I recently got the impression that my monthly report is not enough to explain the feelings of an au pair. A lot of people keep asking me if it is hard to find friends, how much time I needed to adapt myself to the new life, etc.
Since I came here I experienced a lot of things and emotions. Both positive and negative.
If you wanna be an au pair you should be ready to give the best of you, go over your limits.
And that’s what I did and I am doing! If somebody would have ever told me I would have done all these things, I would have looked at him and said: “dude, are you nuts? This is never gonna happen!“
I always doubted about my skills and before leaving my thoughts were: will I be able to drive? Will I be able to make friends? Will I be able to be a good au pair? Will I be able to create myself a new life?
Why I was doubting so much? Because people like to criticize and I’m probably used to take critics too seriously. One of the things I’ve learnt is: believe in yourself and fight for your dreams.
My ex boyfriend was always criticizing my way of driving and it was very frustrating. Right now, I would like to look at him in the eyes and say: “choke yourself with those critics. I drove for an entire winter with bad roads and I am driving, weekly, twice as you. I didn’t get a fine and nobody complains about it.”
This could be something ridiculous but when I sit on my seat i feel proud of myself for having not listened to him. A lot of au pair are afraid of driving. I was too, but guess what? Suck it up! If you cannot drive a car how can you drive your life?
Let’s talk about social life. In general I don’t trust people and I am very introvert. I do have problems in making friends, but since I came here I did my best to be more open. It was hard, but I think it worked. Now I have a bunch of good friends which I trust, I like hanging out with, I like talking to them and they think I am a good person and friend too. Some of them revealed me some of their more private feelings and thoughts and, honestly, I have never thought something like that would have happen. Why strangers should confess something so private to me? Because, hopefully, they saw something special in me and the fact that they treat me like a real friend make me feel satisfyed.
Others told me that they like my courage in changing my life so drastically, my spirt, my attitude… Seeing people looking at me with admire really makes my day.
However, I have to say that it is hard to create and be part of a group. In my area there are few au pairs and the ones I can really count on are 3/4. It doesn’t matter the culture. There are just people that you like and people you don’t like. With Americans it is even harder, for the simple reason that you don’t belong there, but I worked hard on that, and when I receive a text to do something together or an invitation for a party I feel so happy. All my efforts in showing the best of me were worth it!
Adapting to the new life at the beginning was very difficult, because my body reacted very badly at the change. I always had stomachache, I was swollen and hungry, my hair were a disaster and my period was always random and never on time. To fix these things I started my birth-control pils again and it was a big help. All the hormones finally stopped acting crazy. After months of pain, I was back to normal except for the fact that I gained 10kg and there is no way I can lose them. I tried everything and every time I look at myself in the mirror I would like to cry. This is the only thing that makes me very depressed and I hope, one day, to find a solution to be back like I was before.
On the other side, adapting to the new family and their routine was pretty easy because they are awesome. I come from awful working experiences and my life at home wasn’t one of the best. Here I feel in paradise! No yelling or pervert bosses, no parents that fight and insult each other, no spoiled brother that come to me only for money, no parents that threat me to kick me out of the house and always say that I am an ungrateful asshole. No lies and no critics on every single choice I make.
What I miss though, are my friends, the ones that are able to understand me, support me and make me laugh. One of them came to visit me this winter and told me: “you, smart ass, I missed you!” Yeah me too.
It is not easy to be a successful smart ass and/or a funny person in English. Express yourself with the right words it is hard.
Also create a good relationship with somebody is so damn hard. When I left I was absolutely fine single, but recently, talking with a friend, came out that, sometimes, you need somebody, more than a friend, to share personal emotions or parts of your life.
Normally it is not easy to find the right person for you and in another country is even harder. I guess that the lonely feeling is part of the au pair life.
How do I get over it? I just travel. What makes me feel regenerated is a good travel. Hitting the road, changing air, seeing new things and having new experiences makes me come back with new energy and makes me realizing that I am fine the way I am.
After the first months my life is like a vicious circle that can be summarize in this way: happiness – loneliness – travel.
Being an au pair is an experience that changes your life and yourself in so many different ways.
I’m pushing myself very hard and I’m taking all the chances, trying new things and realizing my dreams.
I went to the concert of my favorite band, I learnt snowboarding, I started running, I crashed on strangers houses, I drank a beer, I travelled without my buddies but with strangers, I hung out with people met on the web, I hit people from the couchsurfing, on tinder and on fb, I discovered that being a vegetarian is cool, I went to a fancy ballet, I made friends, I fought (in English) with people I cannot stand, I went clubbing, I experienced so many American traditions thanks to my host family, I did things is better if I don’t write on the website, etc…
And it is not over… I can make my to do list longer everyday, but most important things are already crossed…
All of this and more are parts of the life of an au pair. My life.
Your Au Pair