Sunday, Jul. 16, 2023 - 3:35 pm.
Things have changed a lot since last week. I'm elated and grateful and puzzled by how life works.
1. I got my passport back!
I'm so fucking relieved. Emailing UK Migration and Visa offices did work.
I got my UK visa too LOL *skull emoji*. Anything to avoid giving me a refund, I suppose.
I got the visa a week after the Brighton conference. The organisers won't give me a refund for my registration fee, even though I got in touch over a week before the conference asking them to cancel my participation. They didn't and I ended up getting a certificate of participation, Jesus Fucking Christ. That means my talk was expected and I didn't show up, which is embarrassing for me, but as you can see, not my fault.
My visa's valid until next January, but I can't travel to the UK within the next six months. It'll have to go to waste, what a shame.
Bottom line, though: I got my passport and I'm good to travel to my home country.
2. I'm traveling to my home country!
I'll be hopping on a plane next Thursday evening, and I'll be hopping on Brother #3's car at the airport nearly 24 hours later (give or take time zone differences).
I'll be staying in a hotel. I'll get some work done (even though it's winter break). But I'll see my parents everyday, my siblings almost every day -hopefully-, and hopefully a few dear friends.
I'm excited! I'll make the most of it. I even bought Christmas gifts for my family to hand them out on this trip because I won't be travelling again this year. It always breaks my heart not being able to send them anything for the holidays (I don't trust the postal service, one, and two, getting big, certified packages is a hassle).
Helen won't be joining me this time. That's good. I can get a bit dependent on her, and I can't offer her nothing but friendship by now. She'd do a lot of things for me if I asked her (even if I didn't), regardless of our relationship status, but I don't appreciate such an uneven relationship.
Anyway, this will be my fourth trip to my home country in less than two years, so I guess that's why:
3. The airline bumped me to business class (!!!!!!)
Oh my fucking God, I'm saving that email forever.
My journey includes three flights, one within the country in one airline, and two across countries in another. I usually get business class for the local leg (affordable at this stage in my life) and for the shortest leg of the cross-country flights (a bit of an effort, but it softens such a rough trip it and it gets me into the VIP area at the airport to rest and freshen up).
I was bumped to business class for the longer leg: the seven-hour red-eye. I'm moved to tears. Honest.
On another front:
4. Elmo found a home!
The kitten we rescued from the streets on 1st June went to his home on Monday. It's a loving family and I'm relieved I seem to have chosen well.
I do think I didn't handle the introductions too well, so Elmo got very stressed and wouldn't get inside the pet carrier. I don't think we got closure, a proper goodbye (considering he's a cat and doesn't register what a goodbye is).
The girl who adopted him sent me a picture that night of Elmo on the blanket we gave him and next to his toy mouse, looking all pissed. It made me laugh and it broke my heart. But changing environments is always stressful for a cat, isn't it? Hopefully he'll feel more at home as days go by.
A part of me misses him a lot and wishes we'd kept him. But I also have no doubt that we did the right thing. Our old cats were very stressed with a kitten jumping around all day--and night! Andrew and I were also stressed and we were not getting much sleep.
Have a long, happy life, Elmo.
5. Hey, work's going well!
I'm getting involved in a lot of uni initiatives on the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity. I'm in committees, I'm writing uni policies(!), I'm a speaker for uni community events and I teach under- and postgrad modules.
Lots of things happening and more to come. It feels great. Let's just hope people won't turn their back on me when the next wave of Gay/Trans Panic and conservatism washes over us (spoiler alert: some of them will).
6. We have an adoption meeting this Wednesday.
I mentioned this last week but it bears repeating. I'm hoping for the best, bracing for the worst.
7. WE BOUGHT AN APARTMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We went for the apartment with the great view. We signed the purchase agreement on Friday :D We should be moving in within the next 90 days (or more, as these things take time).
We had seen that one house in which I felt at home, but in the end the price was too high for us. Andrew and I realised any house in the areas we wanted would mean going over budget due to the price, the handling fees, the improvements and purchases required to make it our own, and the mortgage. We're not willing to live our lives with water up to our neck.
We went for something more humble but still amazing and so much more affordable on many levels. Less upkeep, fewer things to worry about. Less space, but with enough space which is also easier to handle on a daily basis (i.e., cleanining, avoiding cluttering and storing useless things).
I did have to mourn not having a garden and a dog, and just the idea of settling in a house in general. But that's OK. I'm OK with my life being slightly less complex. Plus, we still might get a house in the future.
The apartment has enough room for a kid, yes.
And the view from our bedroom. That sold it to us.