Adventures of an Au Pair: paralysis to passport

paralysis to passport

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Once I realized that it's time to get this thing started, and once I forged my way out of momentary paralysis, I had the task of informing my parents. I knew they wouldn't be shocked- I'll admit that I've always been a dreamer and have had a myriad of random plans of things to do once I graduate. A sampling:

- work on a dude ranch
- be a camp counselor
- be a freelance web designer
- attend advertising portfolio school
- move to NYC
- get married and be a stay at home mom

I think I picked the right route, don't you?

So my mother, who has always been supportive of my fantastical plans, currently has two children on the other side of the world. Somewhere somehow both of my brothers decided to join the military, and then the military decided to ship them out. Although my mom didn't verbalize the huge pit in her stomach at the thought of all of her children being in different countries at the same time, I know it was there. Luckily I won't be gone for TOO long, a year max, and then she'll have her only daughter back at home. Cause you know and I know that I'm going to be broke beyond belief and moving back in with the parents. Ain't no question.

Back to the point. Once we all got used to this living in a foreign country idea, I had to make a plan. Good thing planning is my #1 hobby. First action? Get a passport!

FYI: passports are expensive. $100, to be exact. On top of the ten bucks you spend to go get a horrible picture of yourself taken in a drugstore with fluorescent lights wreaking havoc on your skin tone. What? That didn't happen to you? Guess you didn't go to cvs pharmacy. This passport picture is worse than my very first license picture, and that's saying something. For anyone needing a passport picture, the library recommended Kinko's, conveniently right after I had already got mine printed. Apparently Kinko's is more likely to match the requirements consistently? Here's hoping CVS didnt let me down. Again. So here's what I did:

- With a stroke of genius the government so rarely shows, the us passport website lets you download the application in pdf format and type in your information. Much more convenient. And, if you have horrible handwriting like me, it eliminates processing errors due to chicken scratch tendencies. It took all of about five minutes to fill it out and print. The end.
- Here's where I had to scrounge up an "evidence of us citizenship" and gov. issued ID. Luckily I had a certified copy of my birth certificate at my apartment, so that was easy enough. I didn't realize until the man at the library was taking my birth certificate that this document has to be sent in with your application. As in my birth certificate is floating around in a government office somewhere and will be mailed back to me at some arbitrary date in the future. Weirds me out a bit.
- Took some bloody awful passport photos. There are certain requirements for these, besides being bloody awful, so I was thorough enough to check out all of these deets so I didn't go screw things up.

Thankfully I aced reading comprehension on my SATs and... I submitted my application and should receive my US PASSPORT in a few weeks! Just getting that part done was such an exciting feeling, the kind that puts a ridiculous smile on your face until you realize how dumb you look. In a way that made all of this a reality in my life- the first step to being able to leave this country for the first time. Ever. And that was one step that felt really good to take.


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