I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Friday, November 03, 2006


The Governator famously said he'd be back in some film he was in. In the title song of the album I referred to just yesterday, Bacdafucup, Onyx sing "Move back motherfuckers, the Onyx is here" (although they probably spell it "Move bak muthafukkaz, de Onyx iz here", daft bastards). Annihilator sing "Get back, back, just leave us all alone" in Never Neverland. The Beatles did a song called Get Back, right? And on IRC whenever someone returns from being away from their keyboard for a bit, protocol dictates they announce this to the channel by uttering the single word "back".

Well, it appears that I'm back. I figure that I returned to working life at 6pm today. 6pm on a Friday evening and there I was: not in the office, but embarking on a weekend after which lies a return to the office on Monday. Just like everyone else. I'm back.

It makes me nervous. All the good things about my time off -- and, granted, they are legion -- are now over, and all the bad things are preying on my mind.

I'm scared of going back. It's 2 months since I did any programming. It's 2 months since I interacted with colleagues. I don't mean any specific colleagues, I mean just in general: it's 2 months since I was last in a working environment. 2 months since I've been at Yahoo!. And it's a new job, a new role, with new responsibilities and new colleagues and new techniques and new meetings and new things to learn to care about. It's intimidating. I'm scared.

Now I have moments, in fact to be fair I have quite a lot of moments, where I look at myself and think, Foreman, you're being an arse. You're good at your job, you'll be good at this new job, you're good at and for Yahoo! and Yahoo! is good for you. And they wouldn't have kept you on or given you a new job (and, yes, 2 months off) if they weren't convinced you were good.

It's probably true. But the last few days have had fewer of those moments than the couple of weeks prior. The 3 extra days threw my psychological preparation for going back off balance, and in retrospect I perhaps shouldn't have accepted them.

Hold on. That's crazy talk. Turn down 3 days off? Who am I kidding? Scratch that from the record.

How will people react to me? What do people think? These are questions I ponder too. I've had 2 months off, longer, for fucks sake. What's so great about me that I got it and others haven't and perhaps wouldn't? Admittedly I quit, and not as a bargaining ploy: it wasn't just a gift to me from Yahoo!. But if I wonder what's so great about me that I got treated so well, surely other people are wondering the very same thing? And waiting for me to demonstrate it? I guess I have something to prove to everyone, myself included.

And what of friends? Barely anyone has said anything to my face that I'm an arse or whatever. But let's face facts, I didn't take off around the world purely for taking off's sake. It's true that I've come back feeling massively refreshed, relaxed, confident and happy, but those are almost side-effects. The brutal truth is I designed the holiday as something I considered to be an objectively cool thing to do, and I wanted to be someone who did something objectively cool. I wanted other people to look at what I was doing and think, wow, that's cool. Perhaps he's cool. Hell, when drunk and making notes in my phone one night I left a message for myself that said "I wanna be adored". Can you believe that? Frankly I wanted to engender feelings of jealousy -- just not the sneering "look at that flash fucker" type, which is now the type I fear I've inspired. I hope I haven't.

But how fucking lame and shallow is all of that?

Not that it even matters any more. I fluked it, I lucked out, I got away with it. I had questionable motives for going away but they gave me the impetus to go through with a world tour -- littered with escape hatches and safety nets, all unused -- that turned out to be every bit as subjectively cool as I'd imagined it to objectively be. And at the end of it I've finished up all those things I said above: refreshed, relaxed, confident, and happy. Result. Whether anyone thinks I'm cool or not? Who cares?

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