#photographicmemory is a feature in which someone sends in a nostalgic photo of themselves and writes about it. It was created because sometimes you can find out more about a person by asking them to describe a photo than by asking them a ton of questions. It was also created because it’s nice to look at pretty photos.
I was raised in Canada up until the age of 13 and that was when I returned to the motherland – a.k.a. China. I remember being incredibly frustrated with my mother when she dropped the news on me. All that had went on in my pubescent teenage mind at the time was anger at the fact that I was forced to return to a country so foreign to me. Looking back at it now, I couldn’t have been more grateful.
The time I had back in my own country broadened my horizons and set me on the path that I walk today. I was able to fall in love with the people, the culture and the land of my ancestors. Like the fact that etiquettes in the Chinese language can turn an absolute stranger into an ‘uncle’, ‘aunt’ or ‘sister’ upon first meeting. The culture makes it seem like everyone and anyone is family.
So what I had originally thought of as a foreign land far far away, didn’t seem so foreign anymore.
Last summer could be what most people would call a ‘tipping point’ in my life. I came to a realization that I wanted others to get to know – just as I have gotten to know – the real China.
I wanted the world to see that behind the Great Firewall (our country’s edwardian internet censorship system) – that China has amazing, ambitious and incredibly talented personalities whether in the form of individuals or corporations. The only problem was that these personalities were, and in many ways still are, barred from fully presenting themselves to the world because modern day communication outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are not accessible to them.
This caused the ‘tipping point’ or ‘cue the lightbulb moment’ when I decided to start a company.
With the help of family and friends I was able to start a social media agency that caters to Chinese companies, artists or brands that wish to exhibit their products or talents to the world. And it was in Inner Mongolia that I was able to pull my first two clients. That is also probably why I look fairly relaxed since this photo was taken on the last day where I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.
I believe this photo was able to capture a moment in time when young adult Jasmine felt thankful that 13-year-old Jasmine didn’t throw too big of a tantrum and ended up listening to her mother.
I realised that life is funny in this way: something that could have seemed horrible at a certain time in your life, may just end up leading to something else completely wonderful.
Jasmine is currently studying International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. She still runs her social media agency in China, although she finds that the time difference leaves her with perpetual panda eye circles. When not working, you can find Jasmine playing Cooking Fever on her iPad and watching Asian dramas in her PJ’s. This leads Jasmine to believe that she is actually an undercover grandma in a student’s body.
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