You got me

It’s 12:21 am and I think you need to hear this: you are worth it. I know you’re telling yourself otherwise, but you are so worth it. You mean something, Jasmine. You really, truly do. I know Aries season treated your poorly (though that new running routine was a nice addition), but remember: the death card doesn’t mean a door closing. You are change itself. All of the times you’ve turned into ash, you arose. You’re not one to share your feelings with others because you feel like a burden but sometimes, darling, sometimes you need to let it out. Nights on the bathroom floor, soaking bathmats with your tears and picking at kneecaps cannot suffice. That Cancer rising longs to help others but sometimes you need to let go of the maternal instinct, that need to be the one to save. Dammit, Scorpio, it’s ok to be saved. It’s ok to be weak. It’s ok to say hey, actually, I can’t help you right now: I need to help me.

Because guess what? You’re worth it. You’re worth your self-love, you’re worth your praise, you’re worth cherishing your soul. You have survived so many traumas, a multitude of trials that others may never know, but you do. You know them well, and you know just how you came out of them: grand. Simply grand.

밤이 깊을수록 더 빛나는 별빛.

– Jasmine.

Advertisements

Dear Scorpio,

I’m so proud of you. 2018 wasn’t easy, but here you are, thriving. Despite it all, the setbacks and the hardships, you made it. You’re here, you’re standing, and you’re prospering (even if that little voice in your head is telling you otherwise).

It wasn’t easy, was it? Breaking yourself off from situations that did not serve you, putting yourself and your happiness first. It was tough. But you did it, right? You promised yourself that, on that night bus last year, to this date. As the sites of Myeongdong glided by, you silently promised yourself to be better. Not in the scholastic sense, but in the general sense of self-love. You made a deal with yourself that no matter what, you would feel genuine, pure, organic happiness. Not the fleeting type–the tangible, ever-present variety.

That was the hardest part. Admitting that you needed to put yourself at the forefront, with your fragile little pisces heart, was a struggle in and of itself. Empathy comes naturally, and you know that brings you closer to those who are bound to tear you apart. But you’re stronger than you think, aren’t you? That scorpio sun comes out to play and tells the world “no–you can’t treat me this way”. You did exactly that and I can say with all honesty that you made the biggest step towards loving yourself that you’ve ever done.

I guess you could say the theme of this year was “love yourself”. It’s quite fitting, given your place in life, the artists that inspire you, and the friends that you surround yourself with. You learnt a lot from those 7 boys and their global message. Remember the power of 이사? Remember that day in February, clicking that repeat button and choosing that particular moment to make a 180 shift. God, I’m so happy you did. You’re irrevocably changed and it was that second that did it.

2018 wasn’t all bad though–it was also the year of life-long friends. That’s always the hardest part of breaking things off, isn’t it? The fear of loneliness? But the Universe is so wonderful in that way; just when you think you think you’re alone, they send the right person (or, in this case, people) at the right time. You are blessed with soulmates for friends who, despite the distance apart, will always be there for you. Always remember that, dear Scorpio.

Friends seem to follow you wherever you go, and even making the big decision to better yourself academically (and, you know, your love for BTS) led to even more new friendships back home. You met the perfect person to pursue your degree with, someone who gets you, is empathetic, and can share your struggles along the way. You also found your group, surrounded by a compassionate cancer, a sociable libra, and the taurus you can count on no matter what. Again, I say: you are so blessed.

2018 signalled doors closing, and even more opening. To top it all off, the reunion with the love of your life completed you. It was like the final piece of the puzzle. Everything came together, fell into place, and you are going into this new year whole and stronger than ever.

This coming year, have no fear. If you’ve learnt anything from these past 365 days around the sun, let it be that you are resilient and invincible. You have the capability to take on any lesson the Universe places in your path and you will come out grand, simply grand. Never forget this.

I love you so much, dearest Scorpio, and I know 2019 will be only a more prosperous continuation of 2018. Keep your chin and your standards up, love.

Happy new year,

Jasmine.

KakaoTalk_Photo_2018-12-31-21-31-19KakaoTalk_Photo_2018-12-31-21-31-21

Aries Midheaven

I guess it’s time to reflect.

It’s been quite a journey, this past year. Revelations, separations, and far too many nights spent listening to subliminals on YouTube, praying that I’ll wake up in the morning with a straighter nose. Yes, I admit, the last one is kind of odd, but it’s pretty telling of my past 365 days around the sun.

There’s something to be said about growth, isn’t there? Little by little, the Universe sent me moments of growth, often masked as hurdles I was far too scared to tackle (but I took them on anyway). I wrote poems about open doors masked as stop signs, and the funny thing is, I’m still experiencing them today. Because that’s growth, isn’t it? It doesn’t stop. And that’s not a bad thing, not really. A scary thing, sure, but definitely not bad. We never really stop growing, and I think that’s the hardest notion for me to wrap my little head around.

