january 1, 1998.

i am a sophomore in high school. i am a month and a half shy of 15. i have liked the same boy off and on for about 2 and a half years, suspecting at times that he is interested too, but with no reliable evidence. i have recently become obsessed with what college i will attend. i have decided that i no longer want to go to michigan, as i have for my entire life until now, and that i want to go somewhere higher-ranked. i still naively think that i can study both theater and medicine, so at this point, i think i want to go to northwestern. i still hate being asian. i have no asian friends, save for yt, which is fine because i rarely encounter anyone asian; when i do see them, on saturday mornings at orchestra practices, i dismiss them as one-dimensional and regard them with contempt. i read the bible every sunday for half an hour, as i have for about a year and a half, still not really comprehending what i’m reading but knowing that it is of vital importance.

i have no idea that in the coming year, yt will invite me to her new church and i will love it. i will become a christian. at this church, i will find that the asians who i snub on saturday mornings are, much to my surprise, really likeable. i will stop hating my ethnicity. i will, for the first time in my life, make sense to myself, because i share things in common with this community that i’ve never shared with anyone else before. i will meet people who will become some of my best friends and remain so 10 years later. i will make my first-ever bold move (!) by kissing the aforementioned boy on the cheek in the band room after the last day of school. i will decide that where i really want to go to college is harvard.

it is the first day of perhaps the most formative year of my entire life. my life is on the verge of cataclysmic change. and i have no idea.

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