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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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.

 

Nobody told me…

Here’s the thing that nobody tells you about time: it doesn’t heal all wounds.

Not that my wounds are severe or painful. My wounds are from detachment. From longing. From missing something or someone or whatever it is that I have lost.

And the thing about missing something is that nobody understands. People, try as they might, may claim that they know how you feel but in reality they don’t. They cannot. That is, unless they have felt or feel the same kind of longing that you do.

My “missing”, as I will call it, is not going to concerts in Seoul or eating at amazing restaurants. It’s my friend waking me up at 5 in the morning so we can catch the train to the airport. It’s lazy days, deciding to bundle up and go get pizza instead of going out. It’s getting utterly confused at which exit to take at Euljiro 3-ga in order to get to Myeongdong. It’s pausing for a moment on the overpass by my friend’s apartment to admire the view of Namsan Tower. It’s trying to hail a taxi at 3 in the morning and walking all over Sincheon to do so. It’s linking arms while my friend and I walk through Hongdae on a Friday night. It’s random decisions to go to norebang till 4 am. It’s rushing across Seoul to get to Lotte World Mall with the hope of maybe, just maybe,getting a ticket into the Winner fanmeet. It’s staking out at 5 in the morning at Olympic Park in the utterly freezing cold with one of you closest friends, shaking heat packs to stay warm, so you can get in to the Melon Awards. It’s spending all day exploring the city, and coming back to your warm dorm room. It’s waking up on a Saturday morning and making plans right then and there. It’s getting lost in Hongdae trying to find a sheep cafe.

I miss the little things. I can go to cafes and eat food and see movies here in Canada, but I miss my friends. I miss what I did there. I miss people who can understand me and understand my passions. I miss friends who want to do the same things as me, who have the same interests as me.

Because the thing about longing is that it’s hard and it eats away at you.

People will constantly tell you do “get over it” already or “the past is in the past”. But when you change, grow, and become who you are somewhere or sometime in your life, you can never get over that. You are altered, through and through.

Korea changed my life. It made me see who I wanted to be, made me grow, and made me understand myself in a way I never had before. It opened my eyes. And nobody understands that.

One of my friends from Seoul said something that I connected with on a profound level, and it was “I have never felt more alive, more real, and more myself than I do living here”. That is how I felt about Seoul.

But you know what?

I’m living. I’m breathing.

Those memories will always be with me and they push me through. They inspire me.

And the changed me is still here.

Taking one day at a time and trying to smile every chance I get.

And for now.

That is enough.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Two more weeks, just two more weeks.

The difference between my life right now and my life before is the Cold War versus a day at Disneyland. Before, things were happening. Life was bright, exciting, and memories flourished. Now, here I am, sitting here, waiting for something, hell, anything to happen. I only have a number of days left in this suburban wasteland where mediocrity and racism prevail, but I feel like these hours, these weeks are dragging. Time is holding back from me, refusing to give me what I so incredibly yearn for: freedom.

The anticipation of arriving home and sleeping in on my own bed has driven me to the point of excessive packing. I am literally living out of my suitcase, unable to tame the mad thoughts of “two more weeks, just two more weeks” from creeping into my every waking hour. It’s hard. I don’t really know how to combat this type of longing. But maybe, somewhere hidden in these next few days of working and planning, I will finally find peace.

(but most likely I’ll just have to wait until I am safely on that air plane, with the destination of Vancouver, BC, flashing on the screen in front of me.)

Until next time,

Jasmine

Full Plate

Back from camp. Now that’s a sentence I thought I’d never say, due to the immediate fact that camp seemed to stretch on for an exhausting period of time. But it’s over now, and I’m peacefully back in the comfort of my own blankets and warmth. Ah–nothing like the comforts of home.

Recently, life has been progressing in ways that I could never have imagined. I got my full funding for student loans for the fall, a sight I never saw coming. My best friend retrieved my acceptance package from the grip of my school’s exchange department. Despite a few setbacks (like said friend writing the wrong address on the package upon attempting to mail it to my mother), things when I returned from a stressful four day camping trip with work seem to be working out. All is in order. Plus, as an added bonus, the dresses I ordered for my cousin’s wedding arrived and I have selected my attire for the affair. Oh, how I love the feeling of new clothing against my skin. It’s my favourite thing.

Until next time,

Jasmine

It’s all coming together…

Finally! FINALLY. My acceptance package to Ewha has arrived at my university and, despite some complications with the destination of that package, the pieces of my exchange are slowly falling into place. My uni submitted the final portion of my student loan application, which I need for my visa. My mum is on board to submit my application at the end of the month. I only have 29 more days of working and living in this hick town. It’s all coming up roses, my friends.

So why am I still stressed? I guess it’s just the fact that yes, things are coming together, but they are not firmly sealed or locked into place. The puzzle isn’t fully completed yet. There are still gaps, still missing chips that haven’t found their home yet. And that irritates me. It stresses me out, to the point where I feel like nothing has been accomplished. Is that wrong of me? Does that make me a perfectionist? I hope not.

I hope that in the next few weeks I can just get all my bits and bobs finalized and have this thing planned out. I want to be on that plane already, flying over the clouds, and nervous with anticipation for what is to come once that 737 lands on foreign soil. I am ready for adventure and I crave it more than anything.

Until next time,

Jasmine