Before we moved, we had a collection of dates and time windows we had to adhere to.
Must apply for Grad school by March 16th.
Must send off final transcript by June 10th.
Must submit visa application by July 1st.
Cannot arrive in UK before 18th August.
Everything was calculated and planned. We spent over 6 years planning and 1 entire year of just waiting.
We waited between each window for approvals and factors; knowing that none of our next steps could happen until one step was approved. In my job, this is how most projects go. Can’t start building a website until discovery is completed – Discovery is filled with 7 different action items before it can close out.
In my job, I stay on everyone until the tasks are completed, because I orchestrate the project. I’m the throat to choke if a project runs over. If the client runs off for three months in discovery, it’s on me to try everything to get them back on task unless they formally suspended the project.
Currently in my life, like it was in 2015-2016; I’m returning to the point where I have no power on this. I can do everything correctly, but I am 100% dependent on other people doing their job – and I am not in a position to tell them otherwise.
Because of this, we are stuck in a time window. If a job I applied for goes through and is on the residency check approved sources for 28 days – and no one who is even low-level qualifies applies – I will be informed of an intent to hire with a visa in December.
But I won’t have it then. The Home Office only does this meeting once a month on the 5th, with the determination not concluded until the 10th. Meaning, since as of today I’m on 24 days to go, I won’t know if the employer can offer me the job, until the 11th of January.
That doesn’t even mean it’s approved. That just means the government deemed that no one in the UK (and EU) wants to (or can) do the job I’ve been offered. I won’t know if it is approved until the 23rd January – One day after I’m legally no longer able to work or live in the UK. We get a 14 day grace period to leave the country; but I’m not allowed work during that time or use any British benefits.
So, our lives are in a limbo. Again. We are waiting awkwardly in the elevator of adult life, hoping someone files the paperwork correctly. Or someone else pops up and says “Hey Meghan – I know you are great at your job.” and we relocate somewhere in the UK.
This leaves us in an uncomfortable holding period. Do we buy Christmas gifts or chipmunk all of our disposable income for the just in case we have to go back to the States? Do we apply for jobs in other countries, such as Canada, where Brad and I are qualified enough to move without a job offer? Do we start selling off our belongings for the best price, so we aren’t selling an 50″ HD TV for £50 to get it out of the house?
To anyone who has ever worked with me or knows me, knows how unbelievably uncomfortable this is. I had a tagged and organised binder last time, for christ sakes. I wouldn’t let a client keep me in the dark or ask me to “just stay patient,” when they set the deadline as being a month away. It kills me that other people can. This is harder than a site build – this is our livelihood. This is my adult life crashing down and risking me having to find a job back in KC with a 2 week notice.
This scares me unbelievably and has led to a lot of soul searching.
A few key things:
- We aren’t going to talk about this for awhile. One; we keep getting our friends’ hopes up, only to crush them when things fail. It isn’t fair to them as much as it isn’t to us. It’s better if we just hang tight on saying anything until we know. Two; even though I’m not a superstitious person, I’m starting to believe I may actually be cursed and I think no longer tempting fate may solve something – So pretending like nothing is happening is healthier.
- There are dream jobs and a dream life. I’ve had multiple good jobs – Ones where I made a lot of money, and some where I had the best work environment. I’ve never had 100%, and I need to remind myself that – the perfect job doesn’t exist. The thing is, with a lot of the previous jobs, they allowed me to live a healthy, fun, adult life. The big motivator to not go home, is that I got the dream life here, without making a fortune. We had time, flexible spending (previously), and I live in a country where an accident from my childhood won’t destroy me financially because of asshole politicians (Hopefully – Don’t touch the NHS). Going back home, I have to make a fortune, move to a new state and start over again – and that scares me.
- Be more thankful. To be honest, this past year and a half has been life changing. We’ve made amazing friendships, I’ve evolved my career much further than I had back home, and we became part of an amazing community. Our time here cannot be replaced by anything and I’m thankful we got to do it. It may have broke our backs for 6 years and required us to spend everyday counting down days like madmen, but it was worth it. It’s worth is so much, I’m willing to do it again to stay. Hell, I’m willing to go on a holiday to Ireland for a month after the 14 days pass to wait out a visa approval – If I have to.
- We are stronger people. I’m going to be quite cliché for a moment, but I feel as if Brad and I are stronger than we previously thought. We could have gave up years ago. We could have gave up the moment my job told me they weren’t going to sponsor me. We could have gave up the moment I received the first 55 rejection on jobs. We could have gave up the moment we found out the first deadline past, and now we are cutting it close. But we didn’t. I’ve stuck to my guns and have not applied for any roles back home. It may not be strength, it’s likely stupidity; but I rather try and fail, than go back with our tails between our legs without putting in the work. If it means we move down to London, we will do it. At this point, we can rebuild again – I just can’t move back to a country without Lucozade and Wine Gums.
Sorry for the delays between blogs – We’re just trying to get by and my work schedule is now at 100% with me back to commuting 2.5 to 4 hours per day, so my post might not increase for awhile outside of the weekends. But if you have any words of encouragement, a shed for us to hide in or know of a company that would love to hire a Badass American Project Manager, and would like to provide a visa – hit me up.
The featured image is the Ouse from Micklegate Bridge, from back in October when I had to go get Brad’s medication post his emergency operation.