This is the post where I show how totally neurotic I am…
I’ve got six weeks until I leave for Italy, to some that may sound like a sufficient amount of time to accomplish a variety of tasks but I’m hopelessly overwhelmed. I need to write my dissertation proposal, defend it, apply for (and hopefully) get my UK visa, pack my belongings for my trip, and store the rest of it for when I return (a topic for another post). Oh yeah, and I’ll need to schedule a weekend to make the 20-hour drive to my parent’s house to leave my cats with them while I’m gone :(. Additionally, I’ve also got two separate conferences to present at and will be meeting my Scottish mum, *Fiona, in New Orleans when she is in the ‘States for business later this month. I’m sure I’ve got plenty of time to accomplish all of these things successfully. Do you detect a hint of sarcasm?
Oh, the visa woes…
It won’t come as much of a shock to you expats and world travellers out there, but the most stressful part of this process, the process of leaving my life here, is the visa. I’m leaving the ‘States in six weeks but don’t expect to be in the UK until August. That sounds fine, right? Wrong. I can’t apply for my UK visa until three months before I leave, which means that I can’t apply for my visa until May 1st, only two weeks before I leave. TWO WEEKS!
That’s two weeks for the UK Border Agency to process my visa application, confirm or deny that application, and send my passport (possibly with a UK visa in it) back to me. In the back of my head, I know that it will be okay, it has to be okay because I need this visa to finish my dissertation. But there’s that little voice in the back of my mind sowing doubts and fears. It is amazing the scenarios one can come up with when they’re stressed or anxious.
Maybe my application won’t make it and consequently my bio metrics scan will expire and I won’t get my passport back on time and then something crazy might happen
…like maybe it won’t be the end of the world as I know it (forgive my dramatics).
I get like this, crazy and neurotic when preparing for travel because somewhere in the back of my head I’m absolutely terrified it won’t happen. It doesn’t matter how much I travel, it never feels even remotely real until I’ve booked the flight. Once I’ve booked my flight, it’s not until I’m in the air when I’m finally at ease.
Transitioning from my life in the ‘States to the life wherever I’m headed is always interesting. No I’m not leaving forever (not yet at least), but knowing that I’m not coming back to my apartment here or the life I’ve made for myself the past five years feels weird. I’m young, but it’s amazing how quickly things change, and how much has happened during my time here. I moved here knowing this was just a phase, just a jumping off point, a place where I would get my education and leave for something new, but a lot happened during that phase. I’ve made new friends, got engaged (and un-engaged), and learned a lot about myself and the type of life I want to lead. Although I can’t say with any confidence that I know exactly what I want out of life, I now know what I don’t want.
This geographic transition I’m preparing to make is not unlike the transition I’ve made in life the past year and a half; I gave up a life of familiarity knowing it was something I had to do in order to accomplish certain goals. If you want to change something in your life, you have to be prepared to be uncomfortable, because that’s just what change is: uncomfortable.
Sometimes it’s hard to live in the present, particularly when you’ve got so much uncertainty on the horizon. I’d love to know where I’ll be exactly one year from now, but I haven’t a clue. The uncertainty kills me, but if I were to let that get to me, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy even the simplest things going on right now. I don’t know where “home” will be in two months, but I do know that wherever I am in two months, it’s where I’m meant to be… unless my visa doesn’t go through (in which case I will likely lose it, temporarily 😉 ). Regardless of what happens, I do know that I will figure it out. Somehow, I always do.
I’d like to hear about some of your transitions, smooth or otherwise? What prompted these transitions, a relationship, career shift, mid (or quarter) life crisis?