Last Monday I was in Moscow. When I first hoofed it into Red Square and looked over at St Basil’s and the Kremlin and Lenin’s Mausoleum, suddenly my breath caught in my chest and I felt lightheaded and woozy. It was not because I was so blubbery and unfit from hours of walking that I was about to keel over, but simply from pure bloody elation that I was in Red Fucking SQUARE and everything was good in the world.
I take it for granted these days, the fact that I can walk as far as I want for as long as I want. I don’t think so much about how now I can find something decent to wear, how I can talk to strangers, how I can catch a train in a strange city or lift heavy objects. I don’t like to congratulate myself in case I should develop a fat ego, but on that day I allowed myself a moment. I couldn’t believe it was me on Red Square, in the country I’ve wanted to more than anywhere else, the same scared person who rejected the idea of living overseas just a couple years ago coz I was ‘too fat and stupid’ to do such an outrageous thing.
Now I was just burning with excitement and adrenaline. I thought about all the things I’d had to change and all the work I’d had to do to get to that point and suddendly I just wanted to eat up the world and all its scrumptious possibilities. My fingers were almost twitching. If I could get myself to this point, this place, what else could I do?
Bloody anything, really. There is no greater thrill for me than pushing myself as hard as possible. I like to stretch and I like when it isn’t easy and I like when it hurts. Many people see me as lazy git with untapped potential, but they don’t realise that I am always working on some goal quietly and privately and passionately. I just don’t tell anyone in case I screw up.
. . .
Elated rambling aside, I have to say that no matter how much I change and how confident I grow there’s always the little worm of insecurity bobbing around in my guts. This is the part of me who would shrivel up inside anytime someone on our tour would start a conversation with me, or asked me to sit at their table, or buy me a drink. I can’t stop making the Lardy Chick’s automatic assumption that they’re only talking to me out of politeness.
But I got over that after a few vodka shots.
There was also the tiny, deranged part of me that was afraid my gorgeous boy would change his mind while I was away. He’d realised that I was actually a moron and not worth his time. He called last night and as soon as I heard that warm Scottish accent, life was sweeter than all the chocolate I’d scoffed in Finland. He asked should we get together tonight. I said rather timidly, well if only if you have to come into the city for work (he’s across the water a wee bit), I mean don’t make a special trip, I can see you on the weekend, whatever suits you best, and other assorted ridiculous statements in which I basically apologised for my existence. And he simply said, "I haven’t seen you for three weeks!" You’d think after almost eight months of blissful togetherness that I could just shut up accept that someone could want to be around me on a voluntary basis, but I am still bewildered by it all.
. . .
So anyway, lovely folks, the trip has left me energised and excited about life. Now I must call the gym and book in for some classes. I’m having serious withdrawls. I attempted some squats in our Minsk hotel room, awkwardly brandishing my backpack across my shoulders like a bar. It ranks very highly on the list of Stupid Things I Have Done. Everyone knows you can do effective squats and lunges with your own body weight, and I have plenty of that to spare. But I thought it would be fun to weild a big fat bag full o’ dirty undies, shoes, black market vodka and furry Russian hats. They were some pretty lopsided squats, I tells ya.