Yesterday I had my citizenship test. The good news is: I passed! The bad news is: I have to do more paperwork. The worse news is: I'm my own worst enemy.
Let me explain.
If you know me in real life - particularly if you work with me - you know that I have slight OCD tendencies. Nothing too dramatic, no weird knocking ritual a la Sheldon Cooper - but I hate clutter.
Particularly when it comes to paperwork and emails. I can't explain it, but unread emails make me nervous. I check my emails approximately ten times a day (no lie), and not because I get these amazing, life-changing emails all the time - no, to delete them. But simply deleting them is not enough: I have to delete the deleted folder regularly, to really get rid of them. This clears space not only in my inbox, but also in my head. I'm convinced that a cleared and empty inbox has a direct correlation to a clear mind.
So far it was always fine and dandy - until yesterday. After completing the test, we had our interview with an immigration officer. It was mainly to go through paperwork and for them to assess our language skills. My officer was particularly interested in my travels.
"You collected quite a few stamps for a German passport", she told me. "Most of them are much emptier." I was flattered - look at me, being a well-travelled individual - until she delivered her blow.
"Do you have proof of travel for the last four years?"
I looked at her blankly. "What do you mean?"
"Something like tickets, receipts, itineraries, travel documents."
I started to slightly panic. This nice officer didn't know me at all. If she would, she would have known better than to ask me such an absurd question. Keeping receipts? Me? Oh, how I suddenly wished I did. But of course, I am the total opposite of a receipt-keeper.
Trying to stay outwardly calm, I told her with false bravado: "I'm sure I can find something!"
That's what I have been trying to do for the last 24 hours, cursing myself the entire time. All the e-tickets that were emailed to me are gone. Not in the deleted folder, but gone. So are itineraries, receipts, or anything else that might proof that I was away for that time.
This task could be so easy: Retrieve the tickets from my email account, print them and mail them off. Done.
Instead, I have been digging through various boxes of credit card statements all day, making copies of old calendars of the relevant years (miraculously, I kept those), and debating if I should attach vacation photos. Will that be proof enough?
Since yesterday I have been berating myself and my twitchy delete-finger. Why did I do that? WHY? It makes no sense. It's not like having to declutter your house because you can't find the couch under piles and piles of stuff. I could have just left them sitting quietly in my inbox, minding their own business.
This episode has put quite the damper on my excitement of becoming Canadian. Because I honestly don't know if I will become Canadian or not. They told me that once they received all the paperwork, I would. But I'm not sure if the paperwork I have collected is enough.
So the saga continues...
I will keep you updated!
And remember: Leave those emails alone.