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Amber Paulen

Going, Going

Sometimes there are just periods when things don’t go right. Or, instead of writing “right,” it might be more accurate to say when things stop you from trying to live your life in the best way you can. Because I’m not talking about things like missing the bus or losing your wallet or getting a cold (although these kinds of things can change some people’s lives) but things that steer your life in a direction you don’t want to go in. August and into September and the months before was that kind of period.

There was the constant doubt of Simon’s immigration, of not knowing if his visa would come through for me to go to school in January, and if we couldn’t go, what would we do instead. There was Simon’s arrest under false charges, the police taking his camera and the potential for that to derail all our immigration work and for those false charges to stay on his Italian record. There was the death of a friend, my good friend’s husband, her partner of ten years. The death of our cat. Really, mid-September I couldn’t imagine what could be next.

But thankfully I didn’t have to because things started working out. All the work finally paid off for Simon’s immigrant visa and as of today, it’s been issued! Two weeks ago I signed the paper that I’ll be going to school in January, which means at the beginning of that month we’ll be moving to New York City! (I am so happy and excited!!) And there was also good news on Simon’s Italian mess: the judge ruled that there was no reason to take the camera and it was returned today. We’re still waiting on the outcome of those ridiculous charges.

What should I take away from this bad period? I don’t believe that things will always work out in the end, that work and perseverance guarantee a satisfying ending. If anything I trust governments and bureaucracy even less—I see them as less for the people and more against them. And then, Luca’s sudden death shrunk all our problems into minor ones, watching a friend suffer such a loss. It made me remember, this fleeting time together is all we’ve got, enjoy it—good times, bad times—while we can.


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