The art of coming to terms

These days, I’ve been learning a lesson or two about what being “okay” really entails. Because lately, “okay” has become a defining feature in my path to self-discovery. As poetic or existential as that sounds, the word “okay” carries a lot of weight on its 4 letter frame.

I’ve been constantly reminding myself that:

It is okay to let things go.

It is okay to be vulnerable.

It is okay to open yourself up to criticism.

It is okay to admit defeat and start from scratch.

It is okay to fall down and pick myself back up again.

It is okay to ask for advice. And hell, even guidance, if need be.

It is okay to tell my story to people even if they won’t listen.

It is okay to take a leap of faith and silently hope for the best.

It is okay to break down my walls and reveal what’s been hiding behind them.

It is okay to find flaws in myself and openly admit that I have them.

It is okay to not be perfect.

It is okay to not be amazing at my craft.

It is okay to realize that I have something to learn from those around me.

It is okay to be broken.

It is okay to feel lost.

It is okay to yearn for something that once was or could be.

It is okay to make mistakes.

It is okay to be me. Utterly and honestly me.

Because at the end of the day, being who I am and being true to myself is what matters. Period. End of story. Fin.

I think I’m learning that it’s okay to feel like myself, whatever that actually means.

Because I am me.

I am a work-in-progress

But soon

I will be a masterpiece.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

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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.

Get ready Vancouver…

What do you think of when you hear the word “Vancouver”? Do images of the sea come to mind, or do you visualize steam rising from tall skyscrapers? Maybe it’s the landscape, with its lush greenery and voluptuous mountains. Perhaps, though, it’s the endless showers spewing from the sky, creating an overcast of greyish hues while you stand under a protective umbrella. Anyway you look at it, Vancouver has its own illustration for each individual.

What about fashion, though? Because fashion, I believe, is an essential part of any Vancouverite’s life. We live on the west coast, and with that comes a more relaxed, laid-back mindset. But this does not mean we are by any means lazy with the way we dress. If anything, it makes our style have a certain edge that cannot be found anywhere else. We are courageous, adventurous, and unafraid to step outside the box. As such, I think it is only fitting that we have a fashion week that is indicative of our unique fashion sense. Sure, you are used to seeing NYF and PFW spreads all over the place, but it is just as crucial to take a look at what is going on at the upcoming F/W 2015 VFW, taking place this upcoming week. In the spirit of this, I wanted to highlight some of the designers that I will be looking out for on the runways, and give my reasons why you should, too.

Alex S. Yu

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With eye-popping hues, and futuristic silhouettes, Alex S. Yu’s designs continuously stand out for me as both eccentric and ridiculously cool. I love the way he plays with the different cuts and sizes of the garments, and how he seamlessly blends textures together. You just get this refreshing feeling from looking at his designs, evoking this sense of contagious energy. The clothes are fun, artistic, and progressive–a mix that is quite hard to find in fashion today. His ability to mix bold with subtle is astounding, and I am eager to see what he produces for this year’s show.

JY Kim

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With clean lines and monochrome colour scheme, JY Kim’s collection is high on my “most anticipated” list. I love how his work is classic but modern, pulling together looks that are creative but timeless. The styles appeal to both men and women, which I think is absolutely fantastic, and would definitely make great pieces for any individual. As an avid wearer of all things black and white, this collection has already scored high points in my books. #monochromeforlife.

Atsushi Nakashima

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Where do I even start? Each collection I have seen from Atsushi Nakashima exudes fantasy, sophistication, and mysticism; it’s addicting. I love everything–from the textures; to the colours; to the prints. Each design he produces just combines so many different elements, and they all tell their own individual story. There is just something so fluid about them. It’s great to see a designer use and blend colours in a way that creates symmetry throughout a collection the way that Nakashima does. That, in addition to unusual fabrics and cut of the materials, really makes this designer stand out in my books.

Needless to say I’m excited. I honestly cannot tell you how great it is that Vancouver is having their own fashion week because, in reality, there is so much local and global talent that needs to be showcased. Plus, by bringing the fashion to the city, it is opening up so many doors for local fashion bloggers and enthusiasts to show off their style. Vancouver is not just yoga pants and Uggs–our streets are filled with progressive, innovated, and cultured fashion that is as unique as the individuals who live here. VFW is a platform to show the world that Vancouver is indeed one of North America’s fashion capitals, and for good reason. Our city inhabits some of the most creative minds this world has to offer, and VFW continues to reiterate this fact with each passing season.

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

Watching the Clock

Here’s the funny thing about anticipation: it never leaves. It keeps building and building as the days go by, driving you utterly insane. It’s like time cannot go by any slower, the hours will not speed up, and days feel like forever.