I was so confident going into this fall, riding the high of this past year (I was a new person, didn’t you know.) Was it naïve of me to assume that I was better than before? No, not at all. Because I was. But I was also ignorant to the idea that I wasn’t finished in my growth, and those launching pads disguised as speed bumps were still there, hidden on the horizon.

This past year had taught me to love myself. Whether that was through consuming 3 albums by a group of 7 inspirational men, all of which possessing that exact same message, or through extracting my heart from situations that did not serve it–I focused on me and what my soul needed. I made life-long friendships, went on adventures 2016 Jasmine couldn’t even fathom, and sought out the pieces of this existence that made me feel alive. I really took care of this sunshine heart. Truly.

But where I failed myself was in thinking that this was the end of that journey. It wasn’t, and, even as I cross the finish line in my current marathon, it still won’t be over. Growth is just that–continuing to get better, improve, and reach new heights. Growth is not stagnant, not in the least. So why did I ever think it was?

I’m in this position where I have to constantly remind myself of this. It’s a daily struggle not to revert to my old ways, compare myself to others, belittle my achievements in order to fit a social norm or rule. But I can’t let 2017 Jasmine back into my life. I love her, flawed and all, but I can’t let the position she was in a year ago shift the focus from where she is now. I’m stronger than that. You know it and I, somewhere in this deep heart of mine, I know it, too.

Remember that.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V

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

Fashion Inspiration

Some days, I literally cannot think of what to wear. 

I will stand in front of the closet before me for half an hour, and still be unable to come up with a decent looking outfit. And I know I am not alone on this.

When moments like these arise (which is much more frequent than you might expect), I tend to turn to certain websites and people for inspiration. Not only does this help the wheels start turning, but it also gives me some direction on how I’m feeling that day, and what style I want to channel in order to express my mood.

First and foremost, there are celebrities. Now, for me, these tend to be Korean or Japanese celebrities, as I love East Asian fashion the most.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Image

This is Jung Eun Ji from the girl group Apink. I honestly love her style so much, both off and on screen. I especially adored her wardrobe in the drama That Winter the Wind Blows. It was so edgy and eclectic, just like her. 

Image

SooYoung from SNSD (aka Girl’s Generation) is next on the list. She just oozes femininity and class. I love looking to her when I am in that girly, minimalist mood.

Image

No, your eyes do not deceive you; that is a boy. (If you thought otherwise, shame on you and your family). It is the love of my life and the fashion king himself, Kwon Ji Yong, aka G-Dragon. He–usually–is dressed in the most unique and interesting ways that make it impossible for me not to want to recreate them. The way he pulls off most of his outfits leaves me stunned. He is the forerunner in those that inspire me fashion wise. I look up to him so much.

Now, as for websites that are my go-to for inspiration, there are only a select few.

To start off, there is, of course, Lookbook.

Image

Honestly, if you have never taken the time to visit this site, you should do so now. It is amazing. Real people, all over the globe, showcasing their style and taste for the world to see. I get so many ideas each time I log on, and I love wasting hours browsing the endless amounts of photos. I should really start my own, but I am way too intimidated. They’re all so… flawless, for lack of a better word. 

Next is Yesstyle.

Image

 

Both a blog and a clothing store, I always find cute outfit ideas and fashion advice for any occasion. I tend to stay on the blog side of things, as they always have advice columns and cool interviews with popular Asian fashion companies or celebrities. As well, they sell well-known brands from all over Asia, as well as the ever-coveted circle lenses that everybody and their grandma want to wear.

Finally, there is, of course, YouTube! 

I have my favourite fashion bloggers that I follow on there, but the number one girl I always go to is miss Jennifer Im. Honestly, this girl is amazing. She’s gorgeous, and has a wicked sense of style. Her videos always inspire me to be fearless with fashion, to try out new looks, and to step out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. Check her out! Her YouTube channel is called clothesencounters and I’m pretty sure she has a Tumblr, too (but don’t quote me on that).

Other YouTubers who are great are Chriselle Lim, Amy from shopvagabondyouth, Sammie from beautycrush, Steph and Mel from fashioncitizen, and Vanessa from balletandpinkroses. 

So there you have it! These are the many people and places that help influence the tedious decision of “What do I wear?” every morning. Check them all out and comment if you have any favourites of your own! I would love to hear about them!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Instagram: @harubelief
Twitter: harubelief
Tumblr: harubelief
YouTube: pureaffectionfashion