Monday, July 18

Schroedinger's cat



This is the second year I entered the Diversity Visa Lottery (aka green card lottery). 50,000 permanent resident visas to the U.S. are raffled off annually to natives of countries that have low rates of immigration. Brits don't qualify but Austrians and their kin do.

This year's results were first available in May. Around 22,000 applicants had been notified that they had been selected for further processing. Due to a processing error the selection had not been random, with more than 90% of winners coming from among those who had submitted their applications during the first two days of the registration period. The selection was voided and the selection process was re-run. I missed all of this, I'd forgotten to check the results until last week, when I finally read about the whole affair. The new results came out on July 15th.


We had roughly a 1% chance of winning. As I keyed in my entry code I imagined a Stef in a parallel universe who unlike me would find she'd won. I wonderd what it must feel like to see the words "you have been selected" on screen. Scary for sure, but exhilarating too. A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and work halfway across the world, explore a country that is not so easily accessible for more than just a short holiday to most Europeans. I thought this as the page loaded, then my stomach dropped right down into the soles of my feet and I think I stopped breathing for just a moment as reality slunk into place.


Nothing is for sure yet of course: Forms, fees and interviews lie ahead. There is a good likelihood (50%) the consulat will deem us non-desirables and we're not sure we'll be able to accumulate enough of a financial safety cushion to dare even if we were accepted. What will be will be :) If we do get a visa we'll have to get over there before end of 2012 or it'll lapse.

Here I am, once again imagining parallel Stef. This time she is sitting in front of a "not selected" screen, shrugs her shoulders, cracks a joke at her husband who is standing behind her craning his neck towards the screen and gets on with her life.

None of those shivery thoughts of finances, accommodation and employment for this version of me. That part is plain scary I can tell you that much. But then if I don't go for this now when will I? We don't plan on having any children and really, what other reason is there to settle down? I am not twenty nine yet but I am already wooed by the security of routine. Am I already too set in my ways, too scared of not knowing what's next, too inflexible to take a chance? As much as I am shaking in my boots right now I know I must pursue this opportunity or wonder about what might have been for the rest of my life.


I didn't feel this apprehensive when I moved to England. I was nearly nineteen and any adventure would do. I was aching for the unknown, itching to immerse myself in a new culture. Ten years on and I am a lot more set in my ways. I am a homebody you guys. I go to work, I take little evening excursions for outfit shots, I watch a helluva lot of TV, I blog. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

If there is one worthwhile thing I'd like to do in my life it is to see a little more of the world. It's the single most rewarding pursuit I can think of (photography aside). You can't truly get to know any place on two weeks of annual leave. Suddenly there's a good chance I'll get an opportunity to explore a vast, diverse country and I am scared shitless you guys. Of course I am. We both are, but I'll wonder "what if" for the rest of my life if I don't try for this now.


Keeping my eyes open for new opportunities and taking things as the come has always served me well. So far none of my more bold decisions have blown up in my face. Sure, sometimes things go wrong but those circumstances have always led to other opportunities and in the end things have a tendency to work themselves out and count in your favour. What can I say? I've been lucky.

Now here's a chance so crazy I feel befuddled just considering it but provided red tape doesn't get in the way I think I'll take it. Maybe. How could I not?



hat: tk maxx
necklace: present
dress: etsy
pale yellow tights
h&m hasbeens

29 comments:

  1. woooowww good luck! (crossing fingers for you) These photos are gorgeous, LOVE the one on the bridge!

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  2. WOW! What news! Oh I would be terrified too.. but soo soo excited! Go for it!!

    I also love this dress - such sweet little details. :)

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  3. Ohh! good luck!!
    This dress is a darling!

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  4. Of course of course of course you'll take it. You know how my whole body was tensed up as I was reading your post, waiting to see what the outcome is??? I am so happy for you Stef. so incredibly happy. You are very very lucky and I know everything will go alright and I'll be able to finally meet you when you come over to the other side someday. :)

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  5. Your dress and hat are so cute!
    Good luck with the work Visa! That is so exciting!

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  6. Congrats!  What a marvellous adventure you will have!

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  7. Oh, wow! I remember hearing on the radio about that big screw-up with the visa lottery. I hope you decide to visit! It's interesting to hear about the idea of traveling to the U.S. from your perspective because I SO want to experience life in countries other than the U.S., having lived here all my life. I love the print on your dress and the cute collar and sleeves! Good luck with your decision!

