As of May 2, I have officially been living in Germany for 4 months now. That means exactly 1/3 of my time here has already passed (or at least my time as an Au Pair…). It’s crazy- I mean, 4 months seems like such an insignificant amount of time, but SO much has happened in these last 120 days. Although the time has flown by, I also feel like I’ve been here a lot longer. Within 2 days of arriving, I had already met my group of friends, within the first 2 weeks I had found a church, and within the first 3 weeks I joined my volleyball-training group. With each week these relationships developed and grew and it didn’t take long for me to feel at home here in Aschau.
The language also has gotten so much easier for me, which of course makes life here more comfortable. I went through a few stages in my German speaking:
Month 1- I came here being able to speak German, but it was a very rough, simple version. My first month, everything was still new and I knew when I came here that it would take some time so I wasn’t expecting to be perfect right away.
Month 2- I was frustrated. Pretty much the whole month. It didn’t help that I had just switched families and it was freezing cold and snowing every single day. I was at the point where I was speaking German with everyone but I hated that I couldn’t fully express myself and couldn’t speak as eloquently as I wanted to.
Month 3- About halfway through March, I feel like something just clicked. All of the sudden it all became so much easier. I didn’t have to think so hard about what I was saying and I was able to enjoy my conversations more instead of being stressed out.
Month 4- Similar to month 3, things have continually become easier. Even when I’m with friends that can speak perfect English, I still speak to them in German because I enjoy the extra practice. My grammar is improving a lot. Although I still make MANY mistakes, I can usually hear now when I say something and it doesn’t sound right. The last 2 months I’ve also been in a German course at the local community college and this has helped my grammar a lot, too. I’m excited to see how much more I will continue to improve in the coming months, and at the end of the year.
I’m a little bit scared that the next 8 months will continue to fly by as fast as these first 4. Partially because I love my life here and am not even close to ready to say goodbye yet, and partially because I have NO IDEA what I will be doing next year. In my mind, I have 3 big options, with many possibilities:
1. Stay in Germany (try to find a job teaching English)
a.) But move to another part of the country, like Berlin
b.) Stay in my region or the Munich area
2. Move back to the States (and find a job- urghh)
a.) New York?
b.) San Diego?
3. Go to Grad school and get my Masters
a.) in Europe where it’s practically free?
b.) somewhere in the States (but probably New York, California or Texas)
Can you see why this stresses me out?? I know it’s such a blessing to have so many options and this is a special time in my life and I may not get opportunities like this again to just be able to choose where I go/what I do… but that doesn’t make the decisions any easier to make! I pray that God gives me clarity as far as where I should go next and what I should do, but I also know that the time will come when I have to make some decisions and I may not have that clarity- and that’s scary! But I do trust the Lord and I trust that His plan for my life is good and better than any plan I could come up with on my own!
I’m so thankful for my first 4 months and can’t wait to see what the next few bring now that we have some warmer, prettier weather!
Feel free to leave a comment and vote on what you think I should do next in life (1a, 2b, 3, etc) I’ll take all the help I can get!