The great people I´m gonna miss

It´s over...

One year has passed, I have done what I came for and now it´s time to go back. This blog will be the last I write about the life as an au pair, and I will use it as a way to THANK all the wonderful people that has made this year what it is. Every single person I have met during these twelve months has given me something; a smile, a good advice, hours of conversationing - no matter what I have gotten something out of it. This year has changed me a lot! I am not the same person today as I was a year ago, and I can´t even remember who I used to be. We all change constantly and if I had stayed at home, or at least in Sweden, I would have changed as well - just in a different direction. It is the people around us who controls which path the change will take. (They don´t control where we are going in life but how we change.) Everyone has something to give, and the ones you meet are the ones that affect you to become who you are. I have met so many amzing, wonderful, caring, fun, crazy people this year that has given me so much! Some of them I always keep in my heart...


A big part of cahnge is moving on, which also means saying Goodbye. We all hate Goodbyes! Why say Goodbye to a life that is good? To people you love, to places where you feel safe, to things you like to do... There is one simple word for that - LIFE. Life is about changes, beacuse it´s movable. Nothing lasts forever no matter how much we want it to. For example: We get older. Time is something we can not affect, and while it goes we get older. People pass away - sad but natural, and nothing we can stop. As we reach different ages and stages in life we expect, and are expected, to do and act in different ways. Changes always hit us, and there´s no point of fighting them but to accept them and try to make the best out of every moment. Finishing High School was a big change in my life. Suddenly I was on my own, considered a grownup and was expected to do something with my life. I decided to go here rather than staying home, working and living off my parents, or going straight to the University. Leaving Sweden meant a lot of Goodbyes. I knew my friends and family would still be there when I got back, but I was aying Goodbye to the life that I had lived for 18 years and that I will never be able to go back to. Leaving Sweden was hard, but leaving America might be even harder. Now I have a life here, a family, heaps of friends and a view of life I didn´t have before. Going back will be tough, another step in a direction I´m not sure of but it is what I have to do. It´s life - life is change - and I´m ready to accept that and curious to see where it will take me. What new amazing people will I meet? Hard to believe they will be better than the once I know from here, but you´ll never know. Before I find out I´m going to take a moment thinking of all the people that has made my year here to the best in my life...


The Kids

Being an au pair means being a babysitter, a nanny, someone who takes care of children. Spending time with kids is therefore the biggest part of my year, not just the ones that I´m here to wathch but also all the other kids around the neighborhood. Coming from High School, immature and with nothing to care about but yourself this is a big change. I usually describe becoming an au apir is like moving into a huge house and adopt some children, in my case three, in another country. This is, in other words, a bit of a challange. Watching kids is hard work, especially when you´re far from having your own, and I didn´t have very much experience from babysitting before I came.


In the beginning it was hard getting respect. Taking over after a year with another loved nanny, that I supposely kicked out, is not a simple thing. It´s easy to understand the change is hard for the children, but that doesn´t make it less hard. I´ve now spend a year with my wonderful kids and by this time I´m the one to leave. Elin tells me several times a day "You´re leaving me!" Which of course is true, but I don´t wanna be the one to say "Yes I am" even though we both know it. I try to talk a lot about Emma, who is gonna replace me, and tell then what a great time they will have with her. I know that in a fiew months from now she will be the one living here, sleeping in my bed and playing with my kids. Yes, I consider them as mine. Of the age and look to tell I could be their big sister, and it´s gonna be hard to hand that part over to someone else.


I love children, I really do! I might not be the most crazy playful au pair, but I love doing creative stuff and there children are the best to be with. They have such an amazing imagination! Imagination is what I believe in. That´s why I love reading and acting and wathcing movies. Children have the power to believe in anything which I think is so wonderful. They are unpredictable, pure and not yet ruled by all damn ideals that are controling the world of grownups. "My" kids are great! As all children they have their bad days, or moments of the day. They don´t always listen to you and sometimes they really drive you crazy, but they are all unique and I love them for that. My host children have become siblings for me during this year, and no matter how many times they yell at me (or I yell at them) and say I´m the worst babysitter ever I know they are going to miss me. The hardest part for me leaving the States is to leave them. Everyone else is grownup enough to know it´s a part of life and to say we´ll keep in touch, but I don´t even have a guarantee for that the kids will remember me in a fiew years. At least I will look at all the great pictures of us baking, swimming or going crazy at the playgrown and be forever thankful for the time I got to be a kid once more - because of them!



