Just One Breath

An American girl in Scotland, figuring things out one step at a time

Learning to be patient and just let go


If this past year has taught me anything it is this… I need to be patient and let go of some of my control. I always seemed to be an instant gratification girl. If I wanted to go to the movies and no one was around I would go by myself, If I wanted a new job I would get one, If I wanted a new book I would buy it, I was never good at waiting for my grades, friends’ chronic lateness drove me mental… get the picture? In my adult life I have not really had the patience to wait for much. I am a planner and I like to get things done but this past year has completely destroyed that impatient control freak person.

Since last December I have had to wait for everything and I mean everything and my level of control over my own existence has decreased. I had to wait to see Jamie in January, my whole work was counting down with me. I had to complete many Visa forms and wait for Jamie to complete his half. He was really good at this but not having the control over a lot of it made me antsy. Then I had to wait for the Visa to be approved. Having a person that I have never met read my letters and look at personal information in order to decide if I am allowed to be with the man I love was beyond hard. How can someone actually have the power to grant a person access to its heart’s desire? Once my privacy was invaded, fingerprints checked and face photographed my Visa was approved, exactly 10 days later. Then came the waiting for my return to Scotland, again a big countdown made it easier to bear. Crossing off calendars was something I had control of since I couldn’t control the sun rising and setting.

Once I was finally in Scotland I had the paperwork for the Wedding to complete and even that had a “can’t be turned in before his date” clause. I hated to wait. I just wanted the paperwork in someone else’s hands so that I would feel like the process was in motion. Planning the wedding was helpful with passing the days but I wanted to work so badly and was not allowed to due to my visa status. I missed working and we knew this would be a problem for me. To satisfy my need to work I got not one but two volunteer jobs. I was going stir crazy waiting for the wedding and my family and best friend to arrive. Then it finally happened… We got Married!!!! Amen! But now what was next… Oh yes wait for the Marriage Certificate to be sent out so that we could fill out the next Visa application and then wait some more.

In the meantime, a real job came up that I was encouraged to apply for even though they knew my Visa was still pending. I didn’t think I would actually get it but I had a good shot. I didn’t want to be cocky but every job I had ever applied for I had gotten. I was this ––– close to a job and really being able to contribute to my marriage. My Visa for my Spouse Leave to Remain was finally approved after 2 whole months and our passports going AWOL. Big sigh… I was finally legally allowed to work in the UK. Then SMACK! I didn’t get the job. How could that be? I was more than qualified and well liked at the place. I felt like I had wasted a whole month and 1/2 waiting to be rejected. I was thrown back so far and I began to question if I had really wanted the job or had I been pressured into applying. God help me, I had some more waiting to do.

I decided that I was better off without that job because I really missed working with the children. I looked at local day care centers and figured that would be an easy in. At home people always asked why I wanted to work for them because with my Master degree in Education, I was over qualified and they couldn’t pay me what I am worth. I figured it would be a small pay but something to start with. I applied to two local nurseries and then SMACK! SMACK! I was not qualified for the positions. This I didn’t get at all. I had a Masters degree in Education, 1 year of being a head teacher of a two year old class and 4 years of working with Autistic children. How was I not qualified to change diapers? I found out, I needed to have an early years certification to be registered with the SSSC. SSSC? I had to look that up too. Scottish Social Services Council. Daycare in the UK is considered Social Work? God I was confused and that equaled more waiting.

I had to call this person to be transferred to that person to find out this information that took me back to person A and then they recommended this thing that another person said would not work and then I just hung up the phone and cried… and cried… and cried. I was lost and I admit I still am.

It is now nearly 3 months since I have been able to work and still nothing. I have contacted more inept people and had more fits of tears and have barely more information than I started with. I have gathered that I need to expand what I am looking to do. It seems that no one will take me on due to the bureaucratic checking of boxes that I can’t fulfill because I don’t have a little college certificate that has taught me “How to Play.” I have had to learn to swallow pride which is so hard when I know what I have accomplished. At the same time I have had to dig to find my self worth that has been severely battered. My emotions are all over the place and I still have so much more to learn about the rules in the UK. Even if they don’t make sense to me they are the rules here.

So… more phone calls need to be made, more letters sent and I am sure more rejections will follow. I need someone to give me a shot, to not just look at the boxes but actually know the rules that go with the boxes. One thing that I have found out is that I AM allowed to work without being registered with the SSSC and I have 3 years once I am employed to get that stupid certificate that is well beneath my already earned Master Degree but no one knows the real rules and will not expand their minds outside of the boxes and see the loving, well educated teacher with a ton of experience and a lot to contribute. Take a breath… see I told you I am learning to swallow my pride… learning.

So, I will get through the holidays, officially my first with my husband ever, and then I will hit the ground running again. I pray that I will be patient because lets face it, it is be patient or go mad with worry, disappointment and feelings of worthlessness. I will get there and I am learning how to accept the things I have no control over. I will persevere, I will make it and I will finally begin to live when the waiting is over. x heather

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