It's been a long time since I've written a post. Quite frankly, I've been in survival mode, overwhelmed with everything in my life. The characteristics that make me, ME are a blessing and a curse at times.
My independence, my uniqueness, my free spirit, my resilience, my intolerance for ignorance, my desire for fairness and justice, my empathy, my spontaneity, and so much more have led my daughter and me to Panama--a country we had never even visited before packing 3 suitcases of our belongings and getting a one way ticket from Belize (a whole other life experience in and of itself) to Panama City--to live! At the time of our move, I had an International Baccalaureate School in mind for her, but that was the extent of the planning. We had booked an Airbnb for the summer and I figured once in Panama, I'd figure it all out. This is how I've always lived my life. I just DO and figure out the logistics later. While it's phenomenally exciting and liberating to live like this, there are obviously implications that can be crippling! (More to come on my ADHD, lots more!)
In the early days of being here in Panama, I was able to tour the IB school I had in mind and I was feeling really high on life, because I successfully enrolled her. Easy, right!? All was good! But then SMACK, something made me come across the fact that, ummmmm, as American Citizens, we just can't go to another country and live there legally. You see, these rules and legalities are the things that I don't like to be bothered with, so they are not front and center in my thoughts...until they have to be.
I'll never forget the moment I saw that we had 180 days as American Citizens to be in Panama as tourists. At this point, we were already living in Panama! I had my daughter enrolled in a school that I had paid an entire year for already. We had a year-long rental agreement. We were planning on being here for at least 6 years so she can finish high school at this great school. Needless to say, the panic I had when I realized that I hadn't even considered immigration, visas, blah, blah, blah, was crippling.
With a gigantic pit in my stomach, I immediately started googling anything and everything related to how we could legally be here. I knew from that search that I was going to need an immigration lawyer to apply for the visa that was the best for our situation. After talking to a few lawyers, I went with a firm that is very reputable. However, the process is long, arduous, bureaucratic, and expensive. Most expats do all of this BEFORE moving here. My lawyer had empathy for the crazy woman that just moves here with her daughter and builds a life without considering the fact that we aren't free to just do that! I can see in her smile that she feels for me. That smile of hers that I know is just for me, the crazy woman, reminds me that there are good, caring people out there. And that makes me smile.
While we were at the point of submitting our application, I was made aware that there was a problem with some of the paperwork, and I was told that we might get denied (I will discuss this particular, emotional challenge at a later time). It wasn't looking good. That night Daniella and I went out for dinner and I kept a smile on my face as to not worry her. We would know our fate the next day. After dinner, she went up to the apartment before me, and for some reason I sat in the lobby for a moment. As I was thinking about why this visa issue was happening and why everything seems so hard in life, I heard the song in the background... "there will be an answer... let it be". Very often in my life, the Universe sends me messages or answers directly to my thoughts at times, through music. So, that night I listened to the Beatles, I mean literally listened to the message. I released all of it to the Universe. I LET IT BE.
The next day, I called the firm with the expectation of bad news. But to my absolute surprise, our preliminary application was accepted and we now have our temporary cedulas (little plastic ID cards that let us come and go from Panama as residents). We still have a ways to go, but I believe that what is meant for us will not surpass us. And, I know we are supposed to be here for some reason.
Daniella is thriving. Straight A's, an upcoming Ivy League experience at 13-years old to study Law at Cambridge Uni, great friends from all over the globe, an international upbringing, etc. She's so energetically happy. And, I have to pinch myself because I am here living this life with her. It sometimes feels like a dream. I have so much gratitude, amidst all the hard days and challenges.
We both believe that what is meant for us won't surpass us. It helps us live in the present. We know we have to just "let it be...", because "there will be answer". And, that answer is what is meant for us. And, I believe we are here to do big things, like really big impactful things. <3<3<3