this is my motto in life

What is a story you have been dying to tell?

When I was 15 years old, I ran away from home because I was pissed off at my parents for a reason I cant remember. I didnt have much money, so I decided to hop onto the skytrain(public transport train in British Columbia) and ride it as far as it would go. I reached the end of the line in less then an hour, and decided I wanted to ride it all the way back again, while trying to formulate some kind of plan of how I wanted to live the rest of my life without my parents or anyone. At the last stop, or the first stop depending on your perspective of it, a girl came on and sat in the row right behind me. I didnt pay much attention to her at first, as I was busy writing my life plan on a napkin. It was a few minutes later that she got up and came sat next to me, curious as to what I was writing. I told her the story, and after a few laughs, we began talking about everything and anything. Her name was Amanda, 17 years old, and absolutely wonderful. She told me she was getting off at the last stop, which was also the first stop, depending on how you look at it. It was also the stop I had gotten on originally, and I told her we would ride to it together. The train ride took less then an hour, and what a wonderful hour indeed.

When the last stop did come, we both knew we probably wouldnt see each other ever again(this was before the days of cellphones, and I was a shy little kid afraid to make moves). As we got to the end of the sidewalk which split in two different directions, she went right and I went left. Before saying goodbye she turned to me and asked me a question that has become a wonderful part of my life; she asked me, “Tell me something you have done, or want to do, that you think I should do? It can be anything, as challenging as you want it to be, or as easy. As long as you give me the rest of my life to complete it, I promise I will do it..” I was confused as to why, but I thought about it, and told her, “Sing a song acapella in a room full of strangers.” She said perfect and asked me if I would like a challenge as well. I told her I did, and she told me, “read, from start to finish, “Ulysses” by James Joyce.” I had never heard of it at the time, but I agreed, and we said our goodbyes.

I have a awful memory, and cant remember most conversations I have with most people. But I remember all of that clearly. You know why? Because of the challenge she gave me. In the 12 years that have past since, I have tried to read that book in over 150 different sittings. Everytime I open my copy of the 780 page monster of a book, I always think of her, and I always think of that day. Ive never been sure if it was her intent or not, but she left her lasting memory on me with that challenge. I soon after learned what she did, was a completey wonderful and amazing thing for me. So I decided to keep it going. Ive met a lot of strangers in my life; some that have become friends, and some, due to living in different time zones and whatnot, didnt. I dont want to just have experiences and then let them go. I want to remember these meetings, and embrace the fact that they happened. So whenever I leave someone who has left an amazing impact of my life, I always make sure to add them to my Ulysses Bucket List. I ask them to give me a challenge, as difficult or as easy as they want it to be, and regardless of the fact that they have done it or not; simply something their heart has had wanted to do.

Some have been easy and fun; I met a man in India 9 years ago who told me to, for a week or a month, cook/buy twice as much food as I intend on eating, and give the other half to a stranger in need. I completed that mission 8 years ago, and thought about that man and the time we had all the way through. I met a girl on a cruise 6 years ago, who told me to jump into a body of water on a slightly cold day, without touching or feeling the temperature of the water first. I did that the very same year. I met a couple at an outdoor music festival a few years ago that told me to wear the most bizarre outfit imaginable and walk through a public place, completely oblivious to the fact that you arent looking normal. I did that task the very next day, at the same festival. Some have been difficult, to say the least: three guys I met in Amsterdam and smoked all night with, told me to go to a mall and give 10 strangers 10 presents. That one took a lot of courage, but I did it a year or so after I met them. It was nerve racking, but at the same time exhilerating leaving my comfort zone. A girl I met on a plane told me to sky dive; Im still in the process of getting that done. A couple I met in Cali on the beach told me to tell the 5 people I hated the most, that I love them and respect them. That one was very difficult because of my stubborness, but ive come close to completing that list many a times(still in the process, 2 more people to go).

And some things, have had an everlasting impact on my daily life. I met a girl at a music festival, who told me that whenever I get mad at someone, walk away, sing my happy song in my head for 5 minutes, go back to the person im mad at with a clam heart and mind, and work things out. Ive made this my way of life. I once met a man at a gym in a hotel I was staying at, that told me “whenever your body and brain tells your that you are exhausted and done…use your heart instead and push out 2 more reps.” Ive made this my motto when working out or working on any kind of extrenuating exercise in which my body demands me to quit. I also use it while working on anything, and while studying. One of the best pieces of advice ive ever received.

