I open up the photo album and flip through the pages.There is a boy next to me and he smiles at the photos I place in his lap.
Memories come floating back, I can smell the coconut oil and pandanas leaves, feel the bright sunlight and scratchy nylon material.
I delight in the mini me in the images, who seems so remote but is a hidden part of me I'll never forget.
These photo albums I'm excited to share - I laugh at the girl I was and remember the culture I grew up in.
He insists on other albums too, the ones I don't want to show, the awkward teenage years with pimples and frizzy hair and hating myself. I'm surprised at how happy I look in the images. How normal I look. The girl there doesn't look like the person I remember. The person I felt everyone was telling me I was.
These were pictures I had carefully selected, photos full of people I barely remember, trying to paint a picture in scrapbooks of the life I wanted.
I wish I could go back in time and talk with the girl who made these scrapbooks. I want to tell her about me now, who is happy, really. Tell her she'll make it through the next 10 years and get out the other side. That things aren't as horrible as her mind tells her they are. I want her to see me now, and I hope she's not disappointed.
These photos, are more than just images to you. By showing them I'm letting down my guard. I'm exposing myself and letting you in. This is my past and I need to accept it before a future can begin.