As I was collecting my old things in my parents’ study room, I happened to venture to a far corner where papers and some plastic envelopes were gathering dust. Out of curiosity I opened the envelopes and discovered that my old papers weren’t absolutely gone, after all.
And as my eyes scanned the words and my lips turned upwards as I recalled the stories, I was instantly transported to a time when being self-centric was a privilege we children took very lightly.
And oh how the stories I found went on and on! The first that I found was a conversation between my two friends and I as we passed around a sheet of paper we Filipinos call the “intermediate pad”. Though the sheet itself was a letter kept between us three, the names mentioned are in code, and so it makes me wonder now who in the world it was we called Ferrari and who the other characters in our pass-the-paper conversation really are.
And next up were some letters in the bag of trash that had yet to be thrown out. One was from my neighbor and the other is from an old best friend. How random and fun to be suddenly transported to a time we were the children, we were the ones who had parents worrying about us all the time and having crushes was still the norm?
And oh I, my stories! I actually got to find one! Back when there was no internet and before Windows existed, we had those old computers where the keyboard letters were so high that every press came out quite loud. Oh, how I loved writing on those! There were none of the distractions we have today. No double-checking my grammar, no going on Google to make sure that my phrases were all correct. I can still remember reading magazines then and writing the names of the different types of clothing and different types of cars and different types of whatever it was I needed for my next story in a notebook. I would refer to said notebook from time to time whenever I needed help with details. I really had a thing for details back then!
Here’s the first page of one of my stories then entitled “Happy Grove High.”
I wrote this during those days when my generation and I adored Sweet Valley novels! Oh, I remember wishing I were more like Jessica, but knew I probably leaned more to Elizabeth’s character.
I can’t help but look back and think of those days fondly. Suddenly, I’m back to being that brat that irritated a few teachers. Suddenly, I was the kid my mom was so frustrated at because I preferred to write and play basketball—not your typical characteristics or expectations of a local Chinese-Filipino girl. Suddenly, I’m a little girl still living in the present without a care in the world.
It is such a blessing to find something I thought I had lost. ?
This post originally appeared on Jackie Park’s blog Bringing Up the Parks.