The life changes are coming. Boy are they coming! They are coming in droves or maybe herds or possibly flocks. At the moment though they feel rather far in the distance – mere dots on the horizon. In some ways, it makes it a bit worse because if they were more immediate, I could do something about them. As it is, I’m sort of in this strange purgatory-like state of holding. Perhaps I should elaborate. It all began a little before Christmas.
If this were a film or TV show this is the point where the picture would go all wavy and a flashback would start.
It was a few days before Jeremy and I were set to leave for our Yorkshire Christmas. We decided to treat ourselves to dinner at our favourite restaurant here in Cambridge, Bedouin. The meal was all the more special as we had filled in our loyalty card to the surprise and delight of our server. He rushed off to take the £15 off of our bill and when he returned he came bearing really nice light up Bedouin pens. We began to wonder if we were the first people to fill out our card.
I don’t remember the cycle ride home but when I got in I plopped down unceremoniously on the sofa. Then Jeremy sat beside me and produced a handwritten letter out of his pocket. As I read, I realised what it was – a proposal. After I finished reading, he knelt down next to the couch and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes. Jeremy had forgone an engagement ring and instead offered to pay for two trips back to the United States to see my friends and family. It was a gesture that felt far more meaningful than a diamond ever could.
Over Christmas we told both our families. While we were staying with Jeremy’s family, his mum kindly offered us an engagement ring chosen from her mother’s rings. We took a few days to make a decision but we finally chose an amethyst ring. When I learned that Jeremy’s grandmother and my grandmother shared the same first name – Constance – everything seemed right.
Midway through January, word came through that I was offered an interview for the job I had applied for with my department at the start of December. A week of earnest preparing began and the anxiety of having my first job interview in close to eight years was enough to keep me up every night.
The day of the interview arrived and I felt that no matter the outcome I had actually enjoyed having the chance to talk about my ideas for the job. Shortly afterwards, I was offered the job. After thinking it over and talking with Jeremy, I accepted the job and honestly I was over the moon. The process of applying for my work visa has been less exciting but I’m happy to report that the application has been made and the decision now rests with Her Majesty’s Government. And so I have to be patient and wait.
The new job has meant other things besides more stability financially and through a visa to remain in the UK past my studies. It also means we’ll have to move. Again. I feel as though the past ten years of my life have been a succession of moves and I would desperately like to stay at an address for more than a year. Sometime this summer, Jeremy and I will pack up the flat that has come to feel so much like home and head for the midlands. That’s this summer though. In the meantime, we are waiting until we are closer to the time to begin really looking for our new home.
All of these huge life changes have really come within a month of each other – getting engaged, being offered a job, realising we’ll have to move for that job. And yet, despite the hurried way in which these changes have come, we haven’t really been able to do anything about them just yet. We’ve tentatively begun to plan a wedding but we aren’t yet sure exactly where we’ll be living or where we’ll want to have it and so that has been a frustratingly slow process. I’ve been able to apply for my work visa but now I must wait to start my job for a possible 8 weeks until I know the final decision from the Home Office. We’ve started to look at possible cities and neighbourhoods to move to but of course all of the properties listed now will be gone by the summer.
I feel as though I am at the start of the race. I’ve approached the starting line, I’ve limbered up, I’m braced for the sprint ahead but the starting pistol has not yet rung out. All of my muscles are tense in anticipation and I’m ready to go onward, I just have to wait. On the one hand that’s a difficult feeling; on the other, I’m super excited to be running in this race in the first place.