You have booked your Wedding at the City Hall and are eagerly and rather anxiously waiting for the arrival of your special day. As your partner goes off to work, you are alone in your new apartment.
What do you do now? Where do you go? How do you be ‘umemployed’ in a city you do not know? What if you get lost?
My answer: you can either choose between lounging on the couch and watching an entire season of the latest HBO craze whilst munching on a whole bag of pretzels and peanut butter cups or, you can be brave, be bold and go get lost in your new city.
I chose the latter.
Since the day I landed in Australia for my six month study abroad at Macquarie University and was dropped off by my driver, left alone on the side of the street with my luggage to find my way to my new ‘home’, I realised then that there was something so incredible about being immersed into the unknown. Whether it be the sudden dominating independence and freedom, the consistent adrenaline rushes or the realisation of the immensity of the world, I was hooked.
This is one huge quality that Tim and I share; our love of being immersed into the world. Since leaving Australia, we continued to immerse ourselves into many more cities, countries and continents together. Therefore, arriving alone in Philadelphia and having days alone whilst Tim went to work, with none of my girls, my family or any familiar faces, wasn’t a struggle.
I had already learnt how to be independent, how to enjoy freedom and more importantly, the self-realisation that being alone at times, is okay!
If you have never really spent time alone and you are sat reading my blog in your new city, battling the worries about stepping outside and becoming ‘lost’, just do it. You may not have a new US phone yet. You may think that you can’t possibly leave your home comforts without Google Maps, without your buddies, without your man. You can. Be bold.
Walk around. Take in your new city. People watch. Drink coffee. Join a gym class. Try Meetup.com. Make conversation. Continue your hobbies. Take photos. Go for a run. Enjoy the weather. Ride a cab. Ride the train. Research.
During one of your walks around the city ,you need to visit the Social Security Administration Office. You can pretty much get your Social Security Number within the first week of entry into the USA and having those digits, literally opens up so many doors for you. Bank Account. State Identification Card. Gym Membership. Medical Care. Job Applications.
Until you have your Social Security Number, you are an ‘Alien’. You really don’t exist.
You will need to provide several pieces of evidence so ensure that you research these and take them with you… passport, visa, birth certificate etc. By now you will know that if you don’t have them, you will be turned away. Again, this is not a five min process. Once inside the Admin office you will stand in line and you will wait.
So ultimately, be brave. Immerse yourself into your new city and get things done. The longer you sit on your couch, the more you will be overwhelmed with loneliness and the further you will feel from your loved ones.
As much as it is the journey to close the gap and be with your love, it is your life. Make something of it.
Do you shape your own fate? I believe so, yes.