Being precise about my particular immigration problem is emotionally overwhelming.
My story seems complex, but I’m facing some relatively straightforward legal questions. My current visa can likely be transformed in three different ways, and I’m hoping to hear back from a very wonderful lawyer about which path I must take to achieve my overall goal. Writing the introductory email, with questions about meetings and hourly rates, was intense in that I saw how far I had come, while simultaneously realising just how far I still have to go.
The first time I renewed my visa in the spring of 2015, I was reeling from leaving a truly terrible job, and trying my best to get into graduate school. Every day that I made progress, I felt like I was rescuing myself, but the fact is that a network of French friends and family quickly came together to say, “We want you here, let us help.”
It’s a humbling experience to be folded into a system like that, and now that I’m testing the strength of those connections again, I’m proud of what has grown over the past two years. I care so deeply for the people that I have met, the people who make up my odd little community. To know that they are still willing, in different ways, to share what they know with me in order to help me keep growing in France is an honour.
We are the sum of our parts. I would not be here if my French teacher for the first 3 months of class had not been so dedicated to our advancement. I would not be here if a friend had not connected me to someone who would later write a recommendation for my graduate program. I would not be here without Etienne’s mother and step-father, I would not be here without his best friends. I would not be here without my friends at the American Library, or without my classmates.
I would not be here without dedicated professors, interested mentors, and people willing to say yes when I proposed a project to them. If not for my family in the States, especially, I would not be here. If not for the college professors, the work supervisors, the high school role models, the list goes on and on.
When did this life become possible inside of me? What was the moment where this because something that I was able to do? Who was the person that tipped the scale? I will never know who they are, and so I feel that I must absolutely be grateful to everyone who has brought me so far afield with their kindness, their advice, their teaching, and their friendship.
I know I will be taking this next step, all that’s left is the precise direction. When I know, you’ll know, and for all that it’s 6 months away, it’s only 6 months away!