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  8. legninicristinaJuly 18, 2011

    this place is lovely and you look lovely tOO ;) fashionismyway.blogspot.com 

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  9. fashionforgiantsJuly 18, 2011

    Oh, Stef, this is amazing.  I can't wait to hear how it all pans out and if you do come over, I'd like to put a bug in your ear about coming to Oregon.  It's fabulous and we can hang out and ride bikes together.

    You look gorgeous, per usual.

    Gracey

    P.S. Remember, Oregon is awesome!

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  10. wow, that first photo is like a view into 19th century europe or something, so fresh and cute. 

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  11. Ha, I always want something until it's presented to me; then I'm terrified!  Go for it though!  You certainly won't regret it, and if you do, Europe will still be here (erm, maybe, the skies aren't too blue at the moment, are they)? ; D  Can't believe you won!  Can't believe none of my countries qualify to enter.  Gaaah!

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  12. Oh, and the light is gorgeous in photo #2!

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  13. gosh, good luck! i can't wait to see what happens with you! 

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  14. Good luck, and gorgeous photos!

    -Callie

    http://thosebluebirdskies.blogspot.com

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  15. Good luck to you on this...your excitement is palpable in the writing.  If you come, what kind of work will you look for?

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  16. Very best wishes to you on this!  How incredibly exciting, and scary, but more exciting.  I can't wait to see what comes of this for you.  Oh and you look amazing - the dress, hat, location, everything!!  

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  17. Wow, I can only imagine what a great feeling to read that. Good luck in getting it all worked out!

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  18. Ashley/ MILK TEETHSJuly 19, 2011

    What!! That's is so awesome! I am crossing my fingers and toes that it all works out. If you do get to come over to the U.S. do you get to pick where you'll be? You'll know someone in Southern California ;-) 

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  19. You know that is the most difficult question on the application form I am currently brooding over :)
    I've done a variety in the past but in an ideal world I'd go back into something face to face customer service related. I do like my current role too though (office based)

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  20. Those who get the visa get to choose. It's the icey winters and short, lukewarm summers over here that first inspired us to enter the lottery :)

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  21. wow these photos look so vintage! i love them so much! really lovely :) xoxo, saskia

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  22. i just followed you on bloglovin :) xoxo, saskia http://www.lovemins.com

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  23. Jo FletcherJuly 20, 2011

    Ohh, best of luck, I have my fingers and toes crossed extra tightly! <3 P.s. I love your dress - the collar is oh-so divine!
    xLost in the Haze

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  24. adorable! i love the hat and the bridge :) i love the puff sleeves on your dress too! i did a lookbook for my etsy a week or so ago and i think you'd really like it. :) check it out on my blog!
    http://hammocksandtrampolines.blogspot.com

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  25. How exciting is this opportunity!?  I loved reading your thought process about the potential changes that lie in your future- I'm a homebody who loves to travel as well AND I also don't want kids... so I absolutely relate to this feeling of breaking out of comfort zones and whatnot.  Whatever decision you make, I look forward to following the journey.  And may I suggest North Florida?  We have the beach, and Disney World, and great thrifting and then I also live here... just saying. 

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  26. You look soo beautiful!!!! i love this dress and the hat is cute with it too. Hmm that is so interesting about the opportunity to move and such. I don't think I'd suggest visiting the city areas at all of the US. Most of them are awful even if people make it seem like they're great. I am too much of a lover of the countryside (such as upstate NY in the Finger Lakes). 

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  27. Emily, Resplendent TranquilityJuly 21, 2011

    Ahh, Stef! That's so exciting! I sincerely wish you all the best! I've heard from a friend that the red tape process can be daunting, but it sounds like this is something you really want. Don't let it get you down :) Are there specific areas of the U.S. that you and your husband are interested in? There's so much to see here that I often feel overwhelmed wondering if I'll ever get to explore it all.

    Oh, and you're killing me with this dress! I have a dress in a near identical print, but mine lacks the sweet collar, sleeves, buttons, & eyelet trim that yours has ;)

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  28. You look radiant and absolutely stunning in these pictures Stef!  They are so beautifully composed too.  Good luck with the rest of the visa process -- I do hope you will get to come here and explore some! :)

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  29. ComplainathonNovember 14, 2011

    Good luck with your application! I moved to the UK from the US 10 years ago for exactly the same reasons -- something different; you're only young once; now or never. Moving continents is an adventure that is both incredibly difficult and incredibly rewarding. I hope you get in. I'm from New Orleans. If you make it down there, tell everybody hi for me. 

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