6 MONTHS AU PAIR IN THE USA – 6 THINGS I’VE LEARNED. SO FAR.

WHAAAAAAAAAT is going on with the time? Must have calculated it wrong, this for sure doesn’t feel like 6 months. But they are. Counted them a few times. Slowly I realize that one day, not too far away, I am gonna leave this place again. And my kiddo here. Everything has changed and soon everything will change again. And after 6 months you suddenly realize, without any warning, that in fact it is yourself that has changed. 

In my six months here a lot has happened, I saw a lot, felt a lot, met a bunch of new people, had many talks and built a second life. When you leave your usual habitat and go on an “adventure” is is only natural to make new experiences and in the end everything we experience changes us. And so I also had to understand and learn and realize some stuff. Some good, some quite some shit. And here are six of them!

1. VALUE YOUR PARENTS. I always took my parents for granted. They have always been there. Every day. My whole life. When my laptop was going mad I called my dad. Same with my car, my phone, my everything. If I had to make big decisions I asked my mom. Actually, also with little decisions. All the time “can you do me a favor?”. And here? Nope. You gotta do it yourself. In my second week here I had to solve a technical problem by myself for the first time EVER. I had to decide ON MY OWN to buy a new iPhone and now don’t fall outta whatever you are sitting in but I went to the store ON MY OWN and bought the phone ON MY OWN. In Germany I would have neeeeeeeever done that without my dad.  Only when your parents are not around everyday anymore you realize how lucky you are to have them. How much they do for you and how much they have already done. Especially when you change that kiddos diarrhea diaper for the third time in two hours. Thanks mom and dad, for not giving me up for adoption yet.

2. SUPRISE! You won’t be friends with everyone forever. Here I clearly notice who I will only encounter on facebook in 5 years. Some people text me once a month, some send a snap, some comment on instagram. An uncomfortable bunch of conversations become superficial. I know that some of these friendships have an expiration date. And that’s terrifying. But on the other side I am happy to realize that there are people who might stay around forever. I am in contact with my best guy friend every single day. I am talking with my best friend at least once a week – we are best friends since more than 18 years, I guess that will never change again. I texted like 3 times with my brother in the last six months but I just know that when I come back nothing will have changed.

3. DO I REALLY WANT TO HAVE CHILDREN? THIS is by far the biggest shock I had here so far. I was always so sure that one day I am gonna have at least two little ones. And after just 2 weeks at the job I wasn’t sure anymore if I even wan’t one. Don’t get me wrong! I love my kiddo here. SO MUCH. And even though this job is hard and sometimes brings me close to a break down I am sure a kiddo is worth all this work. BUT what I can’t do – at least not at my current mindset – is to give up so much freedom. My hostparents are home most of the time. Going to bed at 8. No matter where you want to go, you gotta plan everything. No spontaneous “let’s go to the movies” or ” hey we are having a girls night, come over!”.  Everything gets more complicated for at least 13 years and I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for that.

4. HOW EXTREMELY YOUNG I AM. This year I thought: WOW. I am 18. I graduated. I am moving to another continent. I AM SO GROWN UP. And then I come here and within less than a week I hear “oh you’re 18? how cute”  yep, I am ALWAYS the youngest here. One of my best friends here is 27. I totally notice how she is more mature than me, can stand up for herself more easily and how much more experience in life she has. I am the baby here and I don’t mind. I can still push every mistake I make onto my age. And it is so so so so so comforting to know that even with 27 you don’t have to have your life together. As soon as my friend gets back to Europe she’s gonna start studying again. Jess is 25. Right now she’s not working, is single, doesn’t have kids – doesn’t want some, no real place to live. Short time ago she spontaneously went on a thailand trip and now she’s in Italy for 5 months. Traditionally she doensn’t have her life together, but in her own way she does. I never had someone I would call “my rolemodel” in my life but now I can say: When I am 35 I want to be like Jess.

5. BEING LAZY IS NOT COOL. Yep, that just came out of my fingers. From me, who invented the hashtag #lazychick. I spent my weekends in bed all the time, I even spend my weekdays in bed all the time. Constantly complaining that I didn’t get stuff done because I didn’t have enough time. Instead of studying I glorified Netflix. But it was all cool, because I could write a #relateable caption about it on Instagram. Since I moved here that changed a lot. I work 9 hours a day, from 8-5. We usually cook and eat together as a family so by the time I get to do my own stuff it’s 7pm.  At 9pm I need to go to the gym, that leaves about 2 hours and with some luck 1-3 extra hours in case the kiddo naps to get all my blog work, instagram work and personal stuff done. If I just chill around wasting time in those hours I won’t ever get ANYTHING done. And btw, it feels 980982417283x better to get shit done than scrolling through your phone. 

6. I AM THINKING IN WRONG DIMENSIONS. In Germany I live 3.5 hours from Amsterdam, 4 hours from Berlin, 1.5 hours from Hamburg, 8 hours from Paris, 6 hours from Prague. And still I am never, very rarely or only every few months in those citys. Simply too far way. Not worth it. But HERE I’ll happily drive 8 hours starting on a late friday afternoon to spend 1.5 days in a national park on the other side of the state. I usually drive up the 2.5 hours to L.A. every few weeks. 5 hours to Death Valley? “lol, so close, let’s go there next week”. After experience the american distances you’ll realize how close everything is in Europe and how little you appreciate it. As soon as I am back I’ll disappear again for a few weekends 😉 

2 thoughts on “6 MONTHS AU PAIR IN THE USA – 6 THINGS I’VE LEARNED. SO FAR.

  1. Das mit den Entfernungen hab ich mir auch gedacht als ich wieder aus Amerika zurück kam. Hier ist alles so nah an einem dran und trotzdem fährt man nie hin 😀

    1. Jetzt denke ich mir was ne Verschwendung, ich hätte so viele geile Wochenenden in Amsterdam, Prag oder woauchimmer haben können anstatt nur Netflix zu gucken :'(

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