Hi guys! I thought since I kind of was itching to write for a bit that I would make a little post talking about saying goodbye, and especially saying goodbye as an au pair.
If you haven't been an au pair you're probably wondering why I make it seem like it's different, but trust me, it is. Because as an au pair, you have to go through goodbyes a lot. First of all, to your own family before you leave. That goodbye is one of the strangest things, because you're all excited about the adventure that awaits you, and so are they, but you still have to say goodbye to each other. You're going off to live in another house, and they are going back to your house that now has an empty room that used to be well, yours. You know they can come visit, and that you will be facetiming regularly, but it's still going to be different. The thing is though, that you get used to it. You get used to being gone, and they get used to not having you around.
The thing with making friends as an au pair is that there is no exact date when you will all leave together. Sometimes you meet someone who has been there for months already, who's getting ready to go home. Sometimes you meet people that arrive around the same time as you, but who will leave early because of a problem, or will stay longer than you because that's what they want to do. We're all on our own personal journey. You get very close to the people you meet while you're away. I don't know how many times I've had discussions with my friends of how it doesn't seem like we've only known each other for a year. This experience is so intense, and for a short time these people become incredibly important to you. You need them. Then suddenly, it's time to say goodbye. If you're lucky, they live in the same country as you. You can see each other on weekends. You can keep in touch and support each other. But it's so different from before. And that is really sad. If you want to keep the strong bond you made, you both need to work on it. It's so easy to just - lose it.
I've said goodbye to three wonderful people now. Emmy, who's already back in Sweden. I already miss having her around. Jordan, who will be staying in the UK for a while, but who I won't be able to see again before I leave. Louise, who I spent the day with today in London as a little last hurrah before she leaves for a roadtrip. These three have been very important to me during my year here. They have made me laugh even when things were tough. They have understood me, and stood by me. I will never forget how much their friendship has meant to me.
Saying goodbye to your host family is probably the strangest one. I've been through it already, with my American one. You go from living with them, being part of the family, to suddenly being gone. You're replaced by someone else, a person who takes over the room you've slept in for the past year. Takes over the care of "your" children. You go from talking to them every day to occasionally talking to them when it works for you both. You're still part of their family, but at the same time you're not. If you haven't been through it, you will never truly understand what it's like. The kids do kind of become your kids, and suddenly you're just not going to see them anymore. They are going to continue to grow up, and you'll be watching it happen from the sidelines. It's a very strange feeling.
I would say I'm getting kind of good at goodbyes. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. I guess I've kind of just accepted it? That this is how it is. Just because you have to say goodbye now, doesn't mean it's forever. You will be able to see them again. It won't be the same as before, but that's how life is, isn't it? I still have about a week left until I need to say my last goodbyes.
If you're reading this far, you should send a message to someone you haven't talked to in a while. Keep the flame alive, you know? It could turn out to be the best thing you've done today.