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

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I did it.

Just a few short days ago, I graduated. Parchment in hand, I set foot not only across a makeshift stage, but also into the world as a freshly bloomed alumni. Does that feel as weird to hear as it does to say?

Time, as I’ve talked about before, is such an interesting concept. Man-made, it sets the pace for our lives, keeping track of virtually all aspects that make up who we are. It even dictates and cultivates its own set of vocabulary, it’s own linguistic rules and regulations. Think about it–without time, where would we all be? Words such as yesterday, today, and tomorrow wouldn’t exist. The days of the week, our months, our minutes, our seconds, our hours–all would cease to be. Not only that, but even phrases as “the early bird catches the worm” or “beating the clock” would mean nothing. Crazy, isn’t it?

You know, I once read a book about the man who invented time. It was a fiction novella, of course, but the lesson it provided me with was anything but. The story followed the lives of several individuals, all of whom time had, for lack of a better term, screwed over in more ways than one. The father of time witnesses these individuals’ distress over their lifetimes, and comes to realize that his creation of time and measuring our existence on this planet was more of a hinderance than a crucial aid. While the characters of the book inevitably deal with time’s harsh blows in their own individual ways (with some taking much more serious measures than others), the novel’s message is that time, as much as we loath it, exists and must be perceived as a precious thing.

But the book got me thinking. What is time, really? They say as we get older, time goes faster, and boy, do I believe it. How am I 23 already? How have I graduated university? Sometimes, I just wish I could stop time, you know? Live in that moment. Go back to periods of my life that brought me joy. But then other times, all we want is for time to hurry the hell up and go faster already. We can never be satisfied. But isn’t that just so human?

The book’s message is exactly that: we always want time to act in our favour, but we never want to acknowledge it for what it is. Hours and days pass by at the same rate. Even if it seems long or short or somewhere in between, there are only 24 hours in a day. We may graduate, travel, work, live, play, or whatever it is we do with our time, but it is precious, and unlike that cheesy Adam Sandler (*shudder*) movie, we don’t have a magic remote control to stop, pause, rewind, or play when we feel the time calls for it.

In just the same way, I only had 15 seconds on that stage to transition from student to graduate. But it was those 15 seconds that changed me. Because time is a funny, wonderful, terrifying, unstoppable force that we cannot control. But we can control how we enjoy it and revel in its splendour.

Until next time,

Jasmine

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

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.

 

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.

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.

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

OOTD: Sheer Brilliance

So here’s the thing: I have started to wear a bit more colour recently. Shocking, I know. But the truth is those neutral hues are kind of wearing on my spirits. Yes it is still winter and yes it is still bitterly cold out (I’m from BC, okay: -15 means you don’t leave your dorm room) but that doesn’t mean my wardrobe and attire should reflect the same atmosphere. My best friend Maria consistently counts down the days until the first bloom of cherry blossoms spouts because for her, spring is the ultimate season. It gives her the excuse to prance around in dainty dresses, a crown of daisies circling her petite head. For me, being the literature enthusiast that I am, spring recollects quotes from Wordsworth and Keats, where nature is this empowering being that sparks the human consciousness. So why not embrace the look of spring in the hope of its speedy return, to break us from our winter slumber?

And for this OOTD, that’s exactly what I did. I fell in love with this soft, sheer pink top the moment I laid eyes on it, and the contrast of it’s femininity with the darkness of my black jeans created the perfect balance for me. I decided to match the silver stud detailing on the lining of the shirt with my black studded loafers to tie everything together. For my accessories, I kept things relatively simple with silver rings to coordinate with the silver else where in the look. The result was this simple, but ready-for-spring ensemble that was perfect for the events of that day: group projects and studying for midterms. Ah, the university life.

Credit to the lovely Druscilla Henault for these lovely shots and for hanging out with me in the common room despite being dead-dog tired after an entire day of production set up. I owe you one.

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Until next time,

Jasmine.

Items worn:
Shirt: H&M
Jeans: F21
Loafers: Aldo
Rings: Oval-shaped: Adrene
2&3: Forever 21
Remaining: couple ring and promise ring.