• It all happened on the 20th of a September, in the year of 1996. The autumn breeze brought dozens of blissful delights, including a tiny, four pounds and twelve ounce baby.

    The rebellious little child that wanted to be born a month early was me. So, technically, I was supposed to be born on October 20th. It would have made all the difference that ever mattered -- I would be in 7th grade, and not sitting next to my desk, banging my head on the wall or any hard surface I came in contact with, trying to remember my past memories of childhood. But, I later remembered, and this is how it all turned out.

    I guess nothing can prevent the future, or alter what is meant to never be changed. In this life, all that matters is putting up with whatever takes place. For instance, my sheer existence.

    And so it all began that day -- on the 20th of a September in the year of 1996. I was on an eternal journey to search for normal, in a totally irregular, aberrant world.

    Section 1: The Beginning of My Search

    Life is like a piece of pure, wrinkle-free white paper. Its vast openness is so huge; it surrounds and conceals all of you, as if swallowing you whole. You could run, you could hide, but you could never escape the emptiness it contained.

    Other than a piece of paper, life is also like a classroom, and every lesson educated was taught from emotions and experiences, but never from a book or a never-ending, continuous list of things to do.

    My name is Lisa, though some people call me Liz. I live in a crazy world and life, which is based off the stars or anything related to astronomy. When I grow up, I want to become an astrophysicist or some sort of philosopher, using my time understanding life or the stars.

    I sleep with the stars in my view every night, and I wake up seeing the faint traces of stars that were visible the night before, now covered by the new day. Whenever I am under them, I feel whole, as if the stars were a sole, inseparable part of me.

    My quest for normalcy sort of began like this: it was a typical, ordinary summer day, when I learned that the world where I resided in was not a normal place. Since I was still young, I didn't yet comprehend the problems and issues that plagued the world. As my mom and I walked home from shopping, we observed a crime scene happening near our house. I had no clue what in the world happened, only that it was not a good idea to approach the perilous scene. Later, when we arrived home, the news broadcast reported that someone was a victim of kidnapping and murder, and that the case was located near our neighborhood. It was then that I realized that this was not a 100% hospitable world, and not everyone would be welcoming to each other, or even to themselves.

    As I slept that night underneath the comforting stars, I hoped that I would never happen to meet such hostile scenes ever again.

    From then on, the uncontaminated paper was creased, torn, scribbled on, and worn away by time.

    As I turned five, I learned about honesty, and how much it would hurt a beloved one to tell a lie, or to keep a lie in secrecy. I realized that it would be more painful to have them uncover the truth rather than you telling them. As I gradually grew older and more mature, I understood the seriousness of honesty and the consequences of deliberately saying something untrue.

    Around the corner leaped my seventh year of life. All this time, my mother clutched my hand and clung tight onto me.

    "Time goes so fast, don't you think?" She would always say nervously, fumbling with her fingers, as if binding me to a secure metal pole would not make me grow up. 'Well,' I think now, 'here I am, not the same seven year old as I was five years ago, and never will I be again.'

    Everything was bound to change, no matter what attempts to prevent it. We, humankind, go through modification and evolution every day. Whether it's making a tiny decision, or switching your thoughts, it's all an example of change. It's just a form of nature and life; whatever happens shall occur inevitably, whenever they are destined.

    Section Two: Change of Heart

    Two years rushed by and two years went, and my young, naive heart was certain to meet up with pure hatred and intense dislike so great and perplexing you couldn't be able to stand it. And so I was thinking to myself, 'does this happen to all girls when they are going through the stage of change? Does every girl out there ever experience such strong emotions like hate and annoyance?'

    So comes the time when I meet someone who I truly hate deep in the guts.

    Let's just say her name was ****. It might have been ****, or it might have been something totally different. But I will not waste my time now to ponder about what I should name her so that others will not know.

    I met a cheery, friendly soul on the first day of fourth grade. We became great friends, and went to many places together. I would have liked to consider this normal, and let it be so forever, but things happen and things change. So, just a simple story such as a girl turning evil would have wrecked my life forever. Now, I was a ways off track for my search for normal -- I had experienced annoyance, loss, and hate.

    Sometimes, I like to lock myself up in a compact space, such as my closet, and think of things that upset me, which would result in me weeping. But after letting my cooped feelings out, I would later feel much better and not so stressful. But when **** ditched me and headed straight for the popular group, I felt as if friendship wasn't important anymore, and that gaining everyone's attention was most valuable -- becoming stuck up and not caring about one other's feelings. This left me with a feeling of someone piercing me in the heart with a needle. It was as if my heart was a fruit gusher, and that someone, unintentionally, but it and blood just gushed out everywhere.

    Whenever these feelings gather in a pile, collecting dust, I feel as if I have changed a bit farther from normal, and that it would take years before I would succeed my task. I would say to myself, 'I'm okay, it will be all right' but an inner sense does not bring me to this conclusion. It felt as if I were drifting off inter my own realm, where I wouldn't exist on Earth or in anyone else's world.