The parents

As a part of leaving Sweden I also left my family, my parents, to go off on my own and handle myself. I feel old and mature enough to take care of myself without no need of someone telling me what to do. Here I "adopted" a new mum and dad, who also are my bosses, with new ideas of how to treat a 18/19 year old. Even tough they aren´t my real parents and practically can´t control me I still live in their house, and am here to make sure their kids are safe. The number one reason to why some au pairs switch family is that they don´t get along with the host parents. Curfues, acsess to the car or meeting boys can be reasons for discussions, but I have to say muy parents are cool with that. They want to know where I´m going, when I am coming back and if someone comes to pick us up (boys) they want to have a talk with them to see who they are. Pretty fair I think. They are also super cool to hang out with if we don´t havce any frinds to be with. During the year we have had many dinners and parties along with the partents and they have all been very fun. My host parents are amazing cheffs and do always cook the greatest meals. They know the drinking age in Sweden is 18 and not 21 and therfore let us have a glas of wine to dinner, and they trat us as adults.


Even if we are strong to come here by oruselves, and we are big enough to handle three kids and a big house, we have not more than finished High School and are away from home for the first time for a greater period of time. Sometimes you feel small and need someone to talk to, and you know the parents are always there to support you and help you out if you have any problems. It is a great thing letting foreign people into your home like that - every year letting a new girl move into your house and treat them like a family member. It takes really nice people to offer us au pairs a chance like that; to come to another country and explore the culture as well as getting your English skills improved. If it wasn´t for openminded people like that all these girls and boys that go as au pairs would have had to stay home and rutten instead of having an amazing year in America.


Friends

What is life without friends? When you are young, especially after moving out and before you start a serious relationship, your friends are your life. Being used to have a social life with friends to hang out with and things to do all the time, coming here alone can be a real challange. If you end up in an area with fiew other au pairs, or even other youths, you get kinda stuck in the house with the family. After taking care of kids all day it can be nice to have a break, and even though the host parents can be cool you have a need to hang out with people your own age that you have more in common with. If you have problems, sometimes you don´t feel like you can talk with the partens about it (espesually not if your issues have to do with them). Finding frinds can be hard, and therefore I´m so very greatful for having two wonderful girls in the same neigborhood. I was lucky enough to end up becomin next-door neighbor with another au pair from Sweden, plus having another sweed living just a fiew houses away. There are three families at the same street having au pairs, and they all made the choice to get girls from Sweden. When I came there were three girls living here. One in my family and one in each neighbor family. They all took care of me from day one, showed me around told me about work and helped me out in the beginning. Without these girls I would probably have had a very hard time in the beginning with terrible home sickness.



My former au pair was the first to leave, and I was alone to do the job. The firl next door had done ten months when I arrived and left after two months haning out with me, and the last girl had made the decision to extend for a year in the same family so we got to spend the whole year together. After Josefine, the girl next door, had left Emmy showed up. I her, and Cat came to be best friends and have spent almost every waking moment of this year together. We all watch kids in about the same ages and hang out during the days while they have playdates. At night we go out together to do stuff, and in the weekends we hang out again. Getting to have two close girlfriends like that is a totally new experience for me, who is used to hang out in groups of guys or mixed company, never really having a "best friend". These two girls have helped me through a lot this year, and we have almost never had a single fight. The best thing of the year was when we, over Thanksgiving, went on vacation to Miami. That must have to be some of the coolest days of my life; haning out at the beach, meeting a bunch of army guys, trying to get in at nightclubs and meeting love the last night.


Along with Cat and Emmy I have had so much fun, but after a while it gets kind of boring only to hang out with two people, talking swedish in America, and we wanted to meet some American friends. Thanks to luck and some of Emmys fearlessness we finally met some nice guys, willing to hang out with some blond girls from Sweden, and we got invited to parties where we met new cool people. After a while we had a bunch of pretty close friends that we could hang out with weekdays as well as weekends, and we did more than just partying. As time passed some of them dissapperaed, but new ones came along and now I know hepas of awesome americans that I will be very sad to leave. The closest one is named Chris. He is a unique guy who seems more European then American, and the one who has stayed true to us and kept in touch trough all the year. He is the one who has brought us to a bunch of different parties where we have gotten to know all our other frinends, so without him this year wouldn´t have been as fun as it has. I will really miss him along with all the others, among them Eric, George, Jimmy/Joe, Colun, Dave, Dan, Nate, Jack & Jill, Carolyn etc. It´s because all of these friends I have gotten to have so many great times this year, which has improven my English, and given me heaps of fun, crazy mamories!


