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.

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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 about damn time.

If you had asked me a year ago where I would have been today, I probably wouldn’t have known. And this is an odd thing for me. You see, plans are like my life source. I live and breathe checklists and itineraries and googling grad school options till 3 in the morning. I plan. Every single detail of my existence.

But the thing about planning is that life, like many other things in our universe, is completely and utterly unpredictable. Jobs fall through, friends leave, opportunities open up. So no matter how detailed I could have planned my life a year ago, I would still more than likely be someplace else.

And, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I know I haven’t updated this blog in what feels like a century, and there’s reason behind it. For the past 11 months (WOW. Time flies) I have been meeting new people, creating community within my university, taking on a marketing job, cultivating existing relationships, discovering myself, and, you guessed it, planning. I have been restlessly scheduling and coordinating my next adventure for this summer. And can you guess where I’m headed?

Well, if you know even the slightest detail about me, I’m more than positive you figured it out–Korea. That’s right, I’m headed back to the beautiful peninsula that captivated my soul and stole my existence (did I mention I’m dramatic?). I will be spending my summer in the humid climate of Seoul while I attempt to rebuild what was my ability to speak the Korean language through taking evening classes at Sogang university.

I think my realization about planning and its faults has been a product of this new adventure because for the life of me, I cannot nail this trip down. Whenever one thing goes right, another goes utterly wrong. I go from being elated about an apartment being available, to finding out I can’t apply for the visa I need. And it’s been like this the whole way through, riding the waves of anticipation, happiness, then slight to severe disappointment.

Organizing this trip has been a lesson in growing up, toughening up, and embracing the difficulties. I needed this. For so many years I have tried to dictate and structure my life to meet the standards that I had set, feeling like I had to contort myself into a certain mold and live that way. That’s not a life. That’s a performance. A heavily rehearsed, memorized play in which I am the actor. And yes, if you must know, there is even a musical number (though only 1 because my singing is horrendous).

What I have realized is that this is not living. In order to truly elevate myself and become the individual I aspire to be, I need to embrace change, roll with the punches, and come out on top. I think it’s moments or events like these that really show you who you are, how you work, and what needs to improve.

So I’ve come to love the unexpected and I’ve learnt that I am resilient when my ideas don’t become a reality. It’s okay.

And so I’m looking forward to this new adventure (D-29 days!) with my neck rest, map, and positive outlook in hand. And you can bet your next paycheck that I will be documenting everything on my blog. So stay tuned!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

 

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.