Today is the first time that I am spending my birthday far away from my friends and family. The only way I can see them is through face-time. And to be honest, even before coming to United States I knew that this day will be hard for me. I like to spend it with people that I care about and are huge part of my life. Yes, I do miss my family and best friends today!
Obviously you should take today’s post title with a pinch of salt. Everyone knows I am not 18 anymore and I am proud of being 23 years old right now. A woman should never be ashamed of her age because every age has its own precious moments, yet these birthday are similar for me to my 18th birthday.
Why? It feel like I am entering something totally new for me again. I have changed my life a lot last year in significant ways for me. I learned how to let go all relations in my life that were bringing only toxicity to my life and although it was not the easiest way to let go some of them, I did it. I decided to move to United Stated for the whole year without even knowing anyone here. I have graduated my University and I said goodbye to my pupils that I loved with all my heart. For the last two years I dedicated most of my time to them and it was extremely hard to tell them that I won’t be their teacher any more. On the other side, I have heard so many wonderful and motivating words from them and their parents, that I was sure that I did my job the best way I could have done.
I started my life from the scratches here, without any friends, connections, favourite coffee places, without my comfort zone. The moment I got on the plane to New York, I left my comfort zone behind without hesitation. I had to learn everything here in Charlottesville: how to drive a car, obtain my driver’s licence, meet new friends, find new favourite places, get used to different gym, culture, food, water. Well, basically start from the very beginning. How did I feel with all that? Frankly speaking, I felt as if I made a huge step backwards for a long time. I felt that instead of this dreamed progress I wanted to achieve here, I have only seen regress.
Just imagine that for the last three years I did not even have time for vacation. I never had a free weekend, because I was studying and even when I was not at university, I had things to do, not exactly things that I could do for my own personal pleasure. I was always busy. I did not have much time for friends, I neglected a lot of friendships and my family too. I had wonderful relationship but instead of taking care of it and prioritize it, I prioritize my work and education. To tell you the truth, I was not even willing to try to find work-life balance. It was totally ok with me to have a lot going on. So that how I was spending my time. A lot of work, education, coffee, falling asleep with my phone in my hands, sometimes I was eating healthy, sometimes not so much. But I was ok with that. Actually, I felt great. Then I realised that I forgot about my mum’s birthday, I did not come to my brothers end of school year, I cancelled coffee with me friend, ruined my relationship, had some health issues, totally doubted in God and I could go on and on. That was the moment when I said “enough”.
“I will change my life!”- that was my goal. But nothing like new year’s resolution, nothing like that. I just woke up one day and promised myself to take care of everything that I have ruined or neglected. And I say probably can figure out some things were impossible to “repair”. I had my own sad lesson for the future reference. Still, I could get better with a lot of things and that was the moment when I realised that I want to become an au pair and I started my long journey. And all the steps brought me here to Charlottesville. I still think and believe it was God’s plan. He always knows the best!
I made it! I was here happy, excited and terrified at the same time. From this highly intellectual world, where I was working, teaching two languages, studying and having well organised life of still a workaholic, it changed to the world where I have the same working schedule every week, free weekends, a lot of free time and no idea what I want to do with it. That was scary for me. More scary than having deadlines every week and two ringing phones. And I did something totally not like me, I let myself few moments of lazy days when I could finally read the book I wanted to read, when I could go out for a coffee and just enjoy coffee without checking e-mail box every 5 minutes. It was awesome for some time but then I realised that it is not for me and that I want to be engaged in as more activities as possible.
Today I am 23 years old. I am an au pair in Charlottesville, I have wonderful organised working schedule. I live healthy as much as possible but I will never say no to burger or huge pizza! I am taking part in different webinars, I will start my course at the UVA soon, every weekend I am trying to read a book that corresponds to my major interests like marketing, public relations, human resources or leadership. I have become a Cultural Care Ambassador in order to help new au pairs and promote this wonderful cultural exchange program as much as I can. Soon, I will start to volunteer to walk the dogs at local animals sanctuary. I am making a lot of plans concerning my travelling goals and carrier goals and every week I am doing something to enrich myself.
Everything is outside of my comfort zone! And to make it as much uncomfortable as possible I know that in October I am getting back to Poland only to find another place on the Earth to start from the scratches. Today, I am enjoying my 23rd birthday in United States. Next year, I may celebrate them in Tokyo, London or maybe Poland? Who knows where God, my ambition and determination will lead me?