At the big office, I waited my turn. I had waited there before, for my residency interview, then for my residency card.
It is a comfortable office with nice bathroom and a good coffee shop downstairs. It could have been in Seattle actually and on that day, I appreciated that, I needed that.
Waiting for my turn I felt my thoughts turning the wrong direction. Would this ever end? Was I too small for this big task? Days before I had been shoveling mountains of dried waste up and down the field. My team - while lovely - seemed to be performing less and less well. Things were not up to par, in this later phase of the building. I was tired. And now I could not build. And also... it was hard to believe that I was being fined - and closed - while the sewer plant continued its illegal dumping.
I knew this way of thinking would lead me nowhere good. I knew I was past the turning point. I knew I had to stay on my chair and do the next step. Then the next one.
My turn came and I was called to the counter to explain my story. The really nice gentleman listened carefully and asked about my land title. I had not anticipated that but thankfully I had a photo of it on my phone. As well as a photo of the long contract my lawyer had drawn back in February. He looked at it a while and then looked in my eyes and told me that this contract was not sufficient for me to apply for permits in my name. That the person who sold me the land would have to apply on my behalf. That it could get complicated.
I felt my will go soft as the doors of possibility started to shrink.
"Entonces, que voy a hacer?" I asked him, so very very sincerely. "What am I going to do?"
Please guide me sir, I am about to give up. I think he heard these last words which I only said in the quiet of my mind.
He took a quiet few seconds and said: "I'll be right back."
And he was right back.
With a yellow sticky note and a phone number.
"Call this man and he will help you."
I didn't wait. From the waiting room, I texted the number. And the man on the other side texted right back. He asked how he could help me, he told me he was in a meeting but to explain my situation to him. Which I did. We texted back and forth and he suggested I go home and that we would be in touch.
Because I have been here long enough to be cautious, I searched his name online and learned that he was a very well known architect and something else... maybe lawyer? In the midst of all this swirl of complication, I had been handed a guide.
I did not feel quite so alone as I drove home.
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