As a few of you might have noticed, I’ve changed the name of the blog. I’ve changed its purpose, too, although that’s much less obvious. I’m back home in America now, have been for almost two weeks. Last week I was kept busy with my husband’s kidney stones, but this week I’ve been thinking about what to do about the blog. I didn’t get to write half of the things I wanted to about Russia because of time constraints, but I still want to record a lot of those thoughts. Today I had an epiphany about how to keep this blog going honestly (you know, without me writing while pretending I’m still in Russia).
Here’s the (long, convoluted, stream-of-conscious) story.
I went running today for the first time in a long time. I wanted to try out my new running shoes that I bought last week (lovely, by the way). After two months in Russia, my old running shoes were not worth the suitcase space I saved by chucking them. I almost started my run with McDonald’s as the end goal. You know, reward myself for my hard work. For obvious reasons, I was not quite happy with that and decided just to explore the city a little bit. Yes, explore Provo, Utah. Exploring cities is something that I learned to enjoy in Russia. Wandering wherever the colors call and reading signs and making observations felt like learning in a foreign country. So I thought, Why shouldn’t it feel the same way in America? I’ve lived in this city for over 4 years, but I have no idea what it really has in it. On my mere 25-minute run I found a beautiful Victorian-styled brick building (The Discovery Academy, I believe), wooden overhangs draped with tropical flowers, tacky dalmatian gnomes planted around a fire hydrant in the middle of a yard, and arched windows that I would have taken pictures of had they been in Russia (I wish I had brought my camera). While running/walking home, I started thinking how strange it was that things seemed to merit more attention just because they’re far from home. If those windows deserved a picture in Russia, they darn well deserved a picture in America.
And then I got really excited because I knew what to do. I trained myself to think about things differently while I was in Russia. I tried to take nothing for granted. I was always wondering about the backstory, the characters, the reasons and whys behind things and people. So I’m going to try and keep that up here. I’m going to try and keep up my running with the purpose of exploring Provo rather than run a certain distance or time each day. And I’ll still write about things that I never got to say about Russia.
So basically this blog will become an odd, philosophical, eclectic, mix of Russia and America, my days of traveling and my days of normality. Before, it was about an essayist living in Russia; now, it’s about the new and improved essayist that has come out of Russia.