Spring 2022: Back to Belfast (Twice)

Hello all,

I write from an airy, glass-enclosed terminal inside Charles de Gaulle Airport outside Paris, France. I am en route back to Belfast, Northern Ireland – my home for this season.

At long last after first applying for my 2-year visa to remain in the UK in Spring 2020, I have moved back over to the UK to live for the remaining duration of that visa (which ends in August). I just learned a week ago that the UK government has initated an extension program for my situation which I could apply for and receive another 12 months’ stay if I wanted – I haven’t really been able to sit with that possibility yet. I’m not sure whether that will make sense, and what happens over the next 1-2 months with Fathom will largely determine that.

This past week, I flew back to Chicago to celebrate my sister’s marriage. The ceremony was beautiful; the time with family was beautiful; the opportunity to be there and take part was beautiful.

Immediately following, JT (who had also flown in for the wedding) and I had just enough window before we both had to return to our respective realities to roadtrip from Milwaukee to Kansas City and then back to Chicago. We went to see some of my dearest friends who are from Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine who have had their worlds flipped upside down in the last four weeks. It was an incredible gift to be able to see them, even briefly, and hug them and hear how they were doing.

And then just like that, I’m on my way back to the UK. The coming months are full of unknowns, as per usual. Though my living situation and community in Belfast are treasures to me, it may end up making sense to move across the channel back to Edinburgh for business reasons. Potential opportunities for a work contract in Australia may imminently change my day-to-day workload and increase the possibility that I may go there either for a short stint or perhaps for an intermediate amount of time after August. Several events elsewhere in Europe and in the States throughout the summer and early fall are sketching themselves into my calendar, and we’ll see what comes of these coming milestones and how they shape the rest of my year.

In short, who knows what will happen next.

My plane will be boarding shortly so I’ll leave this update there for now. Love all of you and hope to connect with more of you soon that I haven’t been able to in a while.

Until next,

-LS

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