Tag Archives: US

Level 10

14 Jul

Stress brought me here. Or at least a few weeks ago right after a US visa appointment. You might wonder why and how. How stressful does one have to be in order for the body to say “Enough. Rest or I will make you.”

By now, the memory of the pain that I harbored for 3 days from an infected cyst has faded. Once again, I look at my body as invincible and indestructible. I have never been a sickly person, and even when I was, I shouldered on. Once, I went for a whole week, suffering from high fever and chills that conveniently struck me at night and hid it from my parents. It was school break and I did not want them to stop me from going out with my friends. Finally, my sister who was also home for a visit noticed and they carted me off to the hospital – worried that I had dengue fever that was going around at that time. I was not unaware, I even read up on it  and I reasoned: if I had dengue, I would be dying right now.

D. says it’s not something to be proud of. Enduring pain because you want to save money or want to keep working/having fun is not admirable, it’s merely stupid and reckless. And he’s right.

In my irrational point of view though, I always think: It’s just pain, just endure it and it will go away. As if I could submit an infection to my will. So, when I started crying involuntarily at the slightest tinge of movement, I saw it as a weakness and apologized. It wasn’t until the doctor said, “We’ll need to operate immediately to remove the cyst” when I realized I may have gone too far. And I did not have the strength to say, “Just give me antibiotics, I’ll wait until I get my insurance card” because at a level 10 pain, I just wanted it done. And it was done.

As I’ve said, the memory has faded. And I found myself, battling another infection because I just can’t stop. And I’m mad at my body for betraying me. This body that has carried me for so long, subject to my will, is starting to show its edges. It’s telling me to slow down, take a deep breath and learn to let go. Whether I want to or not, I have to start learning.

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The art of fretting

5 Jul

Waiting. We do a lot of it – the checkout at the grocery store; at the restaurant when we don’t have reservations; the clinic where there’s a waiting room for the waiting room; in traffic; everywhere. Every time we have to do it, the seconds seem agonizing, as if our hearts are being squeezed into the size of a pea; our feet or fingers rapping a staccato rhythm, willing time to speed up.

This desire to speed things becomes ambivalent when dread is involved.

Dread is to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension of

Dread might be an exaggeration when waiting for a US visa interview but I think it applies in my case. So, when I was waiting for my interview on Monday, June 27th, I was ambivalent about speeding things up so that it will be my turn:

  • I’m always afraid that I will be judged before I open my mouth; after all I have been denied 2 US visas in the past, have tried to apply as an Immigrant – these things tend to be glaring red flags
  • I was in extreme pain due to an infection and I really wanted to get it over with
  • There is hope in the yet-to-happen; in uncertainty and damn it, I wanted to keep hoping
  • I wanted to get to Window x because I was told by a fellow wait-ee that the other window was brusque with her

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T minus 4 days

24 Jun

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I made a joke to a friend today that since I scheduled a US visa interview for Monday, the 27th, the rest of my life has come to a screeching halt. Bless her heart for coming back with “Do not stress about anything, not worth it” and Ecclesiastes 3:

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

I have not gone to church in a long time to the sorrow of my devout Baptist family but I can’t deny the soothing effect of these words. Not that I need a several-thousand-year old book to tell me that, yes, there is a time for everything – a time to for my husband to get his MBA or not, a time for me to visit the US again or not, a time to stay in Canada or not – but the lyrical words, defining the opposites of each event, seem so certain and full of wisdom.

But for now, I find that I could barely update this blog, comment on so much exciting tech talk and events, much less look at fashion to add to my favorite things. So, pardon my silence while I calm myself down enough for that interview.

Courage. Hope. Believe. Life does not begin and end with one approval or rejection from immigration (Darn, except it kind of does, doesn’t it? If you’re like me, you know the ebb and flow of emotions around immigration papers). Sorry, I got distracted. Again. Courage. Hope…..