I write from a coffee shop seating area in Dublin International Airport, enjoying a front-row vantage point for the steady stream of arriving passengers and the occasional jubilant or emotional reunion.
I think I’m going to try to move away from making an obligatory opening comment on how long it’s been since I last posted. I fear that is getting tedious for you and for me. I appreciate the couple people in my life that have commented over the past few weeks that it’s been a while since I’ve written – you’re right. Sorry about that, and thank you for caring to read my blog.
Alright, on with the content. In my last post, I had recently moved back to Belfast and my stay’s duration was a huge question mark.
Not much has changed in that regard.
Here is my current standing on how the future may look for me:
1. There are now two, not one, visa possibilities on the table at the moment that would allow me to stay here past August. One would extend my current visa for one year. The other, a different visa type I only learned about recently, would give me 3-5 years depending on the results of my application. Those years would count towards the process of naturalization, a perk the first visa option does not boast (meaning that I could potentially seek citizenship and get a passport from here after that time). I have long been interested in living a bit more permanently in Europe. I don’t picture myself living here for my entire adult life, but the prospect of being able to stay for a few years and make this more of a home is intriguing.
2. At this point, though this is certainly not set in stone, it seems more likely that I will remain here in the UK come the fall on one of those two visas rather than move back to the States. There are a few opportunities that would draw me back State-side that I am loosely pursuing, but they seem unlikely at the moment.
3. The state of my company, Fathom, is in an encouraging enough place (due to some initial developments and growth over the last three months) that I plan to continue working on it for the coming school year rather than let it die after the summer, which was a possibility when I first arrived if it didn’t progress. It’s still quite embryonic and I don’t know whether it will make it into a more shelf-stable state, but I’m willing to put more time in to find out.
Life at the Moment
To give a quick picture of what my average week looks like – outside of my work on Fathom (including engaging with a current accelerator program I’m enrolled in for June through August which involves a small amount of virtual class time per week), I am still writing freelance for a marketing firm in the States. This opportunity for paid remote work has been a huge gift from God and I’m really thankful. It provides an adequate income for me in about ten hours a week, which allows me to allocate the majority of my time to Fathom stuff.
Outside of working, I love my house, my housemates, and the small group of good people I am blessed to get to spend time with in Belfast. My church, a monthly open mic night, the occasional coffee date or evening for a drink at the pub, and walks and meet-ups to enjoy the coastline or play guitar with dear friends infuse my life with joy, socializing, and time away from my computer (which I very much appreciate).
My life feels incredibly insular and simple right now, which I am enjoying and for which I am thankful. I don’t know what happens in a couple months – visa application processes have begun and will continue to ultimately provide more answers by August (when my current visa expires), but for now things feel quiet. Outside of a couple visits recently from people I love that live elsewhere, I don’t have any crazy plans for the summer as of yet (though that can sometimes change quickly haha).
I’m not sure how quickly things will develop and change on my end. I’m interested to see how things progress over the next couple months. Until then, thank you to all of you as always for caring to read what I write.
Oh, P.S. – I don’t think I posted this in a blog post (if I did, my apologies). My brother C was the main galvanizing force behind me getting a few of my original songs on Spotify this past year. Here they are in case you’d like a listen. Would love your feedback if you check them out.