Looking back on my 17 years of being alive.

On September 29th, 1995, a little asian baby was born.

And the world was never the same again.

–actually, it probably stayed on the same course it had always been on.

Nevertheless, it was a life-changing moment for me because that was the first time I got the first sense of the future ahead of me… also, I was given life. That too.

So today, my birthday, I thought it appropriate to reflect on the 16 years that is now behind me.

I appreciate anyone who would even bother to start reading this blog, and if you think the rest of this will be pretty mudane (let’s face it, I’m no Indiana Jones; close but no) then you can wander off into 1995 on your own past-life journey.

For me, this is how it went:

Year One: I don’t remember. But I’m pretty sure there was a lot of poop and tears. And not just from me.

Year Two: Is this when I learned how to walk? Or was that earlier? How am I supposed to remember all this.

Year Three: I learn to talk, to the misfortune of all those who encounter me in the years following.

Year Four: I was a really cute four year old. Ladies at the Dollar Tree stopped me to take a picture. That’s like, the redneck equivalent of being discovered by a modeling agent at a shopping mall.

Year Five: I enrolled in kindergarten. Or at least I tried to. They told me I was too young so I had to take a test to check my competency. I failed because my english was bad (when they held up a picture of three bears and asked me how many bears were there, I pointed to the prettiest bear) so then I had to go to preschool. Fun times. It was when I developed my confidence that would soon be crushed by a shroud of teenage awkardness.

Year Six: Kindergarten was interesting. I remember getting into a fight with my cousin on who could say the pledge louder (me, duh) and learned the significance of St. Patrick’s Day. This year did a lot for me in terms of helping me build better social character. And better english.

Also, 9/11 happened while my dad was in NYC. I complained because I couldn’t watched Barney while the news was on all day. Oh I do miss those days.

(Of my apathetic childhood, not 9/11).

Year 7: I got my first non-related best friend. We used to insult each other, cry, pass “sorry” notes during class, and repeat. Ahh fun times.

Year 8: Nothing important, really. I learned how to multiply and gave up on learning how to ride a bike, setting it off to the side until “later.” We’ll see how that will turn out.

Year 9: Probably the most important year in increasing my social charisma. I was still a bit weird and uncomfortable here and there but what 9 year old isn’t?

Year 10: I read Abe Lincoln’s biography one day out of boredom. Good thing too because, of course, I would still be thinking that slavery is okay to this day. Also, I realized which president could really work the top-hat and beard look.

In addition, I found my talent in the subject of the english subject. Pretty interesting since I was previously working with the school translator.

Year 11: Nice year for me, actually. I don’t paticularly remember what happened, but it did go well for the most part. I think.

Year 12: I graduated elementary school after an honorable graduation was held for prestigious 5th graders who overcame the tough hours of recess and arithmetic to reach their goal of going into junior high; a goal NO ONE thought they would reach… except for truancy officers and the U.S legal system which requires them to do so.

Year 13: If there was one point in my life I could pin point as the time in which I set the course for my social failure… here it is. Unbelievably shy & awkward, I couldn’t wait for 6th grade to end… so, you know, I could be shy and awkward at home in the summer.

Year 14: I matured backwards. I made new friends but they were the kind that encouraged me to text like this “h3yyy qurl! Wat uqq?”

Dark, dark times.

Though I started to talk a little bit more, so much that I did a report on the Jackass Penguin in front of the whole class with faked assertiveness and assurance.

Year 15: Where are we? Oh yeah. 8th-9th grade. I reached my social peak here. I also excelled academically (I am Asian, after all). By the time I left middle school, I was ready to start a new chapter in my life. Unfortunately, I did not know that that chapter excluded half of my friends (who had to go to another high school) and included confidence re-building. I continued to play in the band (I mentioned that right? Let’s pretend I did) which didn’t help since I sucked. But I did have very close friends that helped me through it and I did survive freshman year without much trauma so I guess it was okay.

Year 16: Wow. Any confidence I had before was pretty much destroyed in this year. I didn’t realize being trapped in my home for so long could also lead to detrimental clumsiness and irresponsibility that could lead to me almost getting fired from a (volunteer) job or failing my driving test. But they did. By far, this year encouraged me to do better and I assume everyone has years like this?

I survived a turbulent sophmore year and progressed into summer. I improved my productvity (I learned how to procrastinate better) and social skills (“Hi! How are you?” Instead of a weak “…hey”).

This was also the year I became extremely more… cultured? Mature? Both?

Basically I paid attention to politics and read Fitzgerald. That’s it.

Year 17: Blank.

It’s kind of disappointing how I have not seen that much progress in my overall life since the day I was born. Sure, I learned how to walk and pee without the aid of a diaper, but what had I actually done that was influential? Important? Memorable?

This year, my 17th, would hopefully be the year I press on the gears and speed into a promising sunset.

Or, I’ll dip into someone’s yard like I did during my driving test.

We’ll see.


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