For the bulk of 2012, all I could do was wish that 2013 would hurry the hell up so I could start things afresh. Broken heart, broken back, broken spirits – ol’ Crawf just wasn’t happy with where he was in life.
But literally from the moment the clock struck midnight to ring in 2013 (and, to be fair, for a few weeks before then), things had started to look up in a big way. I really hit the ground running this year and haven’t stopped since.
From October 2012 I had one goal in mind: to relocate to the US on a somewhat permanent basis, to further my career and to give my five-year-long dream a real shot. I wasn’t happy at my existing job, my lease was running out the following August and I had no real responsibilities anchoring me to Brisbane.
Predictably, though, I fell head over heels in love, as was predicted by a financial adviser I’d never met before whom I’d gone to see to ask for advice on maximizing my savings. She told me that regardless of my grand plan to move overseas, I was of the age where I’d meet someone and all bets would be off.
I definitely met someone, but instead of trying to change my mind or convincing me to stay in Australia, she never once stopped encouraging me, cheering me on, keeping me strong and being my sounding board, my venting…vent, my best friend through it all. I couldn’t have done it without her. Her name’s Isobel and she kicks ass.
And even then, mid-year, I was working towards getting to the US on an E-3 visa (in a somewhat under-the-table way thanks to a good friend who owns a business vaguely in my field) when I got a stunning piece of good news: I had been selected for further processing for a green card. Jesus Christ bananas.
The rest, they say, is history. I had a couple of itchy months of not being able to tell anyone outside my closest circle of family and friends that I intended to quit my job, go on vacation for a few months, cross my fingers and hope I land that green card, then pull up stumps and move halfway across the world flying by the seat of my pants hoping this crazy bullshit scheme actually comes off.
And much like everything else that I tried to accomplish in 2013, everything fell into place with minimum stress. I left the ABC after six and a half years, had two and a half months of vacation in Denver, New York, Providence RI, Austin TX and San Francisco, came home and landed a green card, spent time with my loved ones, returned to the US as a permanent resident and landed a job just a week after having my first Thanksgiving with my surrogate family in New York.
Phew. What a whirlwind.
Now I’ve got a new place to call home, a car half-paid for and I’m settling in to Augusta, ME with a bunch of good workmates and friendly locals. It’s still surreal to me as I walk home from the gym or wander around the grocery store looking at 156 different brands of blue cheese salad dressing that I did it; I pulled it off. I moved to the US and got a job. I live here now.
So 2013 has been, without a shadow of a doubt, the best year of my life. Part of me is nervous because honestly, how the hell can I possibly top it in 2014? But if I can do all of that in 12 months, I can’t wait to see what the world will throw at me next year.
Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for all your support, encouragement and more this year. I look forward to sharing 2014 with you all.