I’m taking one hell of a chance, and putting my heart where my fingers are (does that even make sense?), to utilize my passions into something beautiful.

I guess you could say I’m inspired.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

It’s about damn time.

If you had asked me a year ago where I would have been today, I probably wouldn’t have known. And this is an odd thing for me. You see, plans are like my life source. I live and breathe checklists and itineraries and googling grad school options till 3 in the morning. I plan. Every single detail of my existence.

But the thing about planning is that life, like many other things in our universe, is completely and utterly unpredictable. Jobs fall through, friends leave, opportunities open up. So no matter how detailed I could have planned my life a year ago, I would still more than likely be someplace else.

And, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I know I haven’t updated this blog in what feels like a century, and there’s reason behind it. For the past 11 months (WOW. Time flies) I have been meeting new people, creating community within my university, taking on a marketing job, cultivating existing relationships, discovering myself, and, you guessed it, planning. I have been restlessly scheduling and coordinating my next adventure for this summer. And can you guess where I’m headed?

Well, if you know even the slightest detail about me, I’m more than positive you figured it out–Korea. That’s right, I’m headed back to the beautiful peninsula that captivated my soul and stole my existence (did I mention I’m dramatic?). I will be spending my summer in the humid climate of Seoul while I attempt to rebuild what was my ability to speak the Korean language through taking evening classes at Sogang university.

I think my realization about planning and its faults has been a product of this new adventure because for the life of me, I cannot nail this trip down. Whenever one thing goes right, another goes utterly wrong. I go from being elated about an apartment being available, to finding out I can’t apply for the visa I need. And it’s been like this the whole way through, riding the waves of anticipation, happiness, then slight to severe disappointment.

Organizing this trip has been a lesson in growing up, toughening up, and embracing the difficulties. I needed this. For so many years I have tried to dictate and structure my life to meet the standards that I had set, feeling like I had to contort myself into a certain mold and live that way. That’s not a life. That’s a performance. A heavily rehearsed, memorized play in which I am the actor. And yes, if you must know, there is even a musical number (though only 1 because my singing is horrendous).

What I have realized is that this is not living. In order to truly elevate myself and become the individual I aspire to be, I need to embrace change, roll with the punches, and come out on top. I think it’s moments or events like these that really show you who you are, how you work, and what needs to improve.

So I’ve come to love the unexpected and I’ve learnt that I am resilient when my ideas don’t become a reality. It’s okay.

And so I’m looking forward to this new adventure (D-29 days!) with my neck rest, map, and positive outlook in hand. And you can bet your next paycheck that I will be documenting everything on my blog. So stay tuned!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

 

Hello, self. Welcome home.

The feeling of finding oneself is completely indescribable.

It’s this intangible sensation where all the puzzle pieces the define your life finally interlock to form, well, you. It’s like all this time you were searching for this exact moment, for this exact feeling, and for this exact emotion. Everything just comes together and you feel so incomprehensibly whole.

I never knew what this felt like until today.

Because sitting down with myself, catching my breath and reflecting on the last two weeks, I discovered that wedged in between the chaos of meeting new people and building relationships, I actually bonded with the idea of myself that I had been searching for. Amongst the throng of new residents and new co-workers, I got to meet myself for the first time, raw and utterly flawed as I was. It was introduction I will never forget.

There’s just something about being in a coffee shop on a rainy day…

Well, the semester is almost officially over. Wow.

I cannot believe that my third year of university is coming to a close.

It seems almost poetic that it has decided to pour rain today. It’s comforting, if anything.

Looking back on these past 2 semesters, it’s unreal how much has happened. The opportunities I’ve had, the friends I’ve made, the places I’ve visited; it’s utterly surreal.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared for what is to come. Who knows how this summer will go and what the fall will bring. Some of my friends are leaving, some are staying, and some are moving on. That’s life.

I am, however, more than excited for making future plans and setting goals for myself. That’s what I do best: goals and extensive lists. It’s my little type A way of measuring my success.

All in all, I’ve learnt a lot these past 8 months and I sincerely feel like I have grown exponentially. I still have a long way to go, but I am in no rush. Learning to embrace the moment and take in all the little parts of life is what I am all about right now.

I am officially welcoming fourth year with open arms.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Nobody told me…

Here’s the thing that nobody tells you about time: it doesn’t heal all wounds.

Not that my wounds are severe or painful. My wounds are from detachment. From longing. From missing something or someone or whatever it is that I have lost.

And the thing about missing something is that nobody understands. People, try as they might, may claim that they know how you feel but in reality they don’t. They cannot. That is, unless they have felt or feel the same kind of longing that you do.

