Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Journal of Jessie Past

My good friend Christine and I were talking about how we never would have met if we hadn’t decided to study abroad in Moscow ever so many years ago.  Her decision wasn’t that strange – Christine’s mom is from St. Petersburg and she grew up speaking Russian at home – but my case is a little different.  Since Tiger Mom dropped the ball in the foreign language department, I grew up speaking English and only English (and this one Tagalog curse word that Spaniards told me is only employed by grandmothers). “So,” Christine wondered, “how did you choose Russia?” 

Over the years, even I have forgotten what first led me to Russia, so I decided to investigate The Journal of Jessie Past.  As always, it was a wealth of weird information:
Anyway, so [Melissa’s friend] asks me why I’m going to Russia, and since it was Melissa’s birthday party and we were at a bar and I was a little buzzed, I gave her a more honest answer than I give most people. Obviously this isn’t verbatim since my memory is so crappy, but the gist was, “All right, well to be honest I haven’t explained it like this to many people, I put it like this to Melissa for the first time today. When I was younger, I always wanted to run away from home, when I was older I often wondered what it would be like to uproot myself and move to a city in the middle of nowhere and start a new life without telling people where I’d gone. Well Russia is as close as I probably will ever come to doing this. I’m going to a completely foreign place, I’m going by myself, and I’m going to fulfill my dream of throwing myself into a new situation that is unfamiliar, lonely, and scary.”
There are so many questions I want to ask myself: Dude, do you not know how to use commas?  I know this is your journal, but get it together.  Also, where did you get a fake ID?!  Because I know I did not have one.  And finally, what kind of misanthrope were you?  Most people’s idea of a good time does not include the adjectives “lonely and scary.”

So there we have it: I came to Russia in search of fear and loneliness.  Now I’m off to destroy all my old journals before I discover something truly terrifying.  God knows what my else I’ve blocked out about my 20-year-old self...

My former selves (September 2005 and March 2014) making wishes at Km 0 in Moscow

No comments:

Post a Comment