The famous and amazing Au Pair-Year. What is it really about? Let me tell you; it’s the best and the worst year of your life. What? That’s harsh. Yeah well, so was the Year. Let’s start with all the things that makes it the Best Time Of Your Life.
Living abroad. Isn’t that every young adult’s dream? And in America! The Land of dreams and promises! You get to move away from your own dull country and experience something new and the best thing, you get to be who ever you want to be, because NOBODY knows you! It’s a clean slate for you and your hopes and dreams. My personal goal was to grow as a person and to become a better me. And guess what? It happened! Here are the four main things, that made my Year the Best Time of my so-long life and that helped me to grow as a person:
- The host-kids
- Living away from mommy and daddy, you’ll HAVE TO become independent
- And my favorite, and a rather personal one, love.
Let’s start with the kids. I mean, they are the little people that we live through really. The person I spent the most of my year, was my 4,5-year-old host kid H. He is truly an amazing little boy and definitely stole my heart. When he was happy, I was happy, when he was excited so was I, when he was sad and frustrated, I mirrored him, when he dropped on the floor crying and screaming I felt like joining him. This little trickster made my day every day with his goofy jokes and silly dancing. And dancing was the highlight of my days. H has 1,5-year-old twin baby-sisters, and when all of us had a dance party to Taylor Swifts ’Shake It Off’ in the bathroom after bath, it truly made me so happy that I just wished for the song to never end (okay, tbh our dancing was pretty hardcore and rough and 2,5 minutes were a great cardio and just enough). The kids make you responsible for someone else than your own sweet ass and they make you selfless. The moment when H learned how to use a knife with his food, made me so happy. Or the amount of joy, when he took his dished to the sink without asking to do it, or when he gave kisses to his baby sisters and told how ”good babies” they were. You realize that you are the role model and you are the one they look up to and want to impress. And when the babies learned how to say my name (”Sasa”), well my Instagram followers were announced right away. My phone was also filled with videos when they learned to walk, or jump or when they sang to each others in their grips before going to sleep. My heart is melting when I even think about those three wonderful kids that I miss like crazy every day.
Kids were the reason number one for my Au Pair-Year, but getting lifetime friends was just as amazing. I became
friends sisters, with a German girl Katja, and we did everything together. We loved each others’ host kids as much as we loved to waste our weekly pay checks at the huge mall and on Cheesecake Factory’s menu. We slept spooning and hit the gym together. We laughed until our stomachs hurt and were the shoulders for each others to cry on when the life was unfair. Katja left three months before I did, and I felt so empty after that. Luckily I managed to find two other wonderful girls to spend the best summer ever with. Emmi is a girl from Helsinki, and I’m so lucky to get her back when her Year is over. People say that ”don’t go overseas to hangout with the people from your neighborhood”, yeah that’s true, I mean what’s the point if you don’t get to know other people from other cultures (also, free places to stay guaranteed when you happen to travel to their countries), but when you have a friend, that you’ll get BACK, it’s like having a piece of that Year with you! How awesome is that?! Emmi’s visiting me next month and I can’t wait, highlight of my May. Ilda is a Mexican girl who’s three years older than me, and she probably felt like taking care of me sometimes. Not that I did anything bad, I don’t mean that, but she was the one who told me to suck it up or she’ll get mad, and let me tell you something, angry Mexican women are scary. These girls are my best friends, and I don’t have to FaceTime them everyday to know it, and to know, that these girls came to my life to stay.
BTW, this will be a long post. But oh well, it WAS a year!
You are already responsible of little humans and that alone makes you grow up. But not seeing your parents every day? There’s so much to it than homesickness. I’m not a homesick person really, and first it felt good not to see mom and dad every single day, but in a long run, it was hard. There were moments when YOU wanted to be the kid and just snuggle up in your mommy’s lap, but she’s not there and you’ll have to get comfort from a fucking pillow. Or when you get all dolled up and admire yourself from the mirror and it would feel SOOO good to hear your dad tell you how beautiful you look right there. But nope, you’ll take an Instagram picture and hope to get enough likes and comments from your friends. Yeah, not having your parents there, it sucks, but it’s actually so good for you. I think everybody should spend a year not having them hovering over you, because that really makes you to be the adult and make your own decisions and mistakes and makes you to learn from them all by yourself. Of course your parents will always be there for you, when you need them, but it’s good to not have them a phone call away 24/7 (ofc they ARE, they are your damn parents), and to figure our how to open that bank account all by yourself.
