Big Changes

I can’t remember the last significant blog post I wrote—in fact I’ve been pretty thoroughly out-posted by one of my more prolific WordPress plug-ins recently—but in the time I’ve been away one thing stands out as the major change in my life. One experience that is entirely new to me. One thing that has changed my perspective on things. One adventure that I had never dreamed of embarking on. One effort that took months to complete, but is finally done.

I’ve grown a new thumbnail on my right hand.

It’s a little lumpy in places because the old nail was still there during much of the new one’s growth, and it’s still uneven at the free edge. But when I look at it I still get that sense of pride in one’s own achievement. It may be crap, but I made it myself. From scratch.

There is not much to tell about the time in which I grew the nail. I damaged its predecessor around the time that the closure of Google Dublin’s software engineering section was announced. My infected thumb gave me all the motivation I needed to skip out on most of the group therapy sessions that ensued from that news. Instead I spent my time waiting in doctors’ offices while swigging from a bottle of children’s strength painkillers.

Once the whole process had kicked off I pretty much relegated the nail growth to a background task. Given the anguish that accompanied the original injury, the bulk of the recovery was surprisingly easy. Even the protrusion of my injured appendage predicted by adage failed to occur. This sore thumb remained resolutely in place.

In the weeks that followed I made plans for the future—plans which confidently assumed the presence of a full complement of digits. I met new colleagues and awkwardly shook their right hands with my left. I bid farewell to the friends and colleagues who had helped—or at least failed to actively hinder me—with my recovery.

Last week I packed up my possessions in the manner of one who has been reduced to a single useful opposable digit. All of it was boxed up and stashed in my parents house to await the movers—people who, as professional relocators, are presumably in prime shape to use all of their thumbs.

Then, only seven days ago, I flew to London to start my new life with my new thumbnail.