Today was my Nexus interview at 11 a.m. downtown. I set an alarm for 9:05 but actually woke up at 8:30. Last night I’d already gathered the documents I needed: my passport and birth certificate, plus some extras like my sublease agreement and proof of residency and employment back home. They don’t ask for those but after my time at the border I figure it is better to be over-prepared than under. I had a general sense of where the place was so when I put it into Google Maps, I didn’t print the map out like I usually do, feeling like I’m getting a decent sense of downtown.
I had a lot of anxiety but I reminded myself that this is what I wanted and to do it anyway. That I would treat myself to breakfast at Brioche afterwards for being an adult. 🙂
The first thing that went wrong is this:
I forgot to put on shoes. Who am I??? Who forgets to put on shoes??!? Of course I didn’t realize this until I was well on my way, too far to turn back. I felt like an idiot but thought, “well maybe this will ease some of my anxiety when we all have a laugh about it.” So I pressed on. In my dress in 56 degree weather.
It started to rain. I realized that I’d left my umbrella back at the house. I hoped it wouldn’t pour.
Google Maps said that the place was near the intersection of Dunsmuir and Burrard
so I found a meter on Burrard about 2 blocks away and figured I was good. (Meters downtown, by the way, are so expensive. It was $2 for 30 minutes!) Knowing that the interview process is supposed to take about that long I put in enough money for 53 minutes and figured that I would be good. When I got to the intersection I started looking around…and looking…and looking. Why are there so many banks? Where is this building?
I see the problem. The sign on Dunsmuir says that I am in the 1000 block. The Nexus Center is at 333. S E R I O U S L Y, G O O G L E?? I called the center to say that I’d gotten lost and would be late. The number that is on the confirmation letter however isn’t their number. (Silly me.) The man I talked to asked where I was trying to call and I told him the center downtown. He gave me another number. It was now 10:59. I called that number and it was for the center at the airport. Meanwhile I am powerwalking in pink houseshoes the seven blocks over to the center. By the time I got there it was 11:10. The officer asked if I had an appt. and I replied, “yes, at 11.”
I hate being late. I really really hate being late.
“Have a seat and I’ll call you up.”
About five minutes pass, making it now 11:15. He calls me.
“I need to see all your IDs.”
“[Ignoring the anxiety spike triggered by that statement] I know that it is completely my fault for being late since I got the wrong directions but, about how long will this take? I’m worried about my meter.”
“It takes the full 30 minutes.”
“Oh…my meter expires in 24.”
“Well we can do our part and then while you wait for the Canadian side you can go out and feed it.”
“I parked about 9 blocks away though…”
“Well, it’s up to you if you want to reschedule.”
“Can I come back at 12?”
“We don’t have any cancellations for today so you’ll have to reschedule online.”
So these are my options: start the interview, since I was already there, knowing that I would most likely get a ticket or go home and make another appointment, possibly going through all this stress again. I chose the latter.
I attempted to still go get breakfast since I couldn’t eat before but I went down the wrong one-way and my gps wouldn’t connect and I’d left my map at the house (next to my umbrella) so I said never mind. I wasn’t really in the mood to enjoy it anyway.
On the drive back I was upset. One because this is the second time that lack of preparation has come back to spite me and two because all the doubt that I had in Bellingham started to creep back in.
What am I doing here? Twelve hundred plus miles from home in this grey city. I miss my friends and my mom. I miss my bed. I could be working, enjoying the sunshine, not sharing a bathroom, in a room bigger than a walk-in closet. I bet if I were going to get that job they would have called me back by now so I’m just here, spending money like I come from it, when I don’t. Why shouldn’t I just go home? What’s the point of all this? But if I go home I haven’t even been here 2 weeks and how sad would that be? I couldn’t even make it 2 weeks? That’s so lame. I’d be so disappointed in myself. I just want to not feel anxiety about all of this!
I made it back to the house and tried to reschedule it online but the site wouldn’t load, saying it couldn’t find a secure connection. I waited about 20 minutes and it did work that time but said that any cancellations/rescheduling done within 24 hours of the appointment had to be done via the center itself. I called and spoke to a really nice woman in San Diego who said that I sounded, “really disappointed” after telling her the whole story and that she “just wanted to make sure that this was a good experience for [me].”
So shines a good deed in a weary world.
So next week I will try again. I wish I could just fast forward all this. I want to know where I’ll be in 6 months. I want to know if all this effort was “worth it.” (I know that that’s subjective. I know that even if I were to pack up all my stuff and leave tomorrow that I’ve learned things about myself. I know that I decide the value of my experience.)
I just really miss home.