Archive for October, 2012

Bad feminist! Bad!

Which is to say: I gave ‘notice’ at my job. I resigned. I am relieved and terrified at the same time.

I gave notice two months in advance, because I’m a nice woman who does not want to inconvenience her employer too much  (or perhaps she’s simply very much afraid of displeasing anyone, ever). January 1st 2013 will be my first day of not having a full-time activity since the day I started university as a lowly freshman. I will also give up financial independence (For a while, okay? Temporarily! Only until we’ve moved. Only because when Beloved starts studying I get to be breadwinner for a few years. Only because I’ll make up for it!). I’m looking at a time frame of three to seven months of no-job, depending on how everything goes.

Queue freak-out. Do not want. No like! Aaaargh. *panicked arm flailingl

However. Let’s look past all my fears of immediately losing all justification for my existence by changing my employment status (it is hopefully obvious I don’t apply that standard to other people who are un(der)employed, so I need to learn to cut myself some slack).

Maybe I should acknowledge that one can’t simply sell a house, move to another continent, obtain visas and passports and keep up with the many other, smaller responsibilities of life as a grown-up when there’s only two of you and the both of you are eaten alive by work, work and more work on top of a nice portion of work. Or maybe other people can do so, but we don’t have to, which is a form of privilege. Which I should also acknowledge, but perhaps not feel so incredibly terrible about that I refuse to use it.

What good _is_ privilege if you feel too guilty to use it? How about if you have privilege and use it to make other people’s lives better along with your own? If there are people out there for whose physical, immediate survival it is necessary that they spend all their resources on themselves, isn’t it sort of a duty for those who have resources to spare that they use some of them to make the planet a nicer place?

The inner feminist insists I only twist things that way to get out of the feelings of guilt.

Maybe the inner feminist should (kindly, consensually) go fuck herself, though.

I get to be happy. I should find another way than a pay check to find value in myself.  I appreciate non-financial contributions from everyone else, so I should learn to appreciate them from me. As a starting point, below is a list of ambitions for when I have free time:
– fix up the house to make it sell better (to be done in time off while still employed)

– deal with realtor

– find good homes for all the stuff we’re not bringing to the US

– handle USCIS / consular business

– arrange the international move

-arrange travel (if we have time to travel)

– keep house (save money by no longer having a cleaner)

– Cook All The Things (bento box lunches, maybe?)

– finish working through the book ‘Python Programming for the absolute beginner’ to improve future employability

– improve understanding of math

– volunteer at pet shelter (and maybe see if we can do short-term fostering!)

– volunteer at the food bank my mom has set up

– find cool freelance assignments (and enhance resume)

– find a form of enjoyable exercise

– see some friends
On another note: I have so far not had a single negative response from anyone who heard of my decision to quit. Beloved is pretty much the person who proposed it and argued against all my doubts. And everyone else so far has been telling me that they think it is an awesome idea. Even at work they’ve all been like :”Well, it’s too bad for us, but it makes total sense for you and we think you’re smart to do it.”
Can I say that I am very  suspicious of the total lack of opposition? I mean.. was I that obviously miserable? Does no one worry about me finding another job? Does no one feel anger-on-principle that once again a (sort of) female-identified person puts on an apron? Does nobody think I’m an idiot? Has nobody yet thought: “Oh, see? There she goes.. Not even married for a year and she strong-arms that poor guy into letting her quit working!”?

Anybody need some guilt? I’ll ship it to you for free!

I don’t write enough

Not per se in the ‘Oh noes, I am not a regular blog-updater way’, but in the ‘My brain is trying to eat me and I need to spit out some thoughts-way’.

So, let’s see. During his latest trip, Beloved had a change of heart. Instead of keeping on our house and trying to rent it, he decided he wanted to sell. Now, before you go all egalitarian on my ass and chastise me for making it sound like such a unilateral decision: I was in favour of selling before he was. Doesn’t make it any less of a unilateral decision, but  if globe-trotting Beloved had one place he felt his heart was, I wasn’t going to  insist he get rid of it for mere convenience. However, when he did come to the conclusion that keeping the house wasn’t what he wanted, I told him frankly that I was happy he felt that way. (Funny legal sidenote: one is not allowed to sell the marital residence without permission of one’s spouse, even if their name is neither on deed or mortgage).

Picture by Cal Evans under Creative Commons License

Then, I e-mailed a bunch of realtors to come and have a chat. The two days after those conversations were spent in a flurry of discarding things, boxing things up and deciding which items go where (apparently having 8 overflowing bookshelves do not help you sell the house – sadface).
Throwing things out is cathartic. It is also generally fun (at least I think so – putting a pile of stuffed trash bags on the curb is very fulfilling). It felt really good to donate approximately 130 books to charity. And yet I had a good cry, well-described by a term invented in the community of A Practical Wedding: mourning the path not taken. Because while life is full of stuff and nonsense and trinkets, sometimes particular objects become symbols of a part of yourself that – while not currently actively under development – you have trouble parting from. Hence, it is a painful thing to give away all the paper, paint and brushes because the eighteen-year-old you who was so proud to be admitted into a specialized Fine Arts college thinks you’re squandering your talents . It hurts to throw out event-specific clothes that you wore too little, because it feels like you resign yourself to a life of boring mediocrity in which there can be no themed parties, playing dress-up or even just looking spectacular and sexy.

In the end it will probably be liberating. It will probably feel very light to not drag around a bunch of “you shoulds”. It will probably help me find new things to try. In the mean time, I’ll try to make myself feel better by knowing that I’m finding good homes for the Things that Mattered to me.

USCIS here we come!

Aaaaaah.. An exciting time has begun.

Beloved has returned from a trip and we’ve officially started gathering all the paperwork for the visa petition.
We sat down, grabbed the visa guide and started ticking off what we still needed and what we already had. We started out ahead since I already downloaded all the mentioned forms and filled out what I could. Beloved only needed to help me complete things.

All the forms are filled out aftre one evening’s work, with the exception of one date (to be confirmed tonight after a dive into my personal archives) and two birthplaces (answer has come in earlier today). We’ve sent the first requests for affidavits and have divided tasks about who contacts what authority for certain pieces of evidence. If all goes according to plan, we should have everything ready for filing the I-130 petition within the week.

I’d like to think that no small amount of being able to do all this so quickly, is me doing my homework. *gloat* *brag*

I look forward to compiling the file of ‘additional evidence’ of our marriage, especially. People we love will write about out relationship, we get to make a timeline with pictures and maybe plane tickets and.. well.. we get to prove our marriage is ‘bona fide’, a word with which am entangled in an inexplicable love affair, only enhanced by once watching the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” which is brilliant.

Seriously, though, even if you thought this post was total blabber, you should really watch that movie.