August 29, 2013

pressing the play button

For the first time in a while, I'm feeling hopeful. It seems this year has been a whole lot of two-baby-steps-forward-and-one-giant-step-back. Two adults and a dog living on one income has been stressful and downright demoralizing at times. And the struggle to a) make friends, and b) be productive when I don't have a job, has been ongoing.

Immigrating ain't easy.  

It's really hard. 

And tough. Like, really tough.

But I can finally see a silver lining forming around the dark rain cloud that's been following me around (think: Eeyore).

Yesterday, after a year and a half of waiting, I finally received confirmation of my permanent residency in Canada. It was a letter, written in very unceremonious legalese, telling me that I've been accepted as a resident of the country and detailed what my next steps forward should be. I have to meet with a border agent and have a Canadian ID made, yada yada yada. So I'm not in the clear yet but this long, expensive, soul-crushing horror story is in its final chapter.

I haven't spoken much about the toll it's taken on me because that would just depress us all, but it's been a really difficult, dark period of my life since I moved to Canada. The drama began even before moving here when Bobby's job transferred him to Toronto. We were living in Orlando and I couldn't go with him yet (due to complicated Canadian laws that I won't get into) so I stayed behind and we lived in separate countries for seven months. Bobby was crashing in his friend's guest room and I was living alone in the home that we had once shared.

During that time, the lease on our Orlando apartment ended and, since renewing didn't seem plausible (we were saving every penny for my move to Canada), I was effectively homeless. I had to move back in with my parents for a little while, into the same house in the small town that I grew up in. Not that I'm not grateful to them for giving me a place to live, but it was a lot to go through emotionally.

When I was finally able to move to Canada in January, the reality set in that I wouldn't be able to work until my permanent residency was confirmed. And it wasn't until yesterday that that finally happened. I also sold my car before I moved here (due to more complicated Canadian laws about importing vehicles) so I've been mostly existing in the one-mile radius beyond our apartment building. I've been existing in a bubble of my own making.

While I've waited for my permanent residency, there have been countless conversations with our immigration lawyer, plenty of forms to fill out and applications to file and a lot of sitting on my hands, watching the clock, counting the days on the calendar and waiting. Lots of waiting.

To sum it up: my life has been on hold for the last year and a half. It's as though I pushed the pause button and everything suspended in a  freeze frame.

I've kept busy with my Etsy shop, a summer craft show and projects around the house...

...But there's really no substitute for having a job and friends and things to do (i.e. reasons to get out of bed in the morning).

Once I have my meeting with a border agent and get my Canadian ID I should be good to go. I can start working and meeting new people, and hopefully will begin feeling like myself again.

Plus, I'll be selling at a vintage flea market in downtown Toronto next month with my friend Melissa. 

Plus, my mom and I are planning a family reunion in New York on Thanksgiving (American Thanksgiving, people!). So there's good stuff happening here. I'm getting excited for what autumn has to bring.

And can I just say, it's about time. 


  1. I can totally relate. I was once in a similar situation. Unfortunately, sometimes there's more regression than progression. When we moved to Canada from S. Korea we lived in John's childhood home with his mom, like in the next bedroom. I can assure you that it gets better.

    I'm excited for you for when things are settled and Canada will feel like home. It really is a beautiful country. I hope you know that you can always write me if you need to vent or for anything because I seriously know what you're going through. I will be thinking good thoughts for you guys and your visa. Enjoy your first autumn in Canada. Go up north to cottage country. The changing of the leaves is absolutely breathtaking. :)

  2. I can't even imagine! Here's to hoping the next few months are just really full and wonderful- and they make the last few long, dreadful ones seem worth it!


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