My Happy Pill: Circa 1996

Once in awhile, when life is particularly difficult, I think of a time in my life when the world was so beautiful. In 1996, I was a sophomore at Cerritos High School in Cerritos, California. I was a runner in the Cerritos Cross Country team, and life was just so colorful. I was in the perfect place. I was in a school I loved and fit in, friends who were real and still are friends to this day, a tight-knit group I belonged to (my Cross Country team), and a sport I was so passionate about. I had a loving mom, an adorable brother, a dog I was crazy about. (Sorry to say my sister wasn’t really a big player in my life then, but that’s okay because I love her dearly now – enough to make up for all those years of sibling rivalry).

I was giddy, in love, and simply loved life. Ironically, this was also the year that my mom was terminally ill. But despite that, I still found ways to find beauty in life. In all of my 29 years, this year would still continue to carry me through all the rough patches. Back then, life was simple. We didn’t have much money, I had a strict mother, so I couldn’t go out much, but my sport, my friends, and a boy that I loved and at the same time, was my best friend.

Every day, I looked forward to my classes (school was fun in the U.S. Here, it was really blah), followed by rigorous training. We’d run miles and miles after school and the feeling of exhilaration after a good, long, run is simply indescribable. I got to spend time with my closest running buddy Liz and all our other teammates. I loved every single moment of that period of my life, even down to waiting for Coach Dave to come out and whip us into shape. After practice, I’d go home, do some homework, usually talk to Aruni, Liz, Jason, Jennifer or Brandon. Sometimes Allison, sometimes Marie. I’d spend the rest of the evening writing notes to those I just mentioned. Brandon would rarely write back (haha). If he did, it’d be after endless bugging. I’d sleep with the radio on and wake up excited to go to school to see the people I love.

Today, life isn’t as simple. And it definitely isn’t as beautiful. But I still feel very blessed that even if things go awry most of the time, there is that one time in my life that I keep sacred – in a special, secured box in my memory that I can pull out every once in a while and dig through. Then I’m reminded that if I had a blast once, I can have it again. Even if life keeps throwing me lemons, and Aruni, Liz, Jason, Brandon et al may be thousands of miles away, I still feel blessed. Because here and now, I still have those people, but now, I also have God, Ro, Max, Clyde, Mhie, Jay, Len, Donna, my antipatika but lovely sister, my makulit but loving Dad, my stubborn yet still lovable brother and the many other people in my life who remind me that I am loved and that life can still be beautiful.

Tell me, what makes your life amazing?


3 thoughts on “My Happy Pill: Circa 1996

Add yours

  1. Wow! That was so touching and I am glad that you posted this.

    I remember this year like it was yesterday and remember doing homework in the stands and enjoying our time together.

    Thank YOU for always being such a good friend 🙂


  2. Jason! Gawd, yeah, the memories are so clear! Doing homework in the stands! In free period in the gym! 1996 rocked my world! My friend Aruni is getting married next year. I fully intend to be at her wedding. Hope I'll see you guys then!


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