There are many others that each brought joy to my life. There are still many tasks I have yet to accomplish, and everytime I think of these tasks, I think of the people that gave them to me. It amazes me how well I remember all these people, while I cant remember so many aspects of even yesterday. These experiences, not only do I take from them a “mission” or a “challenge”, I also take from them a memory of them that never fails to appear inside of my mind. I opened my Ulysses book for probably the 300th time yesterday, and read a few pages, which prompted me to share this story with you today. Im in the final 30 pages of the book, also known as the most dreaded of the read(in the last 40 pages or so, James Joyce doesnt use a single punctuation mark; no periods, no commas, no nothing; a straight 50 page run-on sentence).

I never saw Amanda after that day, nor do I know if she ever did get a chance to sing a song to a room full of strangers. But what I do know, is that she gave me a gift that has never once stopped giving. So wherever you may be, thank you for giving me the Ulysses Bucket List. And I swear i’ll finish it one day. My life advice? Simple: Create your own Ulysses bucket list.

K-Pop Group BTS Reveals Its Biggest Beauty Secrets for Glowing Skin

Last month, BTS, a K-Pop group from Seoul, cemented itself in American pop culture by winning the Top Social Artist Award at the Billboard Music Awards. The second the boy band hit the magenta red carpet, thousands were exposed to the wonders of K-Pop. Since then, people have been quick to call BTS, which is short for Bangtan Sonyeondan (or Bulletproof Boy Scouts in English), the One Direction of South Korea. However, that’s just an easy way to give them some context. In reality, BTS is actually completely different. Why? The seven-piece group’s performances are complete with flawless choreography, expert rapping, high-fashion looks, and insanely catchy vocals. Oh yeah, and they look damn good while doing so.

No matter where BTS is, their skin is forever smooth and has an enviable glow to it. Their eyes are typically adorned with a subtle smoky eye look, which both Jin and Jimin told me is their favorite part of wearing makeup. Their lips always have that popsicle-stained look that everyone’s been craving lately. Their hair colors are constantly changing, too. In 2017 alone, Jimin’s hair has been bubblegum pink, silver, platinum blonde, sandy blonde, and caramel brown. If they had to choose just one shade, though, Rap Monster tells Allure that he prefers “ash gray and ash blue because these complement my skin tone well.” Agreed. Also, Suga added that his favorite hair color is blonde because “I just need to de-color and that’s it.”

The beauty aspect of BTS’s fame alone separates them from the likes of One Direction, the Jonas Brothers, and the Backstreet Boys. And their legions of fans, lovingly called A.R.M.Y., live for it. YouTube is filled with makeup tutorials inspired by looks from BTS’s music videos. A whole Tumblr account called Dewy Bangtan is even devoted to tracking down the beauty products BTS uses based on screenshots from behind-the-scenes videos.

If the names I mentioned above didn’t ring any bells, let me give you a quick summary of each of the seven members of BTS.

Jin

At 24, Jin is the oldest member of BTS, but he doesn’t act like it. He has a very specific skin care-related reason for that. In a recent video, he said, “I have a motto of my life, ‘If you behave young, your face becomes young, too.’” Noted. His good looks went viral after the Billboard Awards. On Twitter, he was called the “third one from the left”, accompanied by dozens of heart-eye emojis. His response? He’s “worldwide handsome.”

Suga

Many will identify with Suga, one of the group’s rappers, on a spiritual level, as I do. When he isn’t working his ass off producing, writing, and composing songs, he just likes to lay. Same. Just as his hair color preference suggests, he’s the most low-maintenance of the Bangtan Boys as far as beauty routines goes. He’s basically a granddad trapped in a 24-year-old’s body.

V

V’s interests lie in the finer things in life like Gucci, Van Gogh, and photography. The 21-year-old also makes some of the most hilarious facial expressions and has the most velvety voice in BTS. Some consider him to be the most handsome in the group, but I’ll let you decide.

Jimin

Jimin is the king of selfies. BTS’s Twitter is filled with evidence of this statement. In their music videos, you can pick him out by his sharp dance moves. In a group photos, you can pick him out by his seriously adorable baby face. Don’t let it fool you — he’s not the youngest. He’s 21. And if anyone was wondering, he’s what K-Pop fans call my “bias,” aka my favorite. His pink hair sealed the deal for me.

Jungkook

Ok, now it’s time to talk about the youngest member of BTS. Jungkook, 19, is a classic, hard-working millennial. He can do everything, including sing (in English), dance, and rap, and do it all incredibly well. When not suited-up in a dress shirt or velvet bomber jacket on stage, you can catch him wearing a white T-shirt and Timberlands.

