Winds in the East

As most of you may have heard, a couple of weeks ago I moved to a new host family. The east wind has truly taken me a little further west. A little closer to the cities, a little closer to the airport, and even a little closer to the outlet mall. Yay! However excited I was for my new adventure to start, I only realised how much change I would encounter as the day grew closer and as I started to live the change. A new town, a new home, a new schedule, a new car, a new family, new pets, new school, new neighbourhood, new food, new new new. But just as overwhelmed as I am by all the change, I am equally overwhelmed by gratitude. I am so grateful I did not have to weigh my bags before I left. That for sure would have resulted in a melt down. How does one accumulate so much stuff in just a year? I might have to apply the Konmari method, where you get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Sadly, I don’t think my tax paperwork counts. I am grateful that my friends and church are still close. I mean 15 minutes? That’s nothing… especially in the US. I might as well walk. Just kidding (again, I’m in the US). I am grateful that my schedule allows me to have some time off in the mornings and afternoons… to sort out all my stuff perhaps? I am grateful that I have a car for personal use. This is a luxury not all Au Pairs are granted. I am grateful for a wonderful host mom and host child. I am grateful for everyone who has supported me through this process of change, who has prayed that I find a host family close to where I was and who has encouraged me along the way. I am grateful for both old and new friends.

I would never have dreamed of having such incredible friends here. Although I don’t disagree with having friends who are Au Pairs, I strongly recommend anyone who is in the program to look beyond the horizon of what is known to them. Don’t settle in your comfort zone. You’ll be so greatly rewarded if you choose to discover more. Get to know the people where you live and get to know your community, so you can call it home. I have met so many au pairs who only spend time with other au pairs. Granted, it’s a safe environment, but having friends who are actually from the US is so much more satisfying in this cultural experience. At least in my opinion. One of the reasons I decided to move to the US was to experience life beyond the vacations here. I have always had the US on my heart. Maybe because I have been exposed to American’s since I can remember, maybe because the majority of my best friends in elementary and middle school were American, maybe because my church had always been influenced by American culture. Either way, most times I told my fellow Germans that I loved the U.S. they always told me it would be different if I actually lived here. Challenge accepted. And here I am, staying another year, because guess what?! I actually like living in the US. I’ll even go as far as saying that I actually like living in Minnesota. Did I really just say that??? Ok, so this just turned into a completely different post than I had envisioned. What I’m really trying to tell you guys is that I am thankful for where God has placed me and that I know that right now I am exactly where I need to be. There is not a hint of doubt that I should be anywhere else in the world right now.

Wherever the wind may be blowing you right now, I hope that you find time to take a step back and see everything there is to be grateful for. I’m sure we can all find something. One more from me: next month I have another trip coming up. Hint: it’s one of the 40 states I have not yet been to.

Love, Sophie x

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