On Mother’s Day, we got the best news: I was granted my hella goddamn PERMANENT RESIDENT VISA.
We were waiting at the train station for Joel’s mum, so we could all walk to brunch together. It was cold and rainy, and we got there earlier than planned, so we were killing time by scrolling through memes on my phone. Mid-meme, I got a new email notification from the Department of Immigration. The subject said “IMMI Grant Notification.” Without even thinking, I opened the email, and there it was: my visa grant letter. It happened. I was officially a permanent Australian resident.
This was something we’d been working toward and sweating about since I decided to move to Sydney in 2014. And even though we didn’t have any real reason to be concerned (to quote the immigration lawyer who looked over the initial application, “You aren’t 20 years younger than him and you’re from The States, you’ll be fine.”), I specialise in worrying about things I really don’t need to worry about. And when you’re living overseas and a hate-monger takes over your country, you might feel like your invitation in a foreign country could be revoked sooner rather than later.
48 months of months spent collecting information. 5 notorised statements from friends. 4 express post deliveries of domestic and international background checks. 10,000 minutes spent on hold with the department of Immigration. 20 trips to probably 5 different justices of the peace for notorising purposes. A billion pages printed, collated, organised, labeled. Approximately $9,000 spent, all things considered. But it’s all finally done.
It’s a such a goddamn relief. Like, $9,000 worth of relief. Also, side note: it’s awesome to have the stability and reassurance that I can work, but shit, it feels pretty cool to have residency in another country. And in a year, I can apply for citizenship. Then I’ll be Audrey “two passports” Turner.
But getting my Resident Visa really cemented my life here. I have a job I love, a GP, a therapist, a hair girl, close friends, a cat, a lovely (albeit tiny) apartment, a car, a city, a favourite beach, and a cafe where every one knows my name. Yes, I have my shitty days, lonely days, can’t-get-off-the-couch-hate-myself-days, but it’s all part of this new life. And I have a funny, sexy Australian to share it all with.
Speaking of my funny, sexy Australian…
A week after we got that good news, we had our 5th anniversary.
We celebrated with a fancy-schmancy dinner at Ester, where the meal was so good I dreamed about it for two nights.
Jeez. 5 years.
I’m a firm believer that the universe brings people into your life when you really and truly need them. And I really and truly needed Joel.
When we met, I was a Mess. Like, at the end of my third year of Mess. He gave me the space and support I needed to get through the quagmire. And he was there, waiting with open arms when I finally came through. Just like he said he would be. And like he has been, every time I’ve needed him.
Thinking back on 5 years is just… massive. Every laugh, adventure, growing pain, loss, meal, stupid song, project, inside joke, stress, dinner movie, Saturday mornings at Daiso, lazy days, hard days, coffee in the park days. I cherish everything.
Not a day has gone by where I’m not grateful that he walked into my life. He’s my other half. The Hobbes to my Calvin, the Bunk to my McNulty, the Jay to my Bey, my ride or die. But he’s also the Calvin to my Hobbes, the McNulty to my Bunk, the Bey to my Jay.
5 years, 2 moves, 2 countries, 1 visa, 1 cat.
He makes me better. He makes my life. He makes everything I love, that much better. And I don’t know where or who I’d be without him.
And now we really get to start building a life together.
Way to go, Universe.