I’m already starting to struggle.
It isn’t my new hometown, although that brings with a collection of challenges.
It isn’t sharing residential space with my soon-to-be husband.
I am not allowed to work. No job, no freelance contracts, no
contentcheap labour farms.
I am not allowed to work.
Say that out loud, slowly.
For the Independent Career Girl, those are difficult words to say.
Other than recent bouts with unemployment, I’ve been working since I was 16.
Greco Pizza & Donair. McDonald’s. Pizza Delight. Chevy’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Forever Bar and Grill.
Journalism and sports writing.
Marketing and communications.
I’ve never not had an income, even when I was between jobs, thanks to Employment Insurance.
Yet here I sit, disallowed from looking for a job and collecting a paycheque.
Surviving no income
The K-1 visa on which I entered Washington State two weeks ago is not intended to help someone find work in the U.S. It unites couples who intend to marry.
My American has to provide support, signing an affidavit declaring himself willing to provide for me for the equivalent of 10 working years.
I am reliant upon another for my survival.
And, thus, Independent Career Girl is struggling.
Struggling to feel like herself, struggling to ask for help, and struggling to feel useful.
Now don’t worry. My American is generous and thoughtful and kind. He would give me almost anything I asked for.
But therein lies the problem. I have to ask for it first.
The next step: Adjustment of Status
Our wedding must fall within 90 days of my entry into the States. Our deadline is April 25.
We have yet to cement a date, but it’s coming.
Once we file our marriage certificate, I can apply for my Adjustment of Status (AOS). If all goes well with my application, my Green Card comes in the mail some six or so months later.
Thankfully, when I send in my AOS application, I can apply for a Work Authorization Document, a release from my unemployment imprisonment. It arrives a few months after I get all the papers sent to U.S. Customs and Immigration Service.
Of course, that only allows me to start my job search. It’s no guarantee anyone will hire me, either to continue on my writing path or pursue something else (what, I’m not quite sure).
Until then, I have a lot of time on my hands.
Time to throw myself into my cooking and baking hobby. (He bought me a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Christmas.)
Time to study further into my photography hobby.
Time to read deeper into content and editorial strategy for small business websites, an area I’d love for my career to land.
Time to expand my mind with reading, maybe going back to the classics I studied in university.
Time to fix and improve Our Great Escape.
Time to research more places for Bella and I to explore and add to Our Great Escape.
Time to run and exercise and take care of my body.
It seems like I have unlimited activities to fill my day. Trouble is, I’ve always defined my value by my job and my ability to support myself.
To be Independent Career Girl.
To be busy and active with my mind, my creativity and my skills.
Every day, however, is a new day to define me, to learn new ways I can find value in myself.
To find different ways to create and learn new skills.
Today is a new day.