It’s been a week, to say the very (very, very, very) least.
On Sunday night, I had a stress dream. In it, I received a DHL envelope from the UK Border Agency. I cautiously opened it, and found my passport, not with a visa but with a simple stamp. “You don’t deserve to live in the UK,” it read. I think it speaks volumes for the great advancement of my self-esteem that my subconscious called shenanigans on that, and woke me up before I could feel too upset. My brain and I, we’re buddies from time to time. But I couldn’t get over the fear for days, deciding upon some new reason for rejection on Monday, on Tuesday, on Wednesday… I made myself stop eventually, but only after begging reassurance from some of my nearest and dearest. No, they won’t know or care that I had a stopover in Detroit the last time I went to London, which I forgot to mention on my application! Yes, they’ll figure out how my documents work. No, they won’t require that I have a job lined up…! Paranoia is a dumb thing, ain’t it?
It was my last week of work, and it was coming to the point where I couldn’t possibly see myself succeeding at the thing I’d quit my job to do.
So imagine me now, Friday evening, having gotten through a very emotional last day, having received an email telling me my visa has been issued. The timing, the timing! And it’s all so very, very good, but I can’t keep the paranoia away…
I mean, would it really hurt to just casually throw in one of these?
It would hurt the eyes, certainly, but the soul! The soul, gentle readers!
I guess all that’s left to do is think positively and assume that the UK Border Agency has their shit together enough not to get applicants’ hopes up for no reason, and maybe believe that I’m going to succeed at this. That maybe, just maybe, I deserve to live there? Kabam! Take that, subconscious!
And then there was the last day. The last week, really. And this is where some of you join in, lovely folks. Those of you who I’ve gotten to know somewhat over the last two and a half years, whose drink orders I’ve memorized, whose faces I’ve been so pleased to see. Hello to all of you I gave my little Moo cards to, and thank you for actually caring enough to come here. It was difficult to say goodbye to you. I knew full well it would be, too, but you can never be suitably prepared for these things. Besides which, due to various circumstances, this is only the second job (almost typed “cup” there, surprise surprise!) at which I’ve ever given my two weeks’ notice, so I’m not really practised at it. You astonish me, though. The number of you who not only remembered it was my last day but told me I’d be missed. The number of you who gave me wonderful hugs. Those of you who gave me cards or little gifts…! You do astonish me, you know. There are no words to convey my gratitude for all of it. I have a lot of really wonderful people in my life, and I don’t know what I do to deserve you all, but I’m so happy you’re around. This was the best last day of a job I’ve had, and I think that might well always be the case. And I’ll try to do you all proud with my adventures.
I went to dinner with my parents tonight, and it was starting to sink in as I sat there talking about my day: all the faces I might not see again, all the things I’m leaving behind in the hopes of something magical. Here I am, gradually becoming me out of context. When I moved out of my apartment in December, I felt lost for a little while, suddenly Leslie Without An Apartment. I can’t imagine it’ll be much different for Leslie Without A Job.
But I’ll be okay.
I’ll be better than okay. I’ll be amazing.
I’m thinking maybe I’ll book my flight for around March 12th. I don’t want to book it until I’m holding my UK visa in my hands (more accurately, clutching my passport to my chest and weeping), but I’ve been looking into it. It’s insanely soon, but then, I don’t know if it’ll ever feel anything but. For something I’ve been planning so constantly, daydreaming about always, every part of this feels absolutely shocking. Something about following your dreams: you might never believe you’re actually doing it.
But now and then it’ll hit you in waves, and you’ll feel unbelievably proud and excited.