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Today marks three years since I arrived in the States. I recored the first few weeks after my arrival with regular posts about my life, but after the first month, these posts dried up as I became more immersed in my life here. I decided this anniversary was a point to look back on the last three years, as much has changed since I first arrived.
I’m a “Permenantly Landed Resident” of the United States - or, as most know it, I got a green card.
No, I’m not a citizen, but it’s a huge milestone for any immigrant living in the United States. The Green Card process is typically the greatest hurdle immigrants face, and normally takes decades, not three years - so I’m incredibly lucky to have my permenant resident status. The big benefits? No more stressful visa renewals every 3 years via Dublin, and my visa isn’t linked to any employer. I’m also eligible for citizenship in 2019, a great opportunity.
I met a girl. She’s called Katharine. She’s real nice.
I’m still living in the most amazing area of downtown Boston, and still loving it. In the summer, I swim every day in the harbor-side swimming pool. In winter, I occasionally ski, and focus on trying not to go postal in deep, dark Winter.
In other news, my previous employer, FeedHenry was aquired by RedHat to become their mobile platform. It’s been interesting watching a startup integrate with a larger corporation, but the growing pains have been practically non-existant, so (red?)hats off to RedHat - they know how to handle an aquisition. Considering to the other suitors in the mix, we’re lucky RedHat picked us up.
I’ve also moved professional roles, from working purely on building the product to working as part of a floating tiger-team (of one right now, so if interested reach out!) helping the sales team convert business. This means an opportunity to see some of the country, and build frequent flier miles.
Speaking of seeing the country, I’ve greatly expanded the list of states I’ve visited - which I will summarise now.
Of course, it’s not all positive. There’s a presidential election in 2016, the outcome of which I have no ability to influence. There’s a worrying lean towards the far right, and seeing a candidate so comical as Trump gain traction is troubling. “Europe” and “Socialism” feature in the Republican vernacular as dirty words, an amusing observation.
It’s important to live in the US mindful of the fact that while I’ll always live in very liberal hubs, there’s a huge majority of the country who are venomously opposed to concepts such as socialised healthcare, free education and a living minimum wage. Meanwhile, there is one candidate on the Democratic stage who seems to genuinely represent a change from the establishment, eschewing donations from large corporations in true grassroots fashion. I’m casting my metaphorical vote firmly in the Sanders camp for 2016.