I paused a Netflix movie to post this. So…you know its real.

Today, I scrambled to get documents notarized for my Work Visa. I’m about to leave the US in a matter of months to pursue a job abroad. I will be teaching 4th grade all subjects in Costa Rica! Excited is an understatement. I didn’t realize how much paperwork signing/applying/verifying would be required. I still don’t even understand if I sent everything perfectly. And being born abroad doesn’t make the process any simpler. Its confusing and annoying and very systematic even though no human being can explain the process considering my rare circumstances.

The notary at the bank (my shared branch because I still bank with an out of state credit union) did all my paperwork for free. He didn’t have to, but I am so appreciative. I saved $25. Then spent $20 for a document I forgot to have notarized by him and later paid for at a postal store that probably overcharged me.

Anyways…I sat at his desk and remembered the last time I had paperwork notarized at a bank. It was January of 2014. Divorce papers. I cried as I signed each page. I had gotten there at 4:59pm, right before closing after my ex kept asking when I would sign. He left me January 4th and the papers had January 10th on them. This had to be mid January. It was heartbreaking and I’m sure super awkward for the notary (a woman who kept her composure). I cried loud and deeply as I signed all thousand lines requiring my signature. I felt defeated. I was a little embarrassed. Not that I was crying- I needed that. I was embarrassed that my marriage had failed and this document was the proof.

So…as I sat in the office today. I almost cried again. Just in remembrance. Of a marriage I mourned and laid to rest. Divorce is a tragedy. I survived a tragedy. I overcame and rose above a tragedy. And 3 years later, I signed documents which I’d like to refer to as freedom papers. I’m leaving the US. I’m leaving (dis)comfort. I’m leaving what has been familiar. And I am so excited that now I understand the foreshadowing. At a bank alone. In an office with a stranger. Making a life changing written declaration. My life is changing.

I can never ever say I won’t survive. Or things won’t get better. Or I may not make it. Those statements are simply untrue. I will rise. I have been Notarized.

A notarized document is a document that has been marked with a stamp (or “seal”), which indicates that the signature on the document is legitimate. A notary watches you sign and then places the stamp near your signature (along with information which allows others to track down records related to the signature).