I’m an enormous procrastinator. I’ve said for years that I’m built to work in journalism because I perform best when I’m under deadline pressure. I can sit around for the best part of two weeks with nary the inspiration or motivation to, for instance, write my latest column offering, but then I’ll be in the shower five days out from publication and suddenly panic, realize “oh shit, I’ve gotta think of something for the paper!”, and then an hour later I’ve written 700 words.
Unfortunately I don’t think I should be leaning on my line of work as an excuse. Sometimes I’m just flat-out lazy. I’ve lived in my apartment for three and a half months and STILL haven’t bought a broom (even though it was on my list of things to do once I had a license and a car); instead I just vacuum my kitchen and bathroom floors like some brain-dead chump. I still have a two-month-old pile of Sunday newspapers waiting for me to clip my columns out of. My desk looks like an early-stage hoarder’s.
However I know that once I actually START said activities, they’re not so bad. With that in mind, I took care of some niggling business Sunday night that had been in the back of my consciousness, pestering me every now and then.
I closed two of my Australian bank accounts and organized to disconnect my mobile phone account next month.
These seem like things I most definitely should’ve done in November, right? I mean, you’d think someone migrating to another country would think to tie up affairs like that. But nay, faithful reader, that’d be too much like good sense for me. Plus I had no idea if this whole immigration thing was going to come off, and my safety net/reevaluation date was going to be in May anyway. If I couldn’t land a job by then, I was going to head back Down Under and figure things out, which would have necessitated a) bank accounts and b) my phone number.
So anyway, after paying four months of account-keeping fees on one account and resisting the temptation to frivolously blow the $3,500 credit I had on the other card (before presumably never paying it back, given I’ve skipped town), I decided it was high time I just made the effort to call home, sit on hold for dozens of minutes, and go through the tedious process of closing two accounts.
On top of that, by mid-April I’ll have surrendered the first and only Aussie phone number I’ve ever had, after 12 years (and 375 different phones). That’s actually the tougher cord to cut, truth be told. I could conceivably switch the account to prepaid and keep enough balance in it to save the number for a couple of years, but…does it matter?
That brings me to my ultimate point, the one the title of this post refers to. A combination of things, little and big, over the past few months have contributed to me feeling more like I’m living with both feet in the US. I mean, obviously my daily existence has been here for a few months, and I’ve had my routines and adventures and the odd social occasion.
But my work schedule also aligns pretty snugly with the timezones back home, which means it’s been easier for me to stay in contact with those nearest and dearest to me. While this is a good thing in and of itself, I definitely overused it as a crutch when I first got here and didn’t have much else to distract me. Don’t get me wrong – I still have plenty of contact with close friends and relatives back home. But it’s less of a case of “I’m bored, you’re awake, what’s happening?” and more natural in a friendship way for the most part, which makes me feel like less of a burden and more like a friend who happens to not be in the same country. This, of course, is better for all involved.
Another thing, which I’ll touch on in a later post, is that it’s kinda mind-boggling to think that, for the foreseeable future, I won’t be back on Australian soil. That hit me November 24 when I looked around the plane that took me from Brisbane to LA and realized that, unlike every other time I’ve taken that flight, there was no certainty as to when I’d be doing the reverse journey. That, and the first night I spent on my talented and creative friend Molly‘s couch, were really the only times I’ve felt homesick.
But that’s a good thing. With every week that passes, the US feels more and more like my new home.