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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Shoes, shoes, shoes! + OOTD

I can honestly say that I am blessed with where I live. My residence building (there are 8 on our campus) always throws the coolest events, from the Bachelor nights, to this: a photo shoot for the entire building. That’s right, for everyone. At first, I was a tad reluctant to participate. I had just got up, had practically no make-up on, and I had a paper to write. But after helping my friend, Dru (you guys remember the girl who took those amazing photos last post? Yeah, same Dru) do her “artistic expression” shots consisting of a bed, books, and a sign proclaiming “It’s only a Theatre major”, I thought hey–why the hell not?

The posters in our hallway advertising for the shoot said “Bring something awesome!” so I brought the one thing I believed was not only awesome, but a representation of me: my shoe collection. My bounty of shoes here in residence is not as grand as the one back in my parents home in Chilliwack, but the ones I have in my possession right now are my true gems. So I stole away to my room and took up (I live on the 2nd floor and the shoot was on the 4th. And yes, I took the elevator) all the shoes I had stowed away in the various corners of my room. It took me two trips, of course, and an extra set of hands (thanks, Dru!).

The result was the following:

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And here’s some group shots with a few of the girls (and honourary members) of my floor!

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While I was at the shoot, I also got them to take a quick OOTD shot for me, so here it is:

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I’ll leave a list of items worn at the end of this post. In all, it was a fantastic experience, and I can’t help but say I felt like a celebrity with two cameras snapping shots of me at the same time. As much fun as it was, I think I’ll leave the spotlight to Beyonce and Gaga.

Thank you again to Tim and Desi for these amazing photos, and for putting the entire event on. It was such a fun experience. Keep up the good work, guys!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Items worn:
Cardigan: Brandy Melville
Shirt: Korea
Boyfriend Jeans: The Gap
Ankle Boots: Aldo

OOTD: Pop of Colour

It seems I’ve been MIA recently… to be honest, I don’t have an excuse for myself. 

But never fear dear followers, for I am back and have a fresh new take on my OOTD posts! 

Lately, I’ve been really loving the black and white trend. It’s huge for spring and it honestly is a timeless look. I feel like the classic combination of these two shades is so simple and easy to work with, giving you a solid foundation for experimenting with other colours. Either worn alone, or with a pop of colour like I’ve done here, the black and white trend is considerably chic and edgy.

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I love this outfit. It is simple, clean, and daring all at the same time. And I love how the red wedges give a punch at the end, almost like a finale to the ensemble .

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For this look, I paired my new favourite black and white striped top with a pleather skirt and threw on some semi-opaque tights underneath. On my head, I thought I would have a little fun and wear my black bowler cap.

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Yay for bowler caps! They are so versatile and unique, and still on trend. I am in love with mine and I really need to invest in some more, preferably in pastel colours.

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For my other accessories, I kept it minimal, with just my gold geometric shapes necklace and my two favourite bracelets. Finally, on the bottom I have my new red wedges (I got the same ones in black, too).

Photography courtesy of my amazing best friend, Maria. 

Items worn:
Hat: Forever 21
Shirt: H&M Korea
Skirt: Romwe
Shoes: Le Chateau
Necklace: Forever 21
Wrap Bracelet: Unknown (it was a gift)
Spike Bracelet: Forever 21

Until next time,

Jasmine.

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