I have done everything in my power to distract myself from the gnawing sensation of my impatience, from writing to studying Korean, but nothing helps. I mean, why can’t it be the middle of August already? Why do I have 4 more work days? Why can’t I be done now?

In the meantime, though, I have been working on my exchange blog that I will be updating while I am over in Korea for the fall semester. I feel like having that space to share my life and my adventures through text, photos, and videos will really be rewarding at the end of my adventure. Something for not only my friends and family to enjoy, but also a way for me to preserve that experience for myself, so that in, say, 10 years I have something to look back on to refresh the memories. I want my life to be memorable, so I will do whatever it takes to make that come true.

Until next time,

Jasmine

p.s.

Here’s the link to my exchange blog: somethingseoulful

Two more weeks, just two more weeks.

The difference between my life right now and my life before is the Cold War versus a day at Disneyland. Before, things were happening. Life was bright, exciting, and memories flourished. Now, here I am, sitting here, waiting for something, hell, anything to happen. I only have a number of days left in this suburban wasteland where mediocrity and racism prevail, but I feel like these hours, these weeks are dragging. Time is holding back from me, refusing to give me what I so incredibly yearn for: freedom.

The anticipation of arriving home and sleeping in on my own bed has driven me to the point of excessive packing. I am literally living out of my suitcase, unable to tame the mad thoughts of “two more weeks, just two more weeks” from creeping into my every waking hour. It’s hard. I don’t really know how to combat this type of longing. But maybe, somewhere hidden in these next few days of working and planning, I will finally find peace.

(but most likely I’ll just have to wait until I am safely on that air plane, with the destination of Vancouver, BC, flashing on the screen in front of me.)

Until next time,

Jasmine

Full Plate

Back from camp. Now that’s a sentence I thought I’d never say, due to the immediate fact that camp seemed to stretch on for an exhausting period of time. But it’s over now, and I’m peacefully back in the comfort of my own blankets and warmth. Ah–nothing like the comforts of home.

Recently, life has been progressing in ways that I could never have imagined. I got my full funding for student loans for the fall, a sight I never saw coming. My best friend retrieved my acceptance package from the grip of my school’s exchange department. Despite a few setbacks (like said friend writing the wrong address on the package upon attempting to mail it to my mother), things when I returned from a stressful four day camping trip with work seem to be working out. All is in order. Plus, as an added bonus, the dresses I ordered for my cousin’s wedding arrived and I have selected my attire for the affair. Oh, how I love the feeling of new clothing against my skin. It’s my favourite thing.

Until next time,

Jasmine

It’s all coming together…

Finally! FINALLY. My acceptance package to Ewha has arrived at my university and, despite some complications with the destination of that package, the pieces of my exchange are slowly falling into place. My uni submitted the final portion of my student loan application, which I need for my visa. My mum is on board to submit my application at the end of the month. I only have 29 more days of working and living in this hick town. It’s all coming up roses, my friends.

So why am I still stressed? I guess it’s just the fact that yes, things are coming together, but they are not firmly sealed or locked into place. The puzzle isn’t fully completed yet. There are still gaps, still missing chips that haven’t found their home yet. And that irritates me. It stresses me out, to the point where I feel like nothing has been accomplished. Is that wrong of me? Does that make me a perfectionist? I hope not.

I hope that in the next few weeks I can just get all my bits and bobs finalized and have this thing planned out. I want to be on that plane already, flying over the clouds, and nervous with anticipation for what is to come once that 737 lands on foreign soil. I am ready for adventure and I crave it more than anything.

Until next time,

Jasmine

Prairie Summers

Who would have thought I would be here? Here, as in stuck hopelessly for 3 months in the flattest region this country possesses. Trapped here until the faithful day of August 6th, when I can finally board the plane, back to my homeland. Or hometown. Same thing, really.

If you have been wondering why this blog has been sadly lacking in recent posts, the answer is in the paragraph above. I am here, in Manitoba, for the rest of the summer, working to pay for school and my exchange to Korea this upcoming fall. And, to make matters worse, I completely forgot my camera back home in Vancouver. So, as a result, no OOTDs to upload.

But I figure, why not write still? No matter where I am in this world, that ability will never be taken from me due to travel or distance from home. So until I begin my journey to Korea, and start blogging on my exchange blog (which I will link at the end of this post), I will begin to post here. I don’t know what the topics will be, whether they will fall under fashion, or life, or anything in between. All I know is I need to continue my writing and I need to rekindle that flame I once had for using words as my escape. I need an escape more than anything right now.

So hop on, subscribe, and stay along for the ride as I document what may or may not be the most stressful but rewarding summer of my life. Only time will tell.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

p.s.

My Korea exchange blog can be found here: http://somethingseoulful.blogspot.ca/