Immigrant stories

Dependent In An Independent Country

I have been wondering what is the best way to put this out there. And then I read Kriss Carr’s, “Crazy Sexy Love Notes,” which basically said I should tell the truth. Not that I was planning on lying, but this just gave me the push I wanted.

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I moved to New York, to America to work. I did. But did not love my job. I still miss teaching, but I guess the school I was in, was not the right fit for me. So I quit and chose to take up join those thousands like me, that would not be allowed to work. My initial plan was that I wanted time to get to know America, to learn it’s ways, and when I get tired of it, I will go back to India and get the same J visa and start teaching again.

But less than a year into my freedom, the Obama government passed a rule that would allow defendants such as myself to be able to work. That’s what I wanted. I would tutor, make and sell art, start my own little cafe and make this country my own. Make it my world.  I was overjoyed. I would be my own boss and I would do all of these amazing things.

Little did I know this process would take years to actually come into action. Is it the change in government? Is it my status in this country? I search helplessly for something/ someone to blame. I wonder if I should leave the life I have here, the life I have made for myself, leave what I have become accustomed to and move back to the country of my birth, to which I feel I no longer belong.

I wonder if I should give up what I worked so hard to get, just because I cannot work! And it’s so frustrating being that I could work here and I let it go to be able to make myself feel more at home. I wonder why it is so important that I get compensated for work that I do. Luckily, my husband’s income supports both of us. And my days are just as busy as when I worked. I learn about art, I create art, I learn to cook new things, I blog, I write and I read. Yet, I cannot say I work. 

It sounds silly. Yet, in New York, where everyone gets up in the morning, rushes to work and is pretty much defined by ‘what you do,’ it is a difficult situation to be in. New acquaintances often say, “Oh! I would like to not work. Must be nice.”

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In NewYork I am defined by what I do.

It is nice. For a while! It’s wonderful to wander the streets, learn about the country, plan travels, learn to cook new things, pursue a hobby. But then soon enough, it isn’t good anymore.

On one hand, I have so many ideas, so many things I want to do and actions I want to implement. On the other, I wonder if I would have all these ideas, if I did not have the time to explore, to get to learn and to get to know this country and city. I feel settled here, at home here, except for one teeny tiny thing– that I am unemployed! I am a dependent.

It’s funny how making a life here and being independent just might have come at the cost of being dependent.

Photo credit– The photo of the passports and money are from random free photos off of a google search.

My Take –
If you are on an dependent visa / between jobs/ unemployed-

  1. Keep busy.
    Grow plants, cook interesting food, read, write, pick up a hobby.
  2. Go out of your home at least once a day.
    Go to the library, supermarket, park.
  3. Talk with someone face to face when you are outside–
    dog owner at the park, cashier, librarian, doorman, random person ( with discretion) on the train.
  4. Learn, Learn, Learn.
  5. Continue to stay in touch with family and friends (even if it is over the phone.)
    If they ask you questions you are not comfortable talking about let them know.. “I would rather not talk about work. It’s a situation I have to deal with and would rather do so privately.”

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Dependent In An Independent Country

  1. “I wonder why it is so important that I get compensated for work that I do.” I think that’s an important question we all need to ask ourselves! Perhaps today we all place too much value on how others value us? But I understand your conundrum and appreciate the heartfelt post. I’m sure many others can relate and will find comfort in it ❤️

    1. You are the best! ? ? ?
      I had this post written and ready for weeks- but was not sure if I wanted to put myself ‘out there.’
      I guess I just lacked the courage.
      And then I got up this morning and just pressed publish, figuring no-one is going to read it 🙂
      And you did.
      Thanks for the little note, Lynn. ❤️

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