My number one goal for this year is to get my family moved. We made the decision that we wanted to emigrate, to move to the US of A. And while the change of politics has been distressing, it isn’t a reason not to move. We are going because we need to give Harley a better life, and pursue our dreams to a greater extent. It can be daunting, but I still think it’s the right decision. That doesn’t mean that the process has been easy. I mean, the forms themselves can be a bit intimidating but they aren’t particularly difficult to complete. No, it’s more the actual process than the individual steps.
We received approval for the first step of Dean’s green card application. There are still many steps to go, so I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself. That said, the first step was approved, and faster than expected. They told us it would take 3-6 weeks to be approved, and we got the email just before 3 weeks had elapsed. If the whole process is estimated to take 3-6 months, it seems that we might actually get through it on the shorter rather than longer end of that process. But currently we are in a holding pattern and it is making me a bit crazy.
I know we need to be patient. I know it’s a process and we will get there eventually. But it’s feeling like a waiting game, like we need to wait for the email, then wait for the application, then wait for the interview, then wait for approval. There’s a rush to get papers together, to get documentation organized… and then we wait for the next step. I know it’s the nature of the beast, but it makes me feel like I can’t plan my life, or really even live my life.
How can I get stuck into anything when I don’t really know how long we will still be here. As an example, let’s imagine that the green card comes through in March. That means we have to move by September at the latest, although in reality we will probably go sooner because the idea of dragging our heels for the full six months seems silly. So, in all likelihood, we could be moving anytime between May and November. How are we meant to plan things in those months? I mean, I can plan on being here in March or April, but what about making plans for June? October? It’s making it hard to really imagine myself at work or being social in those months. I might still be here for major conferences in June and August, or I might already be getting settled in over in the States.
But while I can’t plan my life here, I also feel like I can’t plan my life in the States. I’m struggling to find work at this stage, although I think being on the other side of the world is a fairly substantial obstacle. But even imagining our life in the States… I can picture living with my mom for a while when we land. But what will happen next? Will we end up finding work in Arizona where she is based, or will I manage to land a dream job out in California? Will we find work and rent a house during American summer or winter, will I be working full-time or will Dean, or will both of us?
There are so many questions, big and small, and I can’t really have answers for any of them just yet. Sure, I can prepare our lives as best as possible. Dean and I intend to go through our home, getting rid of old stuff that we don’t want or need anymore. But I just feel like I’m in a holding pattern, like I’m moving towards where we need to be but I have no idea when, or how. I’m trying to still live as if we aren’t moving – I love Harley’s school and she seems really happy there. I love our friends and it’s still so wonderful to see people. We still live in this home of ours and I want to continue to try and keep it nice, improve it where possible. But it feels futile some days. Oh yay, awesome meet up with a friend – how many more of those do I have before I move? Will that be one of the friendships that’s maintained even when I’m in the States, or will it slowly dissipate? Work is going well and I’m having some really productive meetings, making some fantastic contacts, but will I even be around to see those projects through to completion?
I want to work hard, to play hard, to enjoy our life here while daydreaming about our future in the States. However, I end up feeling like I’m disconnected, like I don’t belong in either life while we hurry up and wait to see what happens with the bureaucracy. No wonder moving is on that list of most stressful things a person can do. I’ve done international moves before, but never in this role. I was a kid, or I was a student, or I was a recent grad moving to be with my boyfriend. I was either a dependent or young and only really responsible for myself. Now I need to plan and think for me, for Dean and for Harley. It’s a whole different story. I’m sure I will be able to manage – I’m the queen of making lists and getting all the things done that need doing. But until I have a date, I can’t make my lists… so I’m just feeling frustrated by the waiting game.