It was spring in New York, and I was walking down the street, iced coffee in hand, with the jaunty step of someone who had finished work two hours early. Three months after I got my initial job offer, I started my new job, after initially telling the company the visa process would take “2-3 weeks”.
It was the most exhilarating thing to finally begin working after several months of visa paperwork stress, and also exciting to be in a new workplace after so many months of idling around. Michael and I were also in a happy place, and aside from my occasional moodiness at being homesick, things were going well.
It was then that I reflected with some pride (and smugness!) that I eventually got everything that I wanted, though it took longer than I initially expected.
Meanwhile, I walked down the street, thinking to myself, ‘How long before you get to call yourself an expat?’ Reflecting on my life in the US, I thought that things had drastically improved compared to the first couple of months of my move. It was true, the vicious odor of urine that permeated every street corner still assaulted me at every turn, but I learned to bear it.
With work and my romantic life now seemingly in a good place, other parts of my life, like my social life began to come together, and I took solace in the fact that slowly but surely, everything was coming together just like I’d envisioned.