Kevin Rudd is constantly hit up with “When are you going to become Prime Minister again?” It happened yet again this morning on Sunrise, amid the almost fever pitch hysteria in the media that Gillard is getting dumped.
Gee, that must be annoying. A constant reminder of failing the first time round. A consistent underlying hum of expectation. Regularly having to deny he wants to go back. That must be humiliating in and of itself (well, you’d think it would be, but in a way I think Ruddy loves the fact that this one question keeps him relevant in the media).
So what are the virtues of going back? I’m a classic going back-er. I renewed my current employment contract 3 times, despite declaring I was only completing the first six month stint (4 years later, here I am). It’s not just with jobs. I went back to one ex-boyfriend for around six years. I got even less out of it each time. I even gave the Biggest Jerk Ever a second chance after declaring I never would. After leaving London in a state of pure joy, upon touchdown in Australia, the pangs of wanting to go back started, and have never really abated. And you all know the Custard Tart story by now.
In fact, so entrenched is my rearview mirror, I’m sure that when I move to Sydney next month, Brisbane will start to take on a rosy glow and I’ll begin telling tales of halcyon days spent in the beer garden at the Normanby (which won’t fool anyone, least of all Sydneysiders).
So, what’s the appeal? Would Ruddy ever go back? Would it even be worth it? What’s it actually like when you get there?
There are pros to going back, and not just the chance to sing Kylie’s Better the Devil You Know with renewed enthusiasm to punctuate your decision. There’s also:
*the fact that it’s a known quantity. Whether it’s work or a relationship, there’s something comforting about familiarity. Ok, not comforting. Easy.
*You can get away with more as a result, using the bonds of history as an excuse. Can I work from home every Friday? Sure!
*It’s safe, and constant. There’s no risk of falling flat on your face. That’s because you’re already on it.
*And, you know, the Kylie song thing. Which is fun, I’ll admit.
But there are some fairly significant cons:
*Each time you go back, you close down the chance for a new window opening, a new adventure beginning or a new chapter being written by your own hand.
*Constancy is great when you’re in a retirement home, but when you’re young and able, it’s time to take on the new and build some character!
*Going back limits life experience. If you’re going back, where’s the next challenge?
*Statistically, couples that re-marry after divorce have a reeeeeeally bad chance of making it. Apparently.
*And, really, doesn’t it sting of fear and failure, just a little? Ok, a lot?
Take Ruddy. If he goes back, he’ll be walking straight back into the same job, with the same machinations, same bullshit, same challenges and similar likelihood of encountering the same issues, with, if not the same result, certainly a level of scrutiny that almost ensures failure a second time round.
Besides, why would he? The Australian media is giving him all the attention he wants for free.
And he hasn’t even had to put on a pair of budgie smugglers to do it.
UPDATE: And it’s done! Time to start singing, Kev. You’re back!