Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Little Update..AKA Where I've Been

Hello out there in the blogosphere....

I've been MIA for quite a while, I know. That's happened a lot over the past few years.

For a while, it was due to the fact that I worked full time, and had a looong commute. While I loved my coworkers, and was definitely grateful to have had a job, without which I wouldn't be where I am now, even it had drawbacks. My former job consisted of a lot of getting yelled at over the phone, and that in itself was draining enough, not to mention the long commute on top of it.

A lot of my lack of posting has also been due to the fact that I have been working towards getting permanent residency in Canada, so that my husband Dearran and I can finally start our lives together.

Let me back up a little bit...

Dearran and I met online, in March of 2004. We made our relationship official in September of 2005 and have been in a long distance relationship ever since. In August of 2014, we got married, and started on the part of our journey that is long distance marriage.

I couldn't tell you why, but somehow, long distance marriage is different, and more difficult, than a long distance relationship. Especially when it's an international marriage (taxes are way more complicated!)

In February of 2015, we submitted an application to the Canadian government, asking them to grant me permanent residency in Canada, so that Dearran and I could be together. This process included an extensive application, criminal background checks in both the US and Canada, (since I lived here for more than 6 months previously,) and a medical exam.

After months of waiting, and a few snags with the application, (all I'll say about it is thank goodness  we hired an excellent lawyer. He was worth every penny) we finally got word that my permanent residency had been approved.
The only catch?

 Due to the aforementioned snags with the application, my visa validity period was only six short weeks. And permanent resident visas cannot be extended for any reason. If you don't land in Canada by the expiration date, you are out of luck. The only step is to start the long application process all over again, and just because it was already approved once, does not mean it will be approved again.

I found out my application had been approved on January 15th. I talked with my lawyer about the next steps. Then, I gave notice at my job. Because of the time sensitive nature of my paperwork, I was only able to give my work 1 week notice, but they were very understanding as I had been transparent with my plans  throughout the entirety of the application process.

There were other issues, like my visa paperwork needing to be reissued due to the fact that it had outdated passport info on it (I had renewed my passport before I knew my file was approved. )

Sending that paperwork back was probably one of the scariest things I've done in a while, just because I was so afraid I wouldn't get it back in time.

Among all that worrying, I still had to decluter all of my stuff, (including a ton of books) get myself packed up, find a moving company to handle an international move, find time to hang out with friends, take care of a million things like bills, lists of goods I was bringing to Canada, etc.

I honestly never thought I would get it all done. But, I finished with time to spare.

And, on February 28th, after a few hours and procedures at the airport, I officially became a permanent resident of Canada.

I am beyond grateful to be here and finally be home with my husband.

The adjustment has been a little difficult, and I do miss my family back in the States a lot, but I will be back to visit them soon. As hard as that is, I know that I am where I should be.

The past 10 days I've been trying to relax and take care of the important stuff at the same time. I already have a bank account from when I lived in Canada temporarily in 2010, so that was helpful. I got myself added to Dearran's lease, and I have keys. I also have my Social Insurance number (the equivalent of a Social Security number) I have my transit card, and last week, I got a library card as well.

I've actually read two books and started a third in the last 5 days, and it's been glorious.

I haven't gotten the reviews done yet, but those will follow shortly.

Since I have my social insurance number, I could start looking and applying for jobs right away, but I've decided not to.

I've been through a lot of stress in the last few months, and honestly,  I need to decompress and take a break for a while. As much for myself as for any potential future employer. I can't be a productive employee if I'm stressed out and overtired.  So, I'm just going to enjoy some time with my husband, explore my new city, and read, A LOT.

So, that's where I've been. What have you all been up to?

Does anyone have any recommendations for books that I should add to my immediate TBR pile. Any new series I should dive into?


Jeannette Lewis said...

I know the feeling, it's important to take some idle time before embarking on a new career adventure. I took some time out a while back to do the same and it was the best thing I could have done, get your headspace right and enjoy time with your partner, reading a lot is also a great way to relax.

Jeannette Lewis @ Welcome Pack Canada

Melissas Midnight Musings said...

The time off has been good, but I think I've had enough. I finally got my PR card a couple of weeks ago and am planning a trip back to see friends and family and then I can finally apply for jobs once I return.