Remember those magical days when the sun was shining, the birds were singing, I had pep in my step, and my French life as an Au Pair was going oh so swimmingly? Well, let’s just write it off as the “Honeymoon Period” and never speak of it again; because as we discussed, things change. There comes a time when you grow out of your favorite pair of shoes; when you realize that McDonalds Happy Meals make you more nauseous than they do happy; when you come to terms with the fact that Hammer Pants will never come back into style (Ditto Overalls, legwarmers (outside of the dance studio), sideways baseball caps and men with piercings); But most of all, there’s a time when it’s blatantly clear that if you keep volunteering as an Au Pair, you’ll end up passive aggressive with a dollop of resentment and wishing that Xanax was sold chocolate covered.
Here’s the truth: I love kids. I really do. (Well, I think I do. Or I did. No, I’m pretty sure I still do. Well, whatever.) This is despite the fact that I really didn’t love one of them very much this morning when they threw a tantrum to be heard three houses down. But as I was saying, I love kids. I love their appreciation for simplicity; for creativity; for everything chocolate and sugar coated. I love baking “Kitchen Sink” cookies with Julia and then packing them up with her book for a picnic in the park (even if my arm is still itching from grass allergies). Or when she pauses to put down her book and superfluously inform me that she has a friend, "Margo, who once lost her tooth, swallowed it and pooped it out a week later.”
I love building Lego houses with Sage and then agreeing with him as he un-rhetorically demands, “Isn’t this the most awesome thing ever, Lolo?!” I love that little-Lauren insists on jogging with me every morning, (even if it does mean I have to wake up an extra hour earlier so she can go). I love pretending that it was the kids who ate all of the gummi-vitamins or that they were the ones who added lemon sorbet and Italian almond biscotti to the grocery list. And I love the verbal acumen they provide when they inform you the mistakes of your dating life, the better choice of shoes to go with that dress, or that your bras are “so much smaller, no, but like a lot smaller than our mom’s.” Thank you, kids. You say the darndest things!
But, in the interest of full disclosure of the things I love, I love me. That's right, I said it! I love my life. I love doing things for my life. And yes, I do love me more than those candid and delightful (when they’re not shattering my ears and my patience) little quislings. (Did I mention we had a very difficult morning?!) A bit arrogant? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely. But when one finally does get to that point of realizing their own time matters, it’s a pretty relieving revelation.
However, for a person who welters between balancing their insidious tendency to please others with their newfound appreciation for their own self, I suppose it’s important to ask how much of yourself you're giving up and if your own needs are still being met. And if they’re not, if you find yourself feeling over extended and underappreciated, it’s time to finish that dream you had the other night where you were in a plane about to go skydiving, but afraid to jump. It’s time to abdicate the despair, embrace the unknown, and trust that the parachute will release.
Time for another change. Time. To. Jump.
- Thursday, I leave for London
- Summer weather... finally!
- Music from the jazz festival last night was amazing!
- I'm done packing!