Thursday, 12 September 2013

crossing the void.

I have a notoriously terrible immune system.
My last year of college, I was sick every month to the day. The nurse at the health center seemed to find it funny. The only person other than me who found it entirely not-laughable was my mother. 

Me: Mom, I'm sick again.
Mom: What? Again?! You live in Florida. It's sunny and warm all year! How will you survive in Scotland? I'll tell you how--you won't. You just won't. 
Me: Gee, thanks, Ma. 

Despite my mother's concerns, this is only the second time I've been sick since I've been here. Woohoo! 

Anyway, my health is not my intended blogging subject. I got a bit off topic. Blame it on Head-Cold-Brain. 
What I really want to write about today is the weird limbo in which I've found myself. (Hence the dramatic post title, which is only a little bit inspired by all the Doctor Who I've been watching lately). 
I think most graduates know the limbo I'm talking about. 
My dissertation is done. I'm applying for jobs left and right. I'm 23, educated, living in another country, and the world is my oyster. Right? 

Graduation day. 

Well, sort of.

See, I'm the girl with A Plan. I knew two months into my last year of undergrad what I wanted to do when I graduated. And I did it. But now, I'm the girl with no plan. Or rather, several thousand plans. Not nearly as neat as A Plan. I like having A Plan. I like having a vague idea of where my life is going. Several thousand plans means that I really have no clue what's going on. Sometimes I get overwhelmed just thinking about it.  
My student visa is up in January. My lease is up in December, and they need two months' notice. This puts me in a rather awkward situation: I need to find a job by the end of October if I want to stay in the UK. With what feels like a billion jobs applied for and no good news yet, it's not looking good. But at the same time, it's a bit early to be applying to jobs back home, since I won't be there 'til the New Year at the earliest. 

The next six weeks will define whether or not I continue to call Scotland home. It's not an easy life, but it's a good one. I'd like a chance to really put down some roots, pick up hobbies, get a dog, live like a normal person. And the truth of it is that I love living here. Yes, the weather is often rubbish and I'd really like it if I could get some Chick-fil-A and if someone would please just once bag my groceries instead of throwing them at me*. But Scotland is a great country. It's breathtakingly beautiful, full of culture and life, and often hysterically funny, if only for the fact that I still only get about 3/4 of what Scottish people say.

The view from down the street. 

I think I'd quite like to live here. The UK Border Agency continues to make this increasingly difficult. So here I am, staring over a short period that will decide where I live for the next few years of my life, at the mercy of immigration controls that don't really want me here. 
I'm not really sure how to end this post. It's not a post I wrote for any other reason than this: I'm stuck in a limbo, the ending of which will change my life, one way or the other. And I know I'm not alone in it, but that doesn't mean I like it or know how to feel about it, really. How do I accept the knowledge that even if I do everything I can, it still might not be enough to keep me here? How do I cross the void of the next six weeks?


*this is a slight exaggeration. 


  1. UGH EXACTLY. "We've chosen someone else" is one of my least favorite phrases. My plan B is the same as yours--I'm just hoping Plan A still works out. Thanks for the good wishes!! :)

  2. I've just found your blog and am enjoying going through the posts. I'm from Texas but living in Edinburgh at the moment with my Scottish boyfriend. The border agency isn't the easiest thing in the world is it? I worked as a software IT consultant before coming here and border control gave me a good questioning just to get into the UK as a tourist when I told them I'd be here for a few months.

    The boyfriend and I are moving in November, but hoping to settle back down in Scotland next summer.

    Would love to chat about expat problems, visa problems, job hunting in Scotland!

  3. Ugh, I know exactly what you mean! I've been in the same place, with pretty much the same conditions as you have: visa expires in January, needed a long enough notice before leaving the house, looking for a job left and right but all I get is "We've chosen someone else." And even though my original plan was to stay here after finishing my degree, I've moved from plan A into plan B and going home. At least that means I won't have to worry about rent while I find a job! Good luck with the search; I so hope you find something in the next few weeks.


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