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This was a liberating week. Things are unfolding magically and it feels good. My Green Card was approved and that feels really great. I came to the US 7 years ago as a postdoctoral scholar. My experience as a researcher has been terrific. I remember when we came, it was such an adventure!

I defended my thesis on a Friday (April 13th) and 2 days later, yes 2, we got into a plain, with 2 cases, and 2 cats, the 2 of us (my husband and me). We left a lot behind, an empty apartment to be rented, furniture in my mom’s house, boxes with books, music and personal treasures, but more painful, our friends and family. Adventures are like that: lot to win but you need the courage to move forward. We arrived to a basically empty apartment, with only a bed, a desk serving as dinning table and 2 chairs. We had made arrangements with another postdoc leaving town to sublease from him. First thing we experienced was kindness: he has left for us clean sheets and throws, and few cooking utensils. When you come from miles away with only what would fit in two suitcases, this was a really kind welcome.

Soon I started to work and made friends from the University, my husband got his work permit and started also working at PSU. Life has been rolling. I kept my job in the same lab, my husband got into a new lab, we worked and studied about what we are passionate. Friends came and left, we keep in touch, we have friends from around the world, we miss them, we missed our friends from Argentina, we miss our family.  Some members have come to visit, we’ve visited also. At times it was more difficult and surely, we owe a visit to our country. We moved and love our new place. We got a little bit more of stuff to feel at home, the plants grew bigger, so did the cats, we gardened at the community garden at PSU, we cooked our own food, we learned about culinary and medicinal herbs and we took care of each other when we got sick.

Seven years later we are much more established, we love the area, Happy Valley, we made local friends in addition to our academic, mostly international friends. We have started to feel at home. We love our work, the area, the people, how things work. And we just got the Green Card, the permanent residency card. Things become nicer. We have some privileges, and a little bit more of stability. It finally feels like I have now permission to be me, to be whole. Not just the scientist, but all what I AM, the friend, the mentor, the teacher. Travels become easier and smoother, and we feel a little bit less foreigners. I know all this will reflect in a better version of me, a more grounded, more relaxed me.

Somewhere, deep in my soul, I feel excitement, gratitude, and peace. I feel freedom and permission to be, not just the outsider, permission to be who I AM.  Have you ever felt like this? Could you resonate? Please share a comment!

I hope wherever you are you can feel free, grounded and happy.

Have a beautiful week!