Rap Monster

Meet the leader of the group. BTS was literally built around the 22-year-old. As you probably could have guessed, Rap Monster, well, raps. He’s also BTS’s mouthpiece. Fluent in English, he usually takes the lead in stateside interviews. (Watching Friends helped him learn the language.) He has a habit of winking in photo shoot and making people across the world melt. Cringe-worthy hairstyles from BTS’s debut in 2013 aside, Rap Monster has some of the best looks of BTS.

J-Hope

I’m convinced J-Hope’s ever-positive personality is the true secret behind his glowing skin. (More on his actual secrets later.) Also 22, he’s like BTS’s portable charger, giving them (and fans) the energy and encouragement. Watching him dance will give you strength, too. Trust. He’s s-o g-o-o-d.

Now that we’re all on the same page, here’s the best part: BTS took a break from their massive world tour, which has made stops in the US, Australia, and Brazil, to chat with me about their skin care routines. Yup, you’re about to find out some of their secrets.

Why is it important to you to take good care of your skin?

Jin: “Skin is what completes my appearance. I value my looks very much, so it’s equally important to take good care of my skin — that’s a pivotal part of my face.”

J-Hope: “Taking good care of your skin is the No.1 rule for all celebs. I get to meet a lot of fans face-to-face at fan meetings and similar events, and I’d like to look my best for them.”

What’s your biggest skin concern?

Rap Monster: “My skin is dry most of the time, and my biggest concern is keeping it [moisturized]. I get zits from time to time and that concerns me as well.”

Jungkook: “I get pimples sometimes, and it’s very stressful.”

You guys travel a lot. Do you do any skin-care treatments while you’re on the plane to keep your skin from freaking out?

V: “On the plane, I dampen cotton pads with toner and put on lotion twice as much.”

Jimin: “I don’t really do anything extra special for my skin on the plane, but I try to drink as much water as possible.”

What are some of your favorite beauty products?

V: “I’ve been looking for my absolute favorite beauty product for a long time because my skin becomes dry and oily relatively fast. I haven’t found the right one, but I’m not giving up! Any recommendations?”

What is your skin routine like?

J-Hope: “[In the morning, I use] toner and face cream. [At night, the steps are] toner, essence, acne care, lotion, cream.”

Jungkook: “Toner and cream for night and morning routine.”

A lot of people find skin care routines to be a form of self care. Do you agree?

Rap Monster: “I totally agree. My favorite brand is Mediheal, and it has a variety of sheet masks you can choose from after a long day of work.”

Jimin: “I do agree because I try to clear my mind by cleansing my face after performances.”

Do you have any bad skin care habits?

Suga: “My bad habit is that I don’t take care of my skin.”

V: “I don’t particularly have a bad habit, but I’m worried about my skin having lack of elasticity. How can I prevent this?”

Are there any Korean beauty trends that you particularly love?

Jin: “I love sheet masks. I try to put them on whenever I feel my skin is dry and exposed too much to the sun. They help me make up for lost moisture and brighten my skin.”

Do you have any go-to skin care tips for clear, glowing skin?

J-Hope: “I try to go to the dermatologist when I have some free time after work.”

Jungkook: “I wish I had one! Let me know, and I’ll try.”

© Devon Abelman @ Allure

Day One Hundred and Three

-The first guest of my shift placed their babbling, giggling newborn on my conveyor belt for me to ring up, instantaneously paving the way for a bright and joyous day.

-I became ecstatic to find a roll of fresh, new, spring-themed stickers the size of my face at my register. The sticker renaissance shall now commence.

-I rang up an intimidating biker with a wizardly beard for his purchase of one single Dr. Seuss book. I now consider him a close friend, as I stand by my lifelong belief that not a soul who reads Dr. Seuss can do anything wrong.

-Shortly after the discovery of my spring stickers, I came to the realization that they were, in fact, a heretofore undiscovered strand of Christmas stickers that we had not previously had on hand. I do not understand why we have such a large and untapped stock, but I am prepared to make the most of it.

-A man in his sixties, phenomenally spry and smooth-skinned for his age, purchased forty dollars worth of dried prunes. I believe he may have uncovered the secret to immortality. While I appreciate the scientific progress this man is making, I will embrace whatever final form nature has in store for me so long as I do not have to give up my crunchwrap supremes.

-A mother asked her child if he wanted his shoe back, pulling one single Croc out of her purse. I am not sure what he may have done to lose his shoe privilege in the first place, but I am glad to see that he is earning it back.

