I'm supposed to be writing this morning, but once again I find myself fresh out of ideas. I'm coughing up stale Beijing air after another sleepless night, and my brain just can't seem to put itself in writing mode. So instead of writing, I pulled up my old Moscow emails.
Long, long ago, before I started a blog, I used to write emails home instead. I eventually turned to blogging, because my mother kept asking me to sign up so-and-so for my email list, and it was embarrassing to email folks I didn't know on my mom's say-so (of course SHE thinks I'm brilliant, but her friends might be afraid to tell her they find my stories tiresome).
Sometimes I go back to those old emails, looking for story topics. Today I went back to the very beginning, to the day I touched down in Moscow, pregnant with my first baby and ready to settle down in a brand new country.
Damn I'm old.
Seriously. Whose voice is that leaping off the pages? I kind of remember the stories, so it must've been me, but... At one point, I mentioned how hard it was to make dinner with the baby sitting there crying. Really? Just one baby and I couldn't cook? The new me scoffs at my young self.
And then, I was so hopelessly, utterly optimistic about everything. I had no idea our three year tour to Moscow was going to be interrupted several times and ultimately cut short when my husband got us all kicked out. No idea I was going to lose two babies before they had a chance to be born. No idea I still had three more living babies in my future. No idea I'd one day come so close to losing one of those.
No idea of the trips to the ER for stitches, accidental overdoses, ripped off toenails, blue-faced coughing, dog attacks. No idea of the surgeries, the medevacs, the going deaf. No idea of the nights spent praying at Children's Hospital.
I got a few story ideas out of my reading. But mostly I just got the sense that somewhere back there, I left behind a young girl who was excited about the world. I need to go find her.
Meanwhile, I'll post one of those old emails shortly. My mom's friends will enjoy it.
For now, I'm off - I'm heading to Starbucks with a pen and a notepad. Some coffee and a change of scenery might just jumpstart my writing muscles.