Last but not least, what made me a better me during my Au Pair-Year, and it to be the Best time of my life? Like every other girl in the Land Of Dreams and Film Stars, also I fell in love. And boy it was that country song-kind of love that Sam Hunt sings about and the teen-Miley Cyrus-movies are about. I met a person that was just as weird as I am and who was just so perfect, that I wanted to be the best ME that I could, for him. And the best part? It was damn easy, because he loved even the parts of me that I had always kept negative. I became truly happy about myself as the person that I was and I accepted my flaws, because now there was a person, who loved me for them (we all know mommy and daddy won’t count to this, sorry). He made me smile in a second, EVEN if I was grumpy, and let me tell you, I smiled a lot. He swept my feet under me right with the first kiss, and made me feel like a princess daily, and that’s what every girl should feel like. Can you imagine that movie-like scene where a couple dances to ”Thinking Out Loud” underneath a starry sky at night? I can, because that’s one of my memories from last Spring. He was my THE Best Friend and I could not have survived that year without him, or his amazing family that took care of me, and made me a part of their family when my own was rather far away.
So what was The Best Year Of My Life about, summed up? It was dance parties and kids’ hugs, it was movie nights and shopping with amazing girlfriends, it was about the moments when I realized that I didn’t need to ask mommy’s advice, because I already knew the answer myself. It was about a great love and butterflies in my stomach.
But as I said, the Au Pair-Year is also the worst year of your life.
We already talked about missing mom and dad, so let’s skip the homesickness-part. You really are alone in a new country and culture, and really, NOBODY knows you. No one knows when you’re sad and in a need of a hug, there’s a whole network of people that you will need, and to start building that network is rather hard and time-consuming. And when you finally have all those amazing people around you, oh look it’s been a year, and it’s your time for you to pack your bags and make a photo album of this year. I was so lucky to have so many awesome people around me. My host family had two other nannies, auntie-Nancy and Pat, and those two women could run the world let me tell you. The strongest women that I know and will ever know. It’s good to know you’ll always have these people in your life, but it’s terrible to leave them when you won’t know when to see them again, just when you started to love them so deeply.
The kids. Oh my, I’m going to Hell for referring them ”as the worst part of my life”, OBVIOUSLY they are not, I love them and I’d give them my life, but that emotional roller coaster is just crazy! And that’s what I’m talking about now. It’s not like your life would already be crazy enough, considering EVERYTHING, but you never know what the day’s going to be like when you wake up. You may wake up having the best day, only to find a child telling you to go away when you try to kiss them, it’s heartbreaking, even though you know that they don’t mean it. One minute you are dancing and suddenly the kid gets mad about who knows what, and five minutes later they’re all up and going again. Kids have so many feelings and it’s overwhelming. What makes it so hard, and you to want to cry sometimes, is BECAUSE you love them so damn much. When they hurt, you hurt.
Also living in someone else’s house is rather challenging. For example, I remember one time that I went to shower and forgot my clean clothes upstairs in my room. When I was done, I realized this, and freaked out because I heard my host dad and H outside the bathroom in the kitchen. My only thought was to get in my room (and to my clothes!) as fast as I could. So, as I Finn who’s okay with nudity, I walked out of the bathroom, only wearing my towel around myself, only to face my host dad’s uncomfortable look. Yeah that was embarrassing. Also it was super weird to have curfews again, to be fair mine were not bad at all, and my host parents weren’t nearly as strict as my mom used to be lol. But it took some time for me to get used to asking permissions for my plans, all though it was more than understandable, after all I was using their car and they knew places that I didn’t and everything was for my own sake, but just saying, it was weird first.
And of course there were moments when I didn’t agree on stuff with my hosts and sometimes it was hard to manage to find a common ground. It was very stressful, but when I just opened up about them, everything was okay.
So as you can see, there are so much more to say about how the Au Pair-Year is The Best Time Of Your Life, than The Worst, but that’s just simply the best way to describe it. That’s honestly how you feel, one day you are above clouds, and the next, you feel so lonely and stressed that you curse the whole au pair-idea.
But what happened after my Year? How is it now, 6 months after it all ended?
I’m actually doing great. I got a good job and happened to get the best people to work with. I got my own place, which I love and I’m learning to live all by myself.
But when it comes to my Au Pair-year, everything sucks. I miss America, which is funny because during the year I started to appreciate Finland more and more, and started to dislike a lot of American stuff, but now, I miss that place. My heart aches when I think how I can’t to go to Cape Cod or Boston this summer, and I was so close on buying plane tickets there (but didn’t, because, you see, I’m a responsible adult now that has to think wisely when spending money in a moments heat). I still haven’t been able to order the pictures of my Year, and make that damn photo album, because I’m afraid that I might actually cry because I miss everybody so much.
And that great love? Well, you know how the relationships work when you live on different continents. They don’t. I got my heart broken and am honestly still trying to heal from it. Damn American Ryan Gosling-lookalikes, right.
So maybe the Worst part of the Au Pair-Year is actually the Afterlife. I bet everybody gets their heart a little broken, when it’s all over and it takes time to realize, that it’s not your life anymore. Needless to say, but I miss it.