My “missing”, as I will call it, is not going to concerts in Seoul or eating at amazing restaurants. It’s my friend waking me up at 5 in the morning so we can catch the train to the airport. It’s lazy days, deciding to bundle up and go get pizza instead of going out. It’s getting utterly confused at which exit to take at Euljiro 3-ga in order to get to Myeongdong. It’s pausing for a moment on the overpass by my friend’s apartment to admire the view of Namsan Tower. It’s trying to hail a taxi at 3 in the morning and walking all over Sincheon to do so. It’s linking arms while my friend and I walk through Hongdae on a Friday night. It’s random decisions to go to norebang till 4 am. It’s rushing across Seoul to get to Lotte World Mall with the hope of maybe, just maybe,getting a ticket into the Winner fanmeet. It’s staking out at 5 in the morning at Olympic Park in the utterly freezing cold with one of you closest friends, shaking heat packs to stay warm, so you can get in to the Melon Awards. It’s spending all day exploring the city, and coming back to your warm dorm room. It’s waking up on a Saturday morning and making plans right then and there. It’s getting lost in Hongdae trying to find a sheep cafe.

I miss the little things. I can go to cafes and eat food and see movies here in Canada, but I miss my friends. I miss what I did there. I miss people who can understand me and understand my passions. I miss friends who want to do the same things as me, who have the same interests as me.

Because the thing about longing is that it’s hard and it eats away at you.

People will constantly tell you do “get over it” already or “the past is in the past”. But when you change, grow, and become who you are somewhere or sometime in your life, you can never get over that. You are altered, through and through.

Korea changed my life. It made me see who I wanted to be, made me grow, and made me understand myself in a way I never had before. It opened my eyes. And nobody understands that.

One of my friends from Seoul said something that I connected with on a profound level, and it was “I have never felt more alive, more real, and more myself than I do living here”. That is how I felt about Seoul.

But you know what?

I’m living. I’m breathing.

Those memories will always be with me and they push me through. They inspire me.

And the changed me is still here.

Taking one day at a time and trying to smile every chance I get.

And for now.

That is enough.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

New Year, New Leaf.

Is is March already?

It seriously seems like just yesterday I was deboarding the plane back into Canada, coming home from my 4 months abroad in Korea. Where has the time gone?

Being home has made me realize several things about myself. First, that I want to go back. -Correction- I need to go back. Home may be where the heart is, and quite frankly, my heart is not here anymore.

That leads me to my second point which is that I need to learn how to give things time. Coming home, I was so insistent and resistant towards loving Vancouver again, and I fell into a depression about being here. But the thing I need to learn is that nothing is permanent. I need to learn to enjoy and love the time I have here and yes, I will go back to Korea, but I need to learn to love what I have in this moment. There are so many opportunities here that I need to take advantage of and I need to constantly remind myself to be grounded in the present.

Thirdly, I have realized that I want to get back into blogging again. I have missed it, being so busy abroad, and I want to start doing it again. This is my platform for expression, my space to clear my thoughts, and my canvas to create. I want to start producing content that I enjoy, am proud of, and am passionate about.

That being said, I am going to find the time between school and clubs in order to post once a week. It may be fashion related, it may be a poem, and it might even just be a photo I liked. Either way, I want to start building up my blog once again. Words hold so much power and I want to speak words of influence and inspiration into the world. Call me delusional, but that’s the dream.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Long time no see…

It’s been awhile, hey?

Can you guess where I am?

If you said Korea, then you, my friend, are absolutely right.

I am, as of August 21st, living in the heart of Seoul, South Korea, studying as an exchange student at Ewha Womans University. Exciting, hey? It has been amazing thus far, travelling not only around the city, but also to other places within Korea. I have tried so many delicious dishes, bought way too many articles of clothing, attended the concert of my dreams, and spend nights wandering amongst the city lights. And you know what the best part is? It’s not even half way over yet. I cannot wait to see where the next three months will take me.

Tomorrow, I am going to the last day of the Taeyang concert tour here in Seoul, and I know I am going to cry harder than I did yesterday. Then, next week Friday, I am going to meet WINNER at their fanmeeting. Cross your fingers that I won’t faint when Taehyun shakes my hand. Ah. Fangirl mode = on.

But anyway, if you are at all curious what I am doing with my life in more detail, you should check out my exchange blog, and keep up with me! Also, if you are attending Ewha currently or are planning on going on an exchange in the future, send me a message! I would love to answer any questions you have about Korea or Ewha or just about life as an exchange student in general! Don’t be shy!

Until next time,

Jasmine