At one point during the trip I was talking about comic timing, and how to hold a pause for maximum comedic impact. The girl I was talking to mentioned that I seemed to think a lot about this stuff, and I replied by saying "well, I'm pretty insecure and fundamentally just want to be liked by everyone. I've found telling jokes a pretty effective way of doing that." She was waiting on the punchline, but I didn't have one. It was just an honest statement.
We didn't sleep together.
After a few days in Barcelona and a week on a boat cruising around the Croatian islands, I'm feeling good, feeling refreshed. Read Seth Godin's Linchpin. Thought it was great, so I passed it on and wrote a note on the cover imploring that whoever receives the book pass it on and write their name in it. I'm not sure if it'll ever come back to me, but if it does that'd be incredibly cool. In either case more people are reading a great book.
Way too often in my job I hold myself back for fear of making others look like they're not doing enough, and that's not something I'm going to do anymore. I'm still working out how to break this to my coworkers in an appropriately gentle way (the intent is to motivate them to kick ass, not make them feel guilty) but for now this seems sufficiently passive aggressive.
Reading Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs mellowed me out quite a bit, and makes a hell of a double-bill with Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind. I've never been good at being wrong, so I put in a ton of time and energy to being right as often as possible, and I've done a pretty good job of developing into a person who's seldom wrong on the facts. That doesn't change that matters of the heart are driven by the gut, and that my gut has shit for brains.
I don't know if this trip has changed me, but if you see a difference next time we hang out (aside from my awesome tan, of course) let me know. I'm probably going to be making a few changes in my life when I get back, and I'll keep you posted on how they go.
PS: On one night of the trip, I found myself consoling a guy with a raging case of "I'm a nice guy and girls only want to sleep with assholes"-itis. I feel like I've mostly moved on from that over the past year or two, seeing it in action made me realize how brutally awful and whiny about it I was for a while. I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize for all the times I subjected you to that shit over the years.