Sunday, March 20, 2011

Change of Plans

What was originally planned as a two-week vacation back home to California with a return ticket to France, has now turned into an indefinite stay. The reason: assorted. My feelings (along with the contents of my suitcase): various and scattered.

Here’s the thing: Being an Au Pair? Not so much the ideal job, but yes, being in France was pretty ideal. More so, with my third au pair experience, I ended up caring for some pretty incredible girls. There were still moments of doubt; still moments where I had to muster up some courage, remind myself to breath, because the bottom line is that living with someone else’s family is just plain hard. Seeing your boss at the breakfast table in his briefs is no delight, either. The unfamiliarity of another country, trying to navigate the things that we normally take for granted (ie: depositing a check!): also hard. Ditto homesickness, snow, and a somewhat pessimistic culture.

But that’s not why I left, and I know that a few bad days don’t make the whole story. I know that aside from all of the coulda-woulda,-shoulda moments, it truly was an incredible experience. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of laughing it off and practicing the art of adaptability. I’ve learned the payoffs of being a risk taker, a follower of adventure, a truster in the universe. It all works out.

When living in a country that considers Nutella a breakfast food—a place that’s six hours from Barcelona, three hours from Italy, and a train ride to the Mediterranean—that I probably am where the grass is greener. Or, I was. But now, it’s time to get my life back on track, organized and time for me to tie up the loose ends that I left before going to France. Then maybe, just maybe-absolutely-hopefully, one day, one day sooner rather than later, I can return to France…..sans Au Pair.

Because, France, tu me manques.

On the other hand, sunshine and short-sleeves in March is always nice.