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

Advertisements

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/

 

NEDAwareness Week: My Story

A little off the topic of fashion (but not really), I have been inspired by many bloggers in the online community who have come together and shared their stories, in order to help those with eating disorders. If you are out of the loop, this week (February 23-March 1) is National Eating Disorders Awareness week, which is trying to raise awareness about eating disorders, educate those who have previous had misconceptions about eating disorders, and provide help for those currently suffering. As such, I have decided to share my story, and get it out there.

Where do I begin? It was the middle of grade 11. Spring break, to be exact, and my best friends had both left for China on a two week exchange. To top it off, my dad had just moved away from my home town, quite suspiciously, to God knows where for God knows how long. Needless to say, I was feeling a little (if not really) down. So I conjured up this amazing idea that I, all 115 lbs of me, was going to lose weight. Not a lot of weight, but I wanted to be fit. To be smaller. That was my goal.

So that’s how it started out. I started following fitness blogs on Tumblr, started eating healthier, started running on our treadmill. It was all good in the beginning. My mum, who is a huge fitness guru herself, was ecstatic. She would come home from work to find me making myself a salad with chicken breast, or just finishing up a run. In the beginning, I lacked the capability to run more than 15 minutes. But I continued to go a little further everyday, run a little faster every time. After 5 days, I found myself running 3 km in 20 minutes, and intaking 1200-1000 calories a day. All seemed fine, in the beginning.

But that’s when it got worse. You see, those fitness blogs that I followed quickly started to turn into “thinspiration” blogs. The calories began to decrease. The exercise increased. Soon, it turned into a fixation. All I could see on myself was mounds of weight that made me horrendously atrocious. I literally could not stand the look of myself.

So I started to work harder.

By this point, it had been at least a week and a half, maybe less, and I had already dropped down to 107 lbs. I was cold all the time, and I had given up all the foods that I had once loved. Nothing tasted as good as skinny felt, right? Each time I would rub my now protuding hipbones, I would remind myself of that. I had a goal, and that goal was to be as skinny as I could possibly be.

Food, of all things, was now my enemy. I kept a folder (which, until recently, was still on my computer) that I titled “cravings”, where I would save photos of all the food I found on Tumblr that I a) would never allow myself to eat, and b) looked beyond delicious. That folder tormented me and comforted me at the same time. It read: I may exist, but you are so much better than me. You want this. The picture, I convinced myself, satisfied all my cravings.

By this point, I was running 4 km in 20 minutes, going to the gym every weekend, and my clothes were drastically shrinking. I did not realize afterwards what a toll the weightloss had taken on my appearance. My mum didn’t either. No one noticed until I was at my best friend Nina’s house, the day she got back from China, and her mother offered me a glass of my favourite beverage: cranberry juice. The first notion to enter my mind was 60 calories. I cannot afford to waste 60 calories on one drink. That’s when my best friend knew that there was something significantly wrong with me, both mentally and physically.

So school started up, and everything seemed to be normal. That is, except for the fact that I was only eating grapes for lunch, and I never wanted to hang out with my friends, or even my boyfriend. I was literally a walking zombie. I was crying all the time, never had any energy to contribute to conversation, I was hitting the gym every Saturday for 3 hours, and worst of all, I was shrinking as the days went my.

