Graham of Anywhere

Graham's blog: politics, poetry, and introspection

Free

Well, February 2018 is the month that I became free from MPS. I cut my losses and walked away. When it comes to looking after my own interests, I made many mistakes, and with any luck I’ll learn from them, but I’m genuinely happy to have decided to leave it behind me. I put a lot of effort into that company and the sheer lack of loyalty in return has been an eye-opener. I’d argue that I was one of the best managers they had, and I’d argue that I was one of the most respected leaders in the organisation, but it’s impossible to work with superiors who cannot be trusted to look out for you. It’s the exact opposite ethos to the one I tried to build in my own department, and they came to represent everything I would rail against in any future company that I might be lucky enough to have influence in.

And that brings me neatly onto the future. I’m not actively looking for work. Not yet. I’m anxious about where my future income will come from and I’m nervous about eating up too much of my savings, but I’m determined to find a way. The most idealist of scenarios is the one in which I launch my own product and manage, in time, to sustain myself under my own direction. That’s the aim for now. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to get into the stride of project Moxwire and I’ll see where that goes. I’ll also work out some deadlines for myself, to ensure I’m not idly wasting away both my days and my reserves, as that would be a disheartening spiral to get myself into.

So, what of the contingency plan? The scenario in which I do have to, once again, find employment. I’m completely unsure at the moment. I don’t even understand what I’m good at. I describe myself as a leader, and also as a systems analyst, and also as a full-stack PHP developer. In which role am I most likely to succeed, most likely to enjoy my work? Probably not the latter, unless I’m working for a tiny startup where my ideas are just as important as my code. Otherwise, I can’t see myself wanting to be employed as a developer — I don’t think I’m strong enough in that area, and I don’t think I’m interested in any role that doesn’t let me lead. A crisis of confidence, however, makes me wary of walking into another team in another industry and managing software development. I’d need to be super interested in the product to even consider that.

I’ll need to spend a bit of time trying to work this out. I’ll also spend a bit of time presenting myself as available for contract development jobs, and as part of that, I should start learning Swift for iOS development in an effort to create new opportunities. I’ve always been somewhat opportunistic but this time it might take slightly more effort to ensure I can keep paying the rent. Still, let’s not get too bogged down in the details! This year I want to travel more. I’m just back from Jason’s stag do in Bangkok, and reception on Boracay, and solo trip to Singapore. I’ve got a package holiday booked for Croatia in May — not my usual approach but TUI vouchers resulted in this. There’s still the possibility of California in August and I’m also toying with the idea of going to the Netherlands for my birthday. Lots of spending for someone who is unemployed! But, if I’m allowed to spend money, I’m allowed to spend it on doing things. I won’t be a miser and I won’t be a slave to the future. I am here and here is now and now is for living.

The only other piece which is a constant distraction is the search for love. I continue to need what I cannot seem to find. I need someone to hug in the night, but that someone has got to be Mr Right. I swipe and I swipe and I try to ply conversation out of guys who just aren’t capable. It’s painful. I’m somewhat bolstered by the sheer number of likes I picked up in Asia, though; hundreds of guys swiped me right on Tinder and although their doing so is largely in vain, because I live 5,000 miles away, I took it as hope. I also had a pseudo-encounter with a guy called P on Boracay. I’ve thought about this quite a bit since it happened, because I don’t entirely understand it. I’m not sure how he self-defines, and indeed his sister appeared to brush it off as drunken behaviour, but it was cosy and tender and it just felt like it was… real. Again, it was in vain, because something makes me think I’ll never make it back there. I texted him but he didn’t respond. The last relevant story is G(3). I message him every so often on Facebook and he replies. He sounds like he’s glad I’m talking to him, but he doesn’t seem too interested in my life. Maybe one day he’ll decide to invest more in me, but I’m probably finding any possible situation into which to pour hope. I have no interest in living out my years alone. No interest in being forever free.
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