So I’ll be starting my three-month attachment at another workplace tomorrow.
When I first knew about it, I was looking forward to the attachment very much. The organisation I’d be attached to is a reputable place and relevant to my work; from all accounts, the chap who’d be my boss is a nice guy. I looked forward to learning, and trying something new, and experiencing a different working environment.
As the attachment drew nearer, however, I began to feel more than a little down. And it was a very self-centred… fetish, or obsession, really. In my more delusional moments, I would doubt that I could contribute at the new place; I would rationalise it as a natural thing, to doubt that one would be suitable for a new workplace, when perhaps a description closer to the truth would be that a realisation was sneaking upon me: I would become a novice instead of someone who knew some things, some important things. (As I write this, I am a little fearful; I think I can feel my breathing quicken.) There’s a difference, I think: Doubting that one can contribute is an aspiration – one aspires to contribute; worrying that one would become a novice is a fear of the loss of power or influence.
But in my more lucid moments, doubt about ability does not really concern me. I don’t think – in my heart of hearts – that I’m incompetent, and I don’t think I’m being immodest when I say that.
No, in my more lucid moments, what makes my knees a little weak is leaving for three months…
The dear friend/sibling/colleague and her smile and her laugh-at-anything-remotely-funny manner and her kindness and overall goodness.
The colleague in the neighbouring cube and her self-banter (you have to hear her).
The boss whose understanding and support bolsters me everyday and I criminally take for granted.
The other dear friend/sibling/colleague and her smile, and her tolerance and never-patronising acknowledgement of my un-funny puns and corniness.
The nicest-colleague-you-could-ever-know who tolerates my banal attempts at conversation and who will probably save an awful lot on cab fares now.
I have not immersed myself in these moments in any depth yet, and my worry is, as everyday succeeds everyday, there is a deadening of remembrance, a layering of dust over branded memories, a loosening of ties, and after a while, maybe it will no longer be such a big deal, this leaving (even if it’s for “just” three months).
I shall immerse myself a bit tonight. Maybe if I remember, they will too.