progress, progress, progress…! and GOODBYES (pt. 1)

… it’s been an overwhelming week-and-a-bit?

Imagine this: you’re moving away. You’ve been teetering at the edge of realization for the past few months, almost having it sink in now and then, aaaand… nope. And you’ve convinced yourself time and time again that, no, sabotaging all the glorious things you have in the place you’ve always lived won’t actually help anything, will just make this great escape feel like running away from something rather than to something. You’ve had the weirdest emotional rollercoaster ride of possibly your entire life, adjusting to the idea that you’re leaving something that’s been so good that it’s taken you this long to leave. That you might never do any better than this… then again, you might, certainly not people-wise (the best the rest of the world can offer may just tie with the collection of Ottawa folk you’ve accumulated over 26 years), but maybe you’ll actually figure out something to do with your life. Maybe.

Switching abruptly back to first person, because this has gotten weird. Wait, we were talking about me this entire time? Well, that ruins the narrative!

So it’s been a long time coming. I’ve been collecting my documents, been saving money, been talking endlessly about things so long as it’s on my own terms (and I must offer huge apologies to some of the aforementioned glorious friends for my occasional rejection of this thing as a conversational topic; my brain has been a confusing place), and then all of the major prep work was done, and I was waiting for that last document. Sent away for, out of my control, at the mercy of the Quebec government who’d already slowed down the process by rejecting my application once. And waiting is really goddamn difficult, especially in the dead of winter, especially when I have all sorts of weird emotions playing about my brain, and especially when everyone I run into asks me about how things are coming along. “Oh, you’re still here?” Yes. Will I ever actually leave…?

All this to say that final document came in on Monday, February 11th, and I filled out the online application for my visa that very night. I booked an appointment for that Friday at the visa application centre. I wrote my resignation letter and gave it to my boss the day of my appointment. And I had my goodbye party on Saturday night.

So things are feeling a bit more real now. Not entirely, but getting there.

The goodbye party was incredible. My friends never fail to astonish me, and this time more than ever. The pub was absolutely packed, dear readers, and for a while I had no choice but to let it all wash over me, all the faces, all the people who looked like they were having fun, all the people who were somehow, amazingly, there to say goodbye to me. It’s bittersweet, really, that feeling of validation followed by heart pangs when you realize that it is a goodbye party, it is my goodbye party, and try as I might to see as many people again before I go (thus defeating the purpose a little bit), it might actually be the last time I see some of these people. But it was incredible. My brother and sister-in-law are in town at the moment, and my brother celebrated his 34th birthday on Tuesday. We decided when I first told him I might plan my goodbye party for their visit to share, for it to be his birthday party too. And so it was, and one hell of one at that…! (Click below for photos, m’loves.)

So there we are, friends, suddenly making great advancements in terms of Dream Following, a thing I am actually doing which keeps prompting people to tell me how brave I am, and I’m not sure if that’s true or if I’m just too stupid and too stubborn not to see this thing through until the very end.

The man at the visa application centre told me the turnaround is usually fifteen business days. I’ll know what’s going on by March 8th, probably. My new thing is a gut feeling that they’re going to turn me down, but I’m reminding myself always that there’s no reason they should, and just deal with things as they come. It’s all been sent off, and my life stands a fine chance of being very different very soon.

So now I begin the final lap, getting in as much social time as humanly possible before I go off and try to be something impressive.

Coffees, dinners, drinks, here we go!

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