I'd like to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to end the year on a high note.
This has been one of the most roller coaster-like years of my life, one that definitively changed the path I would take. The year began in Brazil, where Eli and I started his visa application process that would take a little over six months to complete. We did a lot of traveling at the beginning of the year, hanging out in Arraial do Cabo and Buzios with both of our families. There was the Globo Rio incident, and I still have not told the entirety of that story because it's kind of ridiculous and let's leave it at that. After that, though, my blog really took off.
Things finally started progressing with the Goldman case early in the year, and both Eli and I became more involved in the Bring Sean Home efforts. I made the rounds in Rio to the places I hadn't yet visited, trying to take advantage of my time knowing that I would be leaving soon. I made new friends, and fell out of touch with old ones. I continued volunteering at the ballet school. I still found it difficult to ignore all of the poverty and violence in the city. I spent most of my time in my beloved neighborhood of Botafogo, eating out, trolling the bookstores, walking along the orla, seeing lots of movies, and escaping the heat at Praia Shopping.
I tried to be good, trying to practice Spanish and exercise, but turned out not to have much time for the former and patience for the latter. I drank a lot of fruit juice, stressed out a lot, and didn't spend nearly enough time in the sun. Toward the end, things started getting unpleasant due to a number of factors, and I was ready to go home.
In May, I came home to New York, and Eli stayed in Rio to wait for his visa interview. I had my first job interview three days after I came home, and would have another ten or twelve over the next six months. I came really close, but didn't manage to get anything. I fell into a bit of a funk.
Nevertheless, coming home meant seeing my family and friends again, which was necessary for my sanity. I was grateful and relieved to find that despite the fact that I'd basically disappeared for two years, I still had so many people I could count on.I haven't had the best luck since I've been back, but I do have them.
In June, Eli got his visa and came to the United States for the very first time. His first few weeks were a whirlwind, showing him the sites and overloading him with touristy stuff.
In July, we got married, though we have yet to have our big wedding. We only had ninety days to get hitched, since he came on a fiance visa. Luckily, though, since we did everything quickly, Eli's residency went through in just two months.
We spent the summer lazing around, traveling a bit in the tri-state area, taking walks in the woods, hanging out in Manhattan, and getting Eli accustomed to American life. He took a bartending course, and then got a job a few weeks later. He's still working there, but he was promoted to assistant manager. There are so many fantastic stories from his job, but I haven't quite gotten permission to write about them yet...they're coming in 2010.
In the meantime, I moped, did some writing, and applied to dozens of jobs. Finally, in October, I was hired for a temp job where I am still working. I got a second temp job in December, where I am also working. Though I'm technically working five days a week, I have no benefits, and essentially no job security. Eli still doesn't have health insurance. I'd mostly been applying to non-profit jobs, but discovered that my first temp job, which is for-profit, turned out to be a wonderful place to work. I just hope I can stay.
Even though I came home to discover just how bad the crisis was, things turned out fine, at least for the time being. I'm lucky, incredibly, terribly lucky, to have an amazing, wonderful husband, a generous and understanding family, a (warm) roof over my head, great friends, and at least a semblance of a career path. We still have a long way to go and some hurdles left to clear, but we're getting there. I just hope next year there are less bumps along the way.