To have a hard conversation with someone you care about is significantly more difficult than to have that conversation with someone about whom you do not. I teased around the topic with N a few times but could not bring myself to tell him directly that I was going to apply for the position of department leader - because I was assuming he would be hurt. Today I addressed it directly, but only because the boss sent out the email asking for applicants, and because he was away today, I took the henhouse door and sent him an email instead of talking to him face to face. It made me recognize that I do care about N, I care about him more than I thought I did. I do not want to hurt his feelings. (He responded very kindly, telling me it was a good time to apply and that he would support me. Of course this does not prove he was not hurt by my decision, but I hope he wasn't. And I hope that I will be able to do as good a job as I want to.) This is not a fait accompli because the new principal needs to approve my application. But the outgoing one has offered her endorsement.
I talk about work a lot. I think about work a lot. A lot.