Well, what can I say.

My heart had not been this heavy in a very long time, not since my grandpa passed away a couple of years ago.

These last 30 somethings day until Spain are passing by at an excruciating pace. To top it off, I spent my birthday here, working.

While other typical 21-year-olds go out and drink away on their birthday to celebrate the golden legal drinking age, I was running back and forth between the cash registers and the dressing rooms. The most delightful part of the day was my lunch break, when the girl in the mall gave me a 20% discount on my milkshake and cinnamon roll…

The least delightful part stems from many problems, mostly from poverty and family issues that I would rather not discuss because it brings me much pain and disgust.

All I can hope for is for the departure date will come quickly. It will be a year of living the dreams.

And like dreams, they are just illusions that are not meant to last…

Here’s the dilemma:

If I leave the US more than one year, it means that I am giving up my residency and I cannot return, unless I am willing to go through the lengthy immigration process again, and that can take months, and months. And months.

I could apply for the re-entry permit now…but that’s just not financially possible. In fact, the last thing I want to do is coming back.

Then why not stay in Spain? Well, I am about to be on the student visa. And although I will granted the NIE (ID for foreigners), it will only last a year. Yes, I can renew the 2nd year with the program, but that’s the limit. Without the student visa or a program to back me, I am out.

Unless someone is willing to hire me or marry me. So you never know.

Out of the two options above, it seems like the first one is much more likely. But I don’t know which employer would like to go through the trouble of hiring such a troublesome case… The process will take MONTHS before I could obtain a real Spanish residency (that has to be renewed every 5 years) and the Spanish government may force me to go back to the US to apply for this different type of visa…except that by then I won’t be able to enter the US. Haha.

Or I can return to my home country and apply for a work visa. The problem is, the Spanish Consulate in my hometown only issues tourist visas. Haha.

Still, although it is stated on the website, I have a tough time believing that they don’t deal with different types of visas. It seems like I have the need to consult my home country’s consulate in Madrid ASAP.

I can’t come back here, it’s miserable.

I can’t go back ¨home¨… Things have changed and I won’t be able to be myself (I’m not even talking about ¨fitting in¨ here. That ship was sailed). The people who claim to love me the most have their agendas, which of course are in the best of their interests, not mine.

I have allowed my childhood to be taken away from me, I don’t want that to happen to my adulthood.

So cheers to freedom, even if it may last only a year.

~Brisa

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