My vision is blurry. I can't make out anything but the triangle in the corner of the room, covered in twinkly, rainbow-color lights.
This is our second Christmas in the U.S., and we feel very much American.
My life as a 9th grader doesn't deviate much from the norm. The day starts on the yellow school bus, with friendly faces and lively conversations.
In Taiwan, I excelled in Chinese literature and nothing else. Here, I'm placed in the advanced math and science classes by default, but I love English the most. The American curriculum teaches you just that -- the American classics -- illuminating the culture and history of the place I now call home.
I get sweaty palms whenever I'm called upon to read passages aloud in class. It's not reading, really, but more like a pronunciation exercise that my teacher drags me through, with the whole class as my witness.
I don't think anyone in my jr. high has ever called the heroine Penelope in the same breath as 'cantaloupe', but that hasn't stopped the teacher from selecting me day after day, or someone in the classroom whispering the correct pronunciation into my back.
My favorite time is lunch. I love the all-American dishes whipped out by our cafeteria, and I get to sit with my friends and exchange funny stories.
My meal at school is free, as my family's earning falls in the low-income bracket, and there are many kids like me. West Virginia is the second poorest state in the U.S., but you would never guess that by looking at our school, or our students.
The comfort and joy extend into our home. We have the best apartment, on a cul-de-sac facing nothing but a grassy hill. It's like having your own private backyard which you don't need to mow, or sledding field where you get to make the first mark in the fresh snow.
Dad likes to say that "enough" is all we need to be happy. When it comes to the things that money can buy, the only one he and mom promise us is our college education, for which they will pay for in full.
Then, every so often, we'll find at our bedside something we wish for, and that is more than enough.
What are the things that come to your mind when you think of the year 1991? Please share them below with us, or on Instagram comments or DM, or just jot them down in your private diary.
FTB Time of My Life is an exercise to celebrate the things that have shaped our lives. Click here for details on how to participate.
Up next, 1992!