in which i explain
July 21, 2011
I blame myself for being so sporadic about my decisions but now that I know there's nothing I can do, I just have to try to find the next best thing.
Have you seen 500 Days of Summer, when Tom goes to Summer's party and the screen splits into "expectations" versus "reality." In my head, I can see both. Before coming to au pair I "expected" to be part of a new family. I love and cherish my Italian host family so much that I thought that living with a French family as an au pair would be the best way to discover a new country. I saw myself playing with the kids, trading American and French games, and living here so that my "work" with the kids wasn't work at all. Just being there, loving them, and starting a new adventure.
Now that I've been here for almost a month, the "reality" has kicked in. Upon moving here I wasn't given a room in the family's house as promised, but a room "in the back" of the hotel with the staff. The kids didn't listen, they fought and hit all the time, they were disrespectful. I worked 9-10 hour days, the first two weeks without a single day off. I'd never wanted my time with the kids to be "work," but soon I felt like I was being taken advantage of since I worked so much. I felt like I'd been misled about what life would actually be like here. Last Monday, I spoke to the mother and explained that this wasn't the experience I'd come for and I didn't think this was what she wanted for her kids.
And so I'm leaving.
I asked to stay until the end of the month, but at the moment it looks like I might have to leave come Monday with no where to go. I'm not writing this for criticism or sympathy, just to explain and be honest.
My flight home isn't until the end of August, so I'm not sure where this turn of events will take me. I'm scared and excited. Maybe more scared. But this is an adventure, right?
PS - Thank you for all of your loving comments on the last post. Even with my vagueness I couldn't believe how much love can be found via the internet.
PPS - The photo is of some of the French yogurt here. It is by far the best yogurt I've ever had, and it's simple things like this yogurt that are keeping me afloat.