The "olides"
Not to be forgotten are the grandparents! On mother´s side we have Bo and Neta, from Sweden, who lives just five minutes away and show up every saturday with candy for the kids. They are both very sweet and are always present at dinners and parties. Thanks to them I have been able to stick to some of the swedish traditions even in America. On fater´s side there is "supergranny" Marge, who lives in Florida but has the most gorgeuos beach house at LBI - New Jersey, and her husband who are two of the toughest and coolest persons I have ever met! For some reason I conect well with "older" people and I have had a lot of great discussions with Bo, and taking in heaps of stuff from watching Marge handle her grandchildren. Am going to miss them all very much when I go back!






Others
Apart from the ones I have now describben there are so many more people that have made my year an awesome time. For almost as big of a part as my host family, the other families in the neighborhood, have played. The ones next door, Cantors, are as much my family as the one I have been living with. I see then every day. They hang out at our place, or we at their, every weekend and I consider their house my home as much as my own. They are great loving peole, who care as much for me as my host family does.


Among "others" I also count the other families in the nieghborhood. Compared to Sweden everything is more "open" here. All neighbors are friends and hang out. Their kids play together all the time and they spend weekend nights together at someones house eating dinner, haning out and the au pairs are all a big part of it. Through the kids I have gotten to meet a lot of great people, and know more adults now than I ever did at home. Americans are different from Sweeds, in many ways that are good. I will really miss all the opendness, the easygoing, friendly attitude that all Americans seems to have. Will probably seem a bit weird walking around the streets of my hometown smiling and saying Hi to all the strangers I meet, or saying "How are you?" to the people working in the stores. No matter what people think I will try to stay in this positive open mood and try to spread smiles around me!


Now what?

So this is it! I´ve given some descriptions of the most important people I have met this year and what they have done for me. Tomorrow I´m saying Goodbye. I am sad, really sad, beacse I love them all and even though I´ll try to stay in tough I know that some of them I will never see again. But as I said before - that´s life. Even if the people are gone the memories of them will still be here. I will forever remember this year as one of the best in my life, all thanks to the wonderful people I´ve met, and I will move on; take a new step, see new places, meet new friends and just live my life as entirely as I possibly can! First I have a trip to california to look forward to. After that I´m going back to Sweden to see all my loved ones that I left to wit for me, and then I´m going to do the crazyest thing so far in my life - step on a plane to Australia to see a guy I´ve met once, fallen in love with and kept in tough with for the latest 8 months. I have no clue what that trip will lead to, but I have a feeling it will be something great! At least I know for sure that it will be another amazing experience that will add something more to my personality and give me more great memories to keep as long as I live. This is my life! I´m living it right now. I´m free to do whatever I want with it, go anywhere, see anyone, explore anything and noone can stop me! But no matter what I end up doing in life I will never forget the people I love, that has helped me out, cared for me or just given me a great time.


I am leaving some today, meeting some new tomorrow, but friends you can never have too many of. People are everywhere and my motto is that everyone is good. I trust all people and have never been afraid that someone I meet wont be nice to me. I would never be mean to anyone I don´t know so why sholud anyone be to me? You can´t fear people. They are such a big part of your life, and being scared will only prevent you from meeting new amazing friends and getting new experiences. How would I ever have met "the great people I´m gonna miss" if I had been afraid of strangers? Don´t wanna think about what I would miss in life if I wasn´t excited about meeting new people. There are so many cool ones out there! I can´t wait to explore the world and meet them!


Kommentarer
Postat av: Din familj

Vi är så glada för alla underbara människor du mött och som tagit så väl hand om dig. Vi älskar dig! Vi ses snart!

2009-06-20 @ 00:25:00
Postat av: Mormor och Morfar

Tack för alla mail och bloggar, där du generöst

har delat med dig av dina erfareheter som au-pair

i USA och alla tokiga upptåg som du och kompisar-

na har hittat på.Det har varit så roligt att lä-

sa.

2009-06-20 @ 21:54:38
Postat av: Cat

U were missed today! vi saknar dig redan.

2009-06-23 @ 04:25:30
Postat av: Australia

You Completed your Task of the week Extremly well.

i have never read anything so emotional and true-hearted in my life.

you are an amazing person Alex and these people you have met in your life will never forget you because of it.

2009-07-10 @ 15:12:45
Postat av: Emmy

Alex!

this was the most amazing blogg Iv ever red! You are a great writer and an amazing person. I totally agree with Mr Australia!

I miss you alot and I hope I get to see you soon, soon as possible and Scott as well.. He is your true love, you are lucky!



I hope you are doing well in Sweden! I love you!

2009-11-05 @ 21:59:36

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