In honor of Citizenship Day, I wanted to share some of my journey with all of you. Twenty-something years ago I was living in the Czech Republic, where I met my (now) husband. He helped me teach English classes and we got to know each other a little bit but didn't keep in touch or anything. Flash forward about 6 months when I was back home and I ran into him in downtown Salt Lake City - he had come here to go to school. Talk about a small world!
We exchanged numbers, went on a date... and... our 20th anniversary is this week. We've weathered a lot --- jobs, moves, illnesses, raising children, financial struggles, you name it, we've done it.
One of the most incredible things we've gone through together was getting his citizenship. It was both an arduous and beautiful process. It took us ten years. That's right - TEN YEARS. We started with just a green card, but eventually, he decided to become a citizen.
This process is not for the faint of heart. It's a lot of work. It takes patience (and filling out the same information on dozens of different forms, waiting in long lines, sending for obscure documentation from across the ocean, interviews, and more). We were pretty exhausted by it.
But it was so worth it. The day that he was sworn in as a citizen --- our kids watching him take that step, hearing stories of people in the room who had gone through so much to get there --- was awe-inspiring.
I often meet Thumbtack pros who have endured so much to get here as well. One, in particular, comes to mind. Her name is Paulina. She’s an English teacher in Florida. Paulina came here from Venezuela 5 years ago and she didn’t want to work for anyone else. She wanted to be her own boss and be “the master of her own destiny”! She found Thumbtack and from that her business as an English and Spanish tutor was born and took off quickly. She has been able to support herself entirely, in a new country, thanks to her Thumbtack business.
These milestones would not be possible if people making a new life in the United States did not have communities to support and welcome them. I will never take for granted the privilege that it is to live here, and the courage it takes for someone to begin anew.
I’m sure each of our lives has been touched by someone who did not begin their journey in the US. If you have a story you’d like to share, we would love to hear it.