Slightly More Than Barely Legal

This week saw a great bit of mail (or, if Viv has her way, post). I got my biometric residence permit. It’s the little ID card the UK gives to its foreign residents instead of the old stamp or sticker visas in your passport. It means I’m officially here as a spouse, not as a student. It means I get two years without having to apply for a renewal (and pay a renewal fee).

I've had a few of these over the past few years. My new one is just a bit more special.

 

Perhaps most importantly, it means that I can work without restrictions. Under the student visa, there are lots of rules about what you can and can’t do. It all comes down to the fact that, if you’re in the country as a student, you’re meant to be spending most of your time studying. You can’t work more than 20 hours in term time, which is a very grey area when you’re a research student, and you can’t do freelance/self-employed work at all.

Now, though, I can. It’s like this great big world of writing opened up to me again. I’m slightly overwhelmed, of course. I’m trying to keep myself calm about it. I’ve had a load of ideas that I’ve wanted to pitch to places but couldn’t. So much of my brain is devoted to ideas that really only work if I can do them myself, do them for other sources, and do them for money. Now I can, and it’s amazing. I don’t know where to start.

I find I have a new sort of confidence in myself, too. Knowing that there isn’t going to be a very bad letter coming from the Home Office (the always possible refusal of my application has hung over me since I sent it off in December, if not in the months before, too) makes each day seem easier. There’s no underlying worry eating away at my stomach lining.

It is a bit daunting launching into things, and I fully expect that by the end of next week I’ll be deep in the pits of self-defeat. If I don’t get a few jobs I go for, if I get an inevitable rejection, it will, of course, shove me headlong into my little worry world. It may have a different visa status, but I still have the same brain.

For now, though, I’m doing a portfolio update. I’ve continued to gather things over the past few years, but haven’t properly put them together as a way of keeping myself from thinking too much about the jobs I couldn’t do. I’m also researching places to pick up jobs in the UK. I have a few places I can still write for, but I need to get some UK contacts for more work. I function best when I’m busiest.

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About jeninher30s

A writer and procrastinator.

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