One of the most vivid memories I have of between the start and when I decided to get help was when my mum and I were in the car, on our way back from shopping, I believe. I remember telling her how much I wanted Subway, how much I wished I could just eat Subway. We were almost near home and she offered to take me there for dinner, because that way she knew I would eat. I told her no. Then yes. Then no. Then yes. Then I started to cry. She pulled the car over and started to tear up, too. I was crying because inside of me, I wanted that food so badly. I wanted to just be normal, to be able to eat something that I absolutely loved and not regret it during the process. But I was crying because I also knew that I could not. I physically and mentally could not allow myself to fall into the trap and consume the calories. Everything in my life was measured in calories. My mum was crying because she had no way to help me, could not calm the internal struggle I was facing, and, worst of all, she could not cure me. It was in that moment that I knew my eating disorder had consumed me. I believe it was also that day that I decided to not only get counselling, but to also see a dietitian. By this point, I was surviving on 5 apples and 4 diet Cokes a day. By this point, I was weighing myself 3 times a day, my collarbones were jutting out, and my cheeks were sunken in. By this point, I was 96 lbs and I began to have suicidal thoughts. By this point, I was fainting after exercising for more than 1 hour. By this point, the eating disorder had practically destroyed my relationship with my best friend, M, to the point where to this day, we don’t really talk about what happened to me. It pushed me away from the ones that I loved the most. My mum, my dad, my boyfriend, my best friends. My thoughts were so consumed with self-hating that no one, not even those closest to me, could penetrate through. I was left to loath myself for not only my appearance, but also my mental state.

Though counselling and seeing a dietitian inevitably did not help me to recover (if anything, I think they made the entire situation worse), when the end grade 12 came along, I started to see a shift in my behaviour. Yes, I was still counting calories and exercising excessively, but my mental state began to improve. It was not until a year later, a year after it all began, that I actually had to stop and look at what I was doing. I was eating. I was eating and not regretting it right away. I was gaining weight, and I was not hating myself for it. I was exercising, but only every other day. I was happy. I was warm. I was getting better. By the beginning of my first year of university, through the love and the support of those around me, I had almost come full circle. Yes, the occasional negative thought would pop into my head, but overall I was looking healthier than I had in months, and I was feeling better than before. Though I can’t say what the exact turning point was for me, or what it was that made me overcome my illness, I can honestly say that I would have never gotten better if it weren’t for Nina, sitting me down one day and telling me “Hey, I’m worried about you and I know you might think that you’re fooling everyone, but you’re not fooling me. I know you’re sick. And I want you to know that I’m here for you.” Those words meant the world to me.

Eating disorders are one of those things that I for the life of me will never be able to explain to someone who has never had one. I cannot convey the feelings one has while suffering, the internal monologue one has with themselves over their next meal. This testimony cannot relay the complexity that encompassed my eating disorder, nor can it describe to you the sheer fear that engulfs one who is resisting the food on the plate in front of them. But I hope it gave you a glimpse into something that has made me not only stronger as a person, but also understanding of all mental disorders that plague society today. Before, I could never comprehend my father’s depression, could never understand girls who did not want to eat. But coming out of it, after finding myself submersed under a sea of self-doubt and self-loathing, unable to break the surface for over a year, my eyes were opened. This is virtually one of the hardest things to talk about, as I believe you can understand, but I feel it is necessary to share my story because it, along with all the bright, positive things that have happened to me, is a part of my life, and a part of what makes me who I am today. As well, I want to show to those suffering that they are not alone in it. As cliche as it sounds, it will get better. It does get better.

The Future

Hello, beautiful world

It’s been ages since I’ve updated and you know what? That makes me a little sad. 

I’ve missed writing fashion, scanning blogs for inspiration, and forming an opinion on the latest trends. But I’ve been so attached to my school work and my grads that blogging, for the most part, has taken the back burner. I know, it’s sad. But my future is what’s most important.

With that in mind, I’ve been reflecting a lot on what I want to do with my life. The goal is still to be the editor-in-chief of Vogue–I’m never letting that go–but how I’m getting there has changed. I want to start writing for SFU’s newspaper in a fashion section, but I just don’t know if I’m a fit for it. Maybe I’m just over-thinking this. The point of the matter is that I want to write fashion: it’s in my blood. I just don’t know how to get there. Do I continue running my blog? Should I start doing YouTube? Do I write for the newspaper? Do I do all of the above? It’s so difficult to know. The future is so uncertain, and I wish it wasn’t so. I don’t want to be left in the dark; knowing is what keeps my sane. I just wish I had a magic book that would show me what to do and where to go in order to make my dream a reality. That, or a chance encounter with the editor of some fashion magazine who falls in love with my style and insists I work for her (Carrie Diaries, anyone?). But somehow, I don’t see that happening any time in the near future.

