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.

Thoughts when the third eye opens

I’ve been thinking a lot about the past lately. I’m not quite sure if it’s the sentimental lingerings of the passing Cancer season, or just the emotional turmoil of the upcoming eclipse/new moon in Aquarius, but something about me keeps looking back to “the good ol’ days”.

It’s often times like these, where big, life-altering changes loom in the distance that my subconscious needs to take the reins for a bit. It’s almost as if it’s trying to protect me from what’s coming (uncertainty, fear, anxiety, etc.–you know the drill) and, instead, is leading me down an even darker path towards a full-on emotional breakdown. As someone who has lived with depression since high school, I’ve become all-too familiar with my triggers and, lemme tell you, nostalgia is one of them. Perhaps its my Cancer rising or my Pisces moon, but all I know is that thinking about the past makes me even more resentful of the future.

But that’s not how it should be, is it? Yes, the past was fabulous and fantastic and all of my favourite things packed into one, but aren’t those adjectives based on my subjective recollection? How come, when I think about where I used to be, I don’t conjure up images of the year and a half feud Nina and I had? How come I gloss over the eating disorder I struggled with for 4 years? Why do I fail to remember my struggles with friends for half a decade? When I remember the awesome trip I took to Germany after graduation, it’s only images of site-seeing in Berlin, eating pretzels on the train, and bike rides at night the flood my mind. It isn’t the awkward goodbye at the airport upon my departure, where, after weeks of passive-aggressive behaviour, my friend and I realized we maybe weren’t as close as we thought. Nor when I recall my grade 10 year, where memories of falling in love, experiencing high school, and new friends are the only still-frames I can see. Where are the memories of having my heart broken? Fighting with best friends? Feeling painfully insecure?

You see, our memory holds beautiful, heart-shaped but awfully rose-coloured glasses over our mind’s eye. My mum calls it “selective memory” and for years I resented the term, but now I can’t seem to stop agreeing with it. We remember what we want, and toss away what doesn’t serve us. Now this might be all and well for most, but for me, it’s detrimental. The past calls to me, makes me long for something I literally cannot have and that tears me apart. But I don’t want the past. Not really, not the real, literal past that I lived. I only long for the good parts, and if we take that apart and dissect it, then what comes into light is a facade. This is not real. This is not the truth I lived, the life I had, the experiences I went through. These are bits and pieces, like cutting up a magazine to make a collage that only shows what you want to see. It’s not real.

The only truth is the truth I am living now, and the truth I want to live in the future. I can’t control the past, despite what my memory leads me to believe, but I can control how I feel and act in the months and years to come. Yes, my past was great and amazing, and those moments of pure joy will always be true. But longing for something that cannot be serves no one. I don’t have time-travelling abilities, and, quite frankly, if I did, I definitely wouldn’t be going back to visit 15-year-old Jasmine because I’d be too busy having a café latte with Audrey and Freddie in Paris right about now. But I do have the ability to shape what’s ahead of me, and so that’s what I’m going to do. Full force, right into Leo season and beyond.

Stay beautiful, friends.

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

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.

15857821_10153908362871841_297440821_o

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.

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.

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/