Sometimes it’s so hard to not be where I want to be.
Some days I’m able to use that as an extra oomph to pursue what I want; others – fewer, thankfully – leave me out of breath and feeling hopeless. Yesterday was one of those days.
I want to work as a Developmental Specialist in Early Intervention in the US. There. I said it.
For those of you than are just stumbling upon my post, I’m a 30 year old gal from Portugal, born and raised, with a lovely bunch of family and friends, Psychomotricist specialized in Early Intervention and I love it.
But, somewhere along my development, around those bubbly late teenage years/early adulthood, I found myself more and more “connected” to the United States. And I’m using quotation marks because I really can’t explain how I feel about it. I want to move to the US, pursue/continue my career there and, overall, move my entire life there. I truly believe my/our life would be better there.
Now, I’m not an ingenue. And I’ve heard so many times how awful the US can be, and how traumatizing that experience can be, and how the American dream isn’t real, and how I’m wrong to “hate” my country, and so much more. Believe me. If there’s anything that anyone can think about this issue, I’ve heard it.
First of all, I don’t hate my country. I’m Portuguese. I will always be. Even if I’m able to apply for US citizenship. I believe Portugal is one of the richest countries in terms of history and power. We’re not always portrayed as such, especially after the financial crisis that we were (and still are) in. But I love Portugal and will always love it.
I’ve been to the US, I have family there (my brother in law is American), and a lot of friends from there. It’s not that I woke up one day, closed my eyes in front of a world map, and randomly selected a country to move in. I know A LOT about the US and I’m guilty of – most of the times – being more up to date in US news other than what’s happening here.
In three different visits, I’ve stayed a total of almost two months there. In a road trip back in 2010 we visited three states and got to know a lot of different realities. I have nothing bad to say regarding the time I spent there. Maybe we were lucky. I know we were. We only interacted with really cool people – even the officer that gave us a parking ticket in Boston.
I postponed writing this because I really couldn’t – and still can’t – find a good way to easily explain it. I guess that you could only truly understand it if you’re going through the same. It’s almost like you feel you were born in the wrong country.
It’s not a question of identity. I’ve explained that already. It’s a question of heart. And I may be wrong. I could move there and realize that’s not really for me. And that would be okay. But this is how I feel right now – and have been for the past almost 10 years.
Which brings me to the latest events. You may remember my failed US job experience that I wrote about last year. If you don’t or didn’t read it in the first place, click here. In that post, I wrote:
But still, my biggest on-going goal for this year is to get another opportunity to work in the States. I believe I’m worth it. I am a very good professional and every company would win if they were to hire me. Specially if they would hire me to work in the US. I would be the best and most committed therapist. *okay, I’ll stop with the overconfidence right before I come off as arrogant*
A couple of things have changed since then. I’m currently working – for almost a year now – and I’ve had a couple more positive replies to my job applications. None of which turned out to be a possibility due to immigration complications. It’s not an easy process for both the company and immigrant applicant, and I understand that it can’t be an easy one, but it’s so frustrating.
In the beginning, with every positive reply, or request to set up a skype interview, I would be over the moon. Now, in order to protect my sanity, I need to not allow myself to be excited. And I’ve learned to read in between the lines of emails really well.
With that said, it’s getting harder and harder not to have days when I feel disheartened. I’ve sent close – or maybe even over – a thousand job applications, in the past 6-7 years. I’ve religiously applied to the green card lottery every year since 2007/2008. I’ve considered applying to a second Masters Degree. Nothing has worked.
I keep seeing people I know moving to the US and it seems so easy. Some of them don’t even want to go there, they’re going because they have to. And it gets harder to push away envy.
And that was why yesterday was hard. I’m human, after all.
But I’m a fighter, and above all, I believe in myself, my worth and my goal.
I’m 30, couple of months shy of 31, but I will not give up. I may not be there yet… and I’m not closer than I was yesterday, but tomorrow – who knows?