When we are small time seems to pass so slowly. There are days that feel like weeks, hours that feel like days. As we get older the chorus begins: time seems to be speeding up and at every birthday, anniversary, and holiday we find ourselves marveling over how another year could have passed so quickly. Time seems to be moving so quickly that I didn’t even notice my seven-year anniversary coming. Seven years in Germany! Wasn’t I just writing about crossing the six-year marker yesterday?
I’ve told my coming-to-Germany story many times here before, and so I won’t tell it again here (though if you want to read it, you can find a short version of it here). But seven years?! Seriously!? How does that even happen?! I was planning on staying for ten months. Funny how plans can change, without you ever even really making a huge big-deal decision out of them. I like to imagine how surprised I would be if I could go back in time and tell my 18-year-old self that at 23 I would move to Germany and at 30 I would still be there, husband, baby, house, and all. That I would have lived in Frankfurt, Dresden, Mainz, and then moved back to Frankfurt again.
It seems like a lot has happened in those seven years, and yet like nothing at all has happened. It has just. gone. so. fast. Cue broken record.
Now, a few months before me is the prospect of what I like to refer to as the “eternal visa.” At this point I have been in Germany long enough that I could apply for permanent residence visa here on my own steam, but at this point I can also apply for a permanent residence (and work!) visa on the basis of my marriage to a German citizen. Which means I will thereafter never have to worry about another visa application again. That seems like a bigger deal than the baby, the marriage, and the seven years put together. Whew. Did I mention that I can’t believe it?