-After I gave her a sticker, a mother told her daughter, “Say thank you.” In a brilliant moment of word association, she peacefully replied, “You are welcome.” I consider myself blessed by this small person and will live out my life in bliss.

-I befriended the kindest and most eloquent child named Bennett. We shared a lovely conversation, touching on such topics as how nice our respective names are, his recent go-karting accident, his subsequent recovery, and stickers. I believe I may have found my Best Man.

-A woman in her seventies attempted to run her husband over with her cart, gleefully yelling, “Beep beep beep!” Hopefully, I have just received a glimpse into my future.

-I have adopted a new motto in life, and that motto is as follows: “You have never seen true purity until you have seen an infant in glasses." 

HIGHLIGHTS: BTS at SBS Cultwo Show Radio (170921)
  • Chainsmokers were the first to ask for a collab with BTS. After BTS accepted they were sent 10 beats right away.
  • Jin: we say bts in America because they don’t even know what Bangtan Sonyeondan means so they won’t be able to make fun of us
  • Namjoon asked Hobi yesterday in a serious tone “Why do foreign fans like us? what part do they like about us?”(they can’t believe it and they think they have nothing special) and Jhope answered him “seriously why do they think we are funny?” But the MC said that their music is great like reaaaally great (AMEN someone was there to speak the truth)
  • MC reading the comments “My mom tells me Bangtan works harder than me” the host answered to that “Yes they put their blood, sweat and tears”
  • The MC said that BTS will probably be in history books to let people know more about South Korea. BTS humbly thanked him.
  • Jhope said the choreography for this album is the hardest they had so far.
  • Suga said all their content get translated fast (in the second) so BTS and himself are amazed whenever tahta happens.
  • *DNA PLAYED*
  • Jimin buttoned his shirt and someone texted the station asking “Jimin why did you button up”.  Jimin said it was just too much. Then the host thanked Jimin for doing so and Suga said “but mine is unbuttoned too” (He was wearing a shirt underneath lol)
  • The host asked them what are they majored in high school. Jimin said contemporary dance and the MC said “yeah your face look like contemporary dance). V said dancing and singing.
  • A fan asked that she wanted to hear Tahyung and Jungkook more. The MC asked if they don’t talk much to which Jimin answered "No they talk the most” and JK added, “I don’t know when to come in/get into the convo”.
  • Suga and JK got a cold.
  • The MC said Jimin looks like he was naturally born with blonde hair (it suits him so well)
  • Jimin: we all cried when we first performed at the Olympic Gymnasium. there were chills all throughout our bodies
  • The dome tour next month is their first JAPAN biggest tour and one con holds 35000ppl and they even cried w 1500ppl so they r thrilled n nerve
  • Host: is pied piper about the fans because they follow you guys around? bts: yes host: are you dissing them? yoongi: we’re thankful (Read this analysis to understand why they are thankful HERE).
  • Q. how was it performing with Seo Taiji yoongi: it was an honor hoseok: he’s very detailed he helped us one by one with the dances. Namjoon: Seo Taiji kept calling us his sons. there’s a year difference between him and Jungkook’s actual dad
  • Cultwo said they used to have 8000 fans but bc they didn’t take care of them they have 5 now lol (Insinuating that they should take care of their fans).
  • host: rap mon’s good at English who’s good at Japanese bts: rap mon hoseok: he’s very good with languages host: How about Chinese bts: jin
  • What do u wanna eat so bad rn? Jimin said chicken, Jin jelly, Suga obok jaengban (Jimin said he was an old man for picking that), V ggomak, Jhope Nakjji, RM meat and rice and Jungkook ramen.
  • They said they eat Three meals a day but because of the schedule (packed), they lose weight every day. Jimin: (worried fans would be worried about them) WE’RE EATING VERY WELL DO NOT WORRY ABOUT US
  • MC: you guys kicked down Ariana grande Justin Bieber Shawn Mendes Namjoon: I feel rude saying kicked host: YOU DID KICK THEM DOWN
  • They started talking about “top social artist” and the host asked them to tell Bieber something and V said in English “Justin Bieber I am your fan”.
  • Namjoon’s motto “Let’s live life sexily”
  • Taehyung: [his life motto is something in satoori his dad says] it means “that’s nothing! just forget about it and do it/move on!”
  • Jungkook changes the instruments he is learning every 3 months so the MC said he is probably good at none. and JK answered, “That’s why I am trying to change my moto” (‘It’s better to die if you have no passion’ to which SG answered in the past 'Jungkookie is going to die soon’).
  • Jimin: we’re coming back through the comeback show with DNA so please anticipate it and love us a lot thank you! 
  • [end of show]

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