Finally. It’s happening. After all the bureaucracy, familial crises, personal crises, and overall bullshit that got in the way… I’m on my way. It all started over 10 months ago…..
It was time for a change. My job, while providing me with excellent experience as a social worker in my hometown concrete jungle, was becoming unsatisfying and a burden. It took up most of my time at the cost of my inner peace. I’d already been looking into working in public or private schools as a social worker. I figured that it’d give me the break that I needed – a slower pace, so to speak. Unfortunately due to the economic climate, being hired by anyone is as likely as hell freezing over.
I had my resume’ on a particular website and I saw a posting for a position in England. To be clear, British agencies tried to recruit me in the past but I’d always turn them down, whether by ignoring calls & e-mails or flat out expressing my disinterest. Looking back now with more clarity, I know that I wasn’t ready to make the move – physically, mentally, emotionallly or otherwise. But for some reason, this time around I decided to send my resume’ as a response to this company. I didn’t take it serious at all, to be honest. The next day I received an e-mail from a recruiter; he stated that he reviewed my resume’, loved it, and wanted me to fly to Miami, Florida for interviews to take place on July 17, 2009. I didn’t have the money and turned it down. He responded by saying that plane tickets are reimbursed up to $250.00. You can’t beat that. I took out Old Faithful – the credit card – and charged it to the game.
2 weeks later I flew to Miami and had a almost-3-hour interview, part of which was written and the rest of which was oral. The questions were difficult and I was unsure about the outcome. Despite that, I was satisfied that at least I gave it a try.
A little over 2 weeks later I received an e-mail stating that the England team was reviewing candidate eligibility and would have responses for each person within 2 weeks or less. A week after that, I received a phone call from England while driving into work. All I remember hearing is “we’d like to offer you the position”, then being excited and saying “yes”. I figured that 4-5 months would be adequate time to get all required paperwork completed, pack and leave.
Not so fast.
Almost 2 months after being hired, my (estranged) mother was in a nasty car accident. In addition, that good old institution called bureaucracy made sure that all required paperwork took as long as possible to be approved. And last but not least due to other family & personal emergencies, it took me longer than normal to complete some of the paperwork. But as my recruiter said to me throughout the process, “These things are here to try us.” His words rang, and still ring, quite true.
Fast forward to April 2010, and things begin moving a bit faster. I took passport/visa photos, made my appointment for my visa application & paid shitloads of money for it, and finally received it in the mail in the beginning of May. I handed in my resignation to my now-former employer and became more focused on the move. My father came to see me for Memorial Day weekend and helped me get a lot of packing done; he couldn’t see me on the official date, but his help more than made up for it. My last day of work was June 8th at my full-time job; my last day was June 16th at my part-time job. Despite challenges at my jobs, it was bittersweet to leave. It was time to focus on myself and my personal & professional growth, however, so I felt the fear and did it anyway.
My one-way plane ticket was booked. June 22, 2010 was the day of reckoning. I woke up that morning and was so anxious that I almost vomited. I sent a mass text message to my friends at 5 a.m. (sorry if I woke y’all) asking them “What the hell did I get myself into?” A few of them wrote back and reassured me that I was courageous, doing the right thing for myself. Vomit or not, onward I was going.
Or so I thought. To be continued…