Monday, September 2, 2013
It's that time again.....I've gone back to school, graduated, and now it's time to come back to Sweden for an entirely different, just as rewarding, adventurous endeavor. Instead of studying and attending lectures, I will be actively engaging my mind by stimulating the mind of a one and a half year old little boy named Valter. I am excited and overjoyed to have the experience to come back and live in authentic Sweden, that is, a Swedish household where I can put my Swedish to good use and practice. For those of you who don't know what I am referring to, I will be arriving back in Sweden shortly to live and work as an au pair for a minimum of 6 months (with the likelihood of staying longer). I wasn't sure in what form my journey back would come, whether it be for work or for furthering my education at grad school. It all begins in just a few short days on August 14th. Much has happened in the two years since my semester abroad, but I am in a chapter of life where I am thirsty for a fresh start and a new beginning. To "pull up from my boot straps" as they say and start over. I'm searching for a time to reconnect with myself and further understand the complexities of the human spirit. Quintessential post-graduation-life crisis? Maybe. But also a time to pick up the pieces of me and begin to connect them back together, a time to fall back in love with, well, me.....and Sweden, of course. However romantic it may seem to be an au pair in a foreign country, everything comes with it's own set of challenges, and this one doesn't fall short. My introvert nature will be challenged with the overwhelming notion of meeting new people and making new friends, rather, establishing a new community for myself from the ground up. Studying abroad didn't present quite a daunting task as this since it was a preformed group of students with forced interaction activitites, much like freshman orientation at Willamette. Not to mention, I was in a higher learning environment with most of the students within the same age cohort. This, on the other hand, is more "real life" since I must seek out my own relationships rather than have them conveniently presented in front of me, a task I know I am not entirely skilled at. I will also be in a situation where I am not only responsible for myself, but for the safety and well being of a small child, so my days will revolved around his needs, and my actions need to reflect those of a role model. Additionally, it is a new city, and a new way of life, lots of changes in a short amount of time, but nothing that isn't impossible to undertake. I am excited and blessed to have an experience that will only enrich my life and help me to keep growing within myself.