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

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.

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.

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.

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

OOTD: SFU Fashion Week Wrap-Up

So, SFU had a fashion week, hey?

Well, technically it was only three days, but still, it was something. Only able to attend two of the days due to family coming on the Thursday, I was lucky enough to get the honour of covering the events for my school’s student newspaper. Fashion? At SFU? Of course I was all over that. I already started planning my outfit the moment I saw the event posted on Facebook.

Tonight was the fashion show and, in true Jasmine style, I picked my outfit out with care. Wanting to be on trend but still true to myself, I picked up two new pieces and worked them into one of my favourite wardrobe staples for spring: my mint green blazer. Infamous as it is, this beauty was one of the best purchases I have ever made, all thanks to my previous job at Le Chateau. And it worked phenomenally with this look. I needed a pop of colour (don’t get me wrong–I love me some black and white) because hey, it’s the second day of spring and it was gorgeous out. Mixing the mint jacket and the black and white ensemble with gold accessories and black heels completely tied and unified the outfit together. The result was as follows.

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It was so much fun being a part of this process, documenting the work of these local designers and listening to their experiences. As well, I had a blast putting together this outfit and I could not wait to show it off.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Items worn:
Blazer: Le Chateau
Shirt: H&M
Slacks: H&M
Necklace: F21
Rings: F21 & H&M
Bracelets: Aldo & H&M
Heels: Guess
Clutch: H&M