Monday, February 16, 2009

Long, Long Ago

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.


Simple Answer said... [Reply]

I bought a stupid expensive buy super quiet dishwasher cuz I just wanted to run and empty it before bed because it was so hard to do with the baby in my arms in the morning. Perspective. Can't have it until you've lived through it.

Erin G said... [Reply]

so smart to keep those old emails, what a great trip down memory lane.

I have to wonder what I will find humorous about my current parenting perspectives when I go back and read my posts in 10 years.

how did your hubby get you kicked out of russia??? that's a blog post for another day. if it's public info, your readers woudl love the story!

GutsyWriter said... [Reply]

Or you could look at Elizabeth Gilbert's inspiring video which I found on someone's blog today:
20 minutes, well worth it. I think she's fabulous and love, "Eat, Pray, Love." I just discovered a new expat who wrote a book that I've fallen in love with, "Petite Anglaise." You might like her story too. I blogged about her as she received 3,000 hits/day on her blog and got offered a book deal from that blog. Hope you're inspired again.

American in Norway said... [Reply]

OOOO I would love to hear all of your stories...It makes me smile thinking abot all of the things I didn't know then... I am no writer (for sure) but I have stories that I want to write down even if no one else even reads them... (I have you in my google reader...but my laptop won't let me follow you...) I really want to read some of those stories...

Please. Write your own stuff.