I think I’m done. At this point I have sent well over 750 job applications, hoping beyond hope that something would work. This is not exaggeration or allegory, I have genuinely sent almost a thousand applications over the last two months. Reason being that I do not want to go back to Mexico.
It’s not that I hate everything associated with it, just that I never felt at home there. The urgency and avoidance of it might make me melodramatic whenever I talk about life there. Its values and concerns always felt alien to me, so I always felt like the odd one out. I’ve made a true human connection over the last few years living in Europe. I’ve felt free to live life, explore sides of myself I didn’t know existed, and for the first time, I truly think that I’ve found who I am meant to be as a person. I can honestly say that for the last few years I’ve been of the happiest men alive.
Furthermore, I’ve always had the philosophy that if you’re persistent enough, you get what you want. That said, there are also natural limits to one’s actions – I can’t jump to the moon, no matter how hard I try. This immutable fact will not change, even if I dedicate the next lifetime to mastering my jumping technique.
I believe I’ve hit such a limit with getting a job in Europe, or any first world nation, at least for now, until I’ve built a more solid network. Recently, I had an interview with an internal recruiter for a well respected company. He seemed to like me so much that he even started considering me for more than one role. On more than one occasion over the last week we even talked as friends, he told me about his family, children and where his life was heading. So he scheduled two interviews today, but asked me for my visa status in the confirmation email as a formality.
I responded that I was Mexican by birth, despite having European ancestry on both sides of my family. Long story short, a few hours before the interviews were scheduled, he called me to cancel both of them. He apologized profusely, and said I would’ve likely had the job with them otherwise because my profile was quite interesting to them. As it stood, their visa sponsorship quota was reserved for internal transfers and thus they had to eliminate me from consideration through no fault of my own.
This is not an isolated incident. Whenever I happen to mention my visa status in interviews, things usually turn sour. It’s become evidently clear that the deck is stacked against wanderers like me. I genuinely do not know what to do, nor do I know how the few who’ve managed to stay have done so without well established connections. I think there’s points in life where you have to listen to the music life is giving you and obey its beat. So unless someone magically has a helping hand on offer, a deus ex machina, the curtains are coming down on this particular adventure.
Doubt that this is the last I hear of the matter. To me, at least, the coming retreat in the next few months is a temporary setback. Give or take a couple of years, I will eventually restart the process, perhaps a little wiser, perhaps a little older, but just as convinced that Europe is my ideal place to live in. Hope to see you all on the other side.