It’s now 12:00 am and I’m still sitting here, in my residence common room, having a quarter life crisis. Well, crisis might be too theatrical a word for it, but you get the picture. Fashion is in my blood and I want to spend the rest of my life studying it, analyzing it, and reveling in it. I cannot see myself continuing on any other way. Journalism in fashion is my calling, I believe, and I just want to push it to its full potential.

 I apologize for making this post a semi-rant/frustrated ramble. I’m glad I could get that off my chest, finally. 

Until next time,

Jasmine.

 

Update: Packing for School

Well hey there!

I just wanted to fill everyone in on what is currently going on in my life, as boring as it may be. Well… it’s not necessarily boring, per say, just… I don’t know.

Basically, right now, I’m packing all my stuff away to head back to school. Dorm life. Yay. I am genuinely excited, though, to be in the city. It’s just the preparation that’s wearing me down.

Saturday is also my last day at Chateau, and I’m a little upset about it. I’ve grown very fond of the girls I work with, and I will miss them all. I am, however, happy to be done working in general. Time to focus on my studies! I will, though, be doing work-study this year, but that is only around 8-10 hours per week. Easy-peasy.

The big thing right now is making sure I have everything I need for my dorm, my classes, and my life. It’s stressful, to say the least. I barely have time to think about things like Outfit of the Days, trends, and fall fashion. But I promise that once moved in, I will come back with full force. Every Tuesday and Thursday. That is a promise I am making not only to this blog and you readers, but also to myself. I need to stay committed to this because a) I love it, and b) It is a place where I can have full free creative expression. I like that. Unedited (for the most part), candid, and personal work only touched by me. You can’t get that writing for a newspaper, as much as I love it. There’s something about blogging that’s just so… candid. Now don’t get me wrong, I love seeing a piece polished and perfected by my sectional editor at the newspaper. But it’s a different kind of feeling.

Anyway, this has been a short and sweet update (kind of) on what is going on. I move in fairly soon, so the next time I post will be (hopefully if the wifi works) after I move in. Wish me luck and see you soon!!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Follow Me! 
Instagram: @harubelief
Twitter: harubelief
Tumblr: harubelief

The Start Of Something New

(No, this is not about the High School Musical song. That was simply a coincidence)

Why is it that every Canada day seems to mark the beginning of something… well, new?

There’s something about the flashing lights, the mystery that is the fireworks, building up that final peak, the huge finale. There’s something about all the wonder that they pose, like they’re marking something significant (well, other than the birth of our home and native land–that I already know) and everything after will never be the same. Every year, I mark the start of my summer, the start of all these collections of adventures, by the light of the sparkles in the sky on the first of July.

But this year, it seems like something is different.

Nina and I sat on the hood of her car, blocks away from the actual event site, watching as they set off one after the other. But as I sat there, dazzled by the display in front of me (which was semi-blocked by a few fir trees), I felt different. I felt like this was it: nothing will be the same again. And, frankly, it won’t be.

With school coming yet again in the fall, and my best friend finally coming to Vancouver for school… I feel like I can finally escape from this town. I won’t be alone; I have Nina, Maria, and Kyujin to be there with me now. I finally feel like my life is… starting. Like this is a new chapter. No, like a whole new book about my life. And oddly, I don’t feel scared. I feel excited, almost anxious for it to happen.

Who knew a national holiday could turn into something so sentimental? I would have never guessed.

I hope all my fellow Canadians on here had an amazing Canada Day today, and for all you non-Canadians… well, I hope you still got something out of today nonetheless.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

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

p.s

I will be doing a Summer Essentials post next Monday! As well, next Wednesday I will be a how-to dress for the heat! Stay tuned!