LIZ HARROD

Changing Plans and Unhappy People

In Au Pair, France on November 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Here we are again. I’ve planned one thing. I’m doing another, and yes, some people have been hurt along the way.

So I ask you this: If we’re supposed to do the things that make us happy (not smiley faces and sunshine all the time, but truly blissful), what do you do when there are other people involved, and they simply can’t understand?

For the past two and a half months I have reveled in parts of my life here. Despite the hiccups that come with any transition, there have been so many good things to enjoy: living with a French family, studying the language, museum going, the fabulous other au pairs… and Paris. But all that aside, reality has caught up with me. Little did I know it was so close behind.

When I left Australia, I made the decision to leave a very “normal” life. I knew what I was doing. However after I made the decision, a few other things came along that changed the way I treated my next steps. I experienced the terrible loss of a very good friend, a bit of a broken heart, along with all of the mixed feelings that come with completely uprooting your life: something I’ve done a few times now.

Rather than just taking a break to travel, I ended up running. During my flight I learned a lot about myself, but now, finally stopping and looking back on where I’ve been since I left Australia, there are lots of things to think about. Looking forward at where this year in Paris is taking me brings about even more.

The reality, which I’m very slowly starting to realize, is that, though I love to travel, it’s also become a way for me to keep things at arms length. I’m never anywhere permanently. I always have a good story, and I don’t really have to get behind anything 100% because usually I’ll be far away before anything really comes of it.

I’ve finally got the guts to change that… or at least try to.

Last night, I told two very unhappy people, that I have to back out of my contract with them and not return to Paris after Christmas. Understandably there was not a particularly positive reaction to my decision, but I tried so hard to explain that I’m not happy here; and though I don’t know what will make me happy, I know it’s not here.

I guess at the end of the day, I have to accept that they will probably always be bitter toward me about this; but I’m working on being a bit more in tune to my needs rather than trying to fill the needs of everyone else.

So, on 17 December, I’m headed back to my hometown, and for the first time in almost 8 years, I have absolutely no plan to leave anytime soon; and there are lots of reasons that’s a good thing.

But we’ll get to that later.

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  1. Glad I’ll get to see you again 🙂

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