    Section 3: Sprinting at a Snail Pace

    As I sit on my broken, squeaky chair, typing away on my sticky keyboard, I roll my eyes at how much I need to cram in before the due date. It feels as if I would never get done, with the due date only a few more days to go. I thought that it would have been accomplished a few days ago already, but being a perfectionist I am, I must make sure it fits at least a few of my conditions. I also have a hard time ending this autobiography, since lives never do really end.

    So here goes -- this is my best shot at attempting to explain what happened to me. I was born and then I died. Not so happy ending.

    Yeah, right.

    To start off with, I haven't even met my so called "death" yet; because if I did, why would you still be reading this? As this piece of writing is going to end and be sealed with a silky blue ribbon, I hasten to fit in my last words. As time and boredom overtakes me, I am engulfed by the sheer emptiness of this, and never will I be the same again.

    Whoosh! It's April. There remained less than two months, and 6th grade would be out for the year, until the whole cycle would start over in September. Something that I found really interesting during my experience while living was that once something passes, it passes. You can't take back what you said, did, or thought.

    I also understand that respect is a very important factor in life, and without it, you will end up nowhere. As my friends and I became more and more spaced out, we eventually stopped contacting each other. The reason to this was because my dear friend's preferences switched to something totally different from me. I have grown up to stick with my law -- respect everybody else's choice, no matter how much you don't want to. What you think reflects off their choice and bounces right back at you.

    Section Four: Blown Away by the Wind

    Another gust of wind blows by and the leaves lying on the ground are swooped up and sent elsewhere. This is what you've become... this is what you've become... it whispers into every bystander's ears. This is what you've become... it lives inside every goal I've surpassed.

    I turn on the TV. A new president, a horrible economy. Since when were the standards set? Another day, I peek outside the curtain and more crime scenes are blocking my perfect view of the tranquil neighborhood. Loud police sirens zoom by, disturbing my inner peace and silence.

    As I looked over the daily newspaper, I read about someone giving up their dreams, and another sacrificing their life for the life of thers.

    More war, more soldiers passing away each day. World famine, poverty, abduction, and abusive action towards animals and humans.

    Each day, I feel myself drifting away, farther and farther away from present day and reality.

    Occasionally, I wake up on some days and find melodic birds chirping to me, as if I really had drifted off into my own realm and the mists had covered my only view of life on Earth. I have never seen anything so calm and serene, a sensation filled with pure innocence and naivety. Reluctantly, I crawl out of bed and gaze out the wide window and look at the view that would stretch on forever, as if peering into a deep ocean.

    All I can see is clouds, clouds, and more clouds. No annoying alarm clock to disturb my sweet dreams, no torture or stress on my brain, and all I feel is relief and an empty schedule.

    Section Five: Life Lessons Learned

    Sometimes, when it's late at night, I stay awake and ponder about things I rarely think about. I think, 'Why does life even exist? Why was I a human instead of a bird, flapping its wings freely and as she wishes?

    'If there was enough love in this world to go around, why is there still war? How can some cruel villains possibly commit such crimes and murder so many people just for the sake of money, power, or infamousness? Why do lives end, sometimes harming all its surroundings, affecting nearly everyone or thing, like a few lined up dominoes?'

    In school, my current "occupation," I have experienced peer pressure and social tensions, such as racism to Asian people, discrimination, or just generalizing after only seeing a tiny bit of the whole. Why do bullies try to act all mean and physically tough when, mentally, they do not meet the requirements of what they appear to be? They have claimed that "all six graders are wimps." I bet I could write better than that person.

    I wish upon stars just for a sage, eco-friendly, tension-free society. Maybe just replying with a "thank you" after generous offers, or "I'm fine, how are you?" after a greeting.

    As I gaze up at the star-strewn night sky, I close my eyes and let myself wander around in my open imagination, vaguely blurring and making reality focus out. It is when I stumble upon the luscious green blades of grass aside the path for normal.

    It is similar to a game -- where you take a break from all the evils and enter a fake realm of happiness and joy. Yet here fits in the quote "If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't."


    Last year, when I was in fifth grade, I was leafing through a fundraising packet and an address book caught my eye as I was scanning through all the "cheap" deals it offered. On the front cover, there was a quote that stole my attention:

    "Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same."


    As today ends, tomorrow will arrive again, as does the 20th of a September every year after my birth year. More facts and realizations will be forgotten and rediscovered, hidden and shown, and brought out into this totally irregular, aberrant world.

    Nothing can, really, change what is never meant to be changed, even if it were to wait over time, and tons of patience and effort shown through its actions.

    As I try to sum up my so called "autobiography," or project to finish in a few days -- as required by my writing teacher -- I know that this will never truly come to an end, and that lives and understandings will go on forever more.

    This is my quest for normalcy... and this is how it went.

    I may die someday, but the search for normal continues.

    Some people come into our lives,
    leave footprints on our hearts,
    and we are never, ever the same."