After waiting for over two months, I received the brown envelope containing my citizenship invitation in May. I called the council whose NCS (Nationality Check Service) we used booked an appointment for the following week. Easy-peasy…sort of.
My stress didn’t end there. I’ve spent nearly a decade stressing about immigration. One sheet of paper wasn’t going to magically switch off that part of my brain. It felt unreal even as I waited to be called into the council chamber where about thirty of us were waiting to swear our oath to our new country. I was, instead, struck by the nonchalance that most people waiting to become new Brits seemed to display. And, when they announced that we were officially British, I couldn’t help crying as relief and emotions overwhelmed me. Oh, and because I had tears in my eyes, I nearly fell over as I was going up to accept my ceremonial certificate. Pure grace, I tell you.
I do have to say that the ceremony did help to make it feel more real in a way. Maybe that is the point of our ceremonies. To make the abstract seem real.
The next morning I nearly went back to sleep because we were out a bit late, but I couldn’t. Remembering that I was now British made me too happy to sleep. Now I practice my new status, somewhat half jokingly, “As a British citizen I think…” Oh, and I pay more attention to EU stuff as well. Things like the possible future collapse of the Euro is more relevant to my interests now that I am an EU citizen as well (despite not living in a Eurozone country). Not that I shouldn’t have just been concerned living here with ILR, but it seems like I should pay attention to these things more. Sort of like politics when I became old enough to vote in the States.
We’ve applied for my passport, and I am hoping I will get it before my birthday. I am hoping for a trip somewhere in Europe as a part of the celebrations.
We’ve also decided against moving to North America, despite the Duke probably being able to pull enough points and being qualified for a shortage occupation in Canada. We don’t want to go through this again. We may consider moving into Europe.
Now, I am not sure of where to go from here with this blog. I guess I am still an American in the UK, but I also identify as British. I know that countless people obtain a second citizenship for practical reasons and don’t see that as much of a change, but for me, I do. I know that a lot of British people would always see me as just American and a lot of Americans would never put another nationality as equal to the States in their hearts, but I guess I am not of the same opinion in either case. Naturalising meant a lot to me. Not in the least that I can stay with my husband without immigration issues, but it was a lot more than that as well.
I will probably continue on. For now, I will just say that I am the most grateful Britican in the world. Or is that Ameriton?