Today I apply to settle in the UK – this basically means I don’t have to keep renewing my visa to live here, and in a year I can become a British citizen. It also means that I can be in the UK on my own – previous visas required my continuing to be married to my husband, but once I get this I can get divorced and still live in the UK (although you don’t go in guns blazing during the application and state your intentions).
When I first began considering the divorce idea seriously, I contemplated the two possible options I had – live in the UK or go back to India. The latter option is a decent fail-safe, but I am so un-Indian now that I fear I will find it worse there than unemployed here. To continue to live here, I needed an ILR (the permission to settle), and now I am actually packing the papers up to take to the appointment.
The freedom I was waiting for has just given me a glimpse and I am… unnerved. I’ve been unemployed for 4 years now. I am in a country where I don’t have any qualifications or credentials to find a job with. I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. What the hell am I going to do on my own? What sort of life will I be leading 10 years from now, and will I be happy with my choice, whatever it was?