Dearest and most loyal readers, the time has come for me to write my final au pair blog post. To be truthful, the time came a long time ago. I’ve been home from Spain for 6 weeks now, but I’ve been unable to write this because it was too hard. I was forced to leave Seville early, for reasons we will get into shortly, and the experience was all quite painful and even a little traumatising. So forgive me for how long this has taken, but I have finally plucked up the courage to tell you all how my gap year ended. I’m not just doing this for you (although I do of course love you all dearly), but more because I hope that by writing this out I can come to terms and accept what happened. It was not a happy ending to my year, and since then I have struggled to remember the good parts and the fun I had with the boys and the other au pairs. So this isn’t easy for me to write. I’d rather pretend that everything was perfect until the last moment and that I walked away from my gap year feeling fulfilled and proud of myself. But it wasn’t to be. And I think it’s important to tell you all that sometimes things don’t go to plan, people lie, and quite frankly, sh*t happens. But life goes on, and while I miss those boys with all my heart and it hurts me to know I will probably never see them again, I know that I need to find a way to put this behind me and look forward with positivity, remembering the good times I have had this past year rather than dwelling on the painful and abrupt ending.
So you are undoubtedly all wondering what happened to me out there. Well, it’s an interesting story. Only now (6 weeks on) can I begin to appreciate the hilarious absurdity of it all. I don’t wish to point blame at anyone so I will keep the story short and sweet. A woman in the park, another nanny I’m told, rang up my host parents and told them some things about how I had been treating the boys in the park. These things weren’t true. However, despite knowing me for 6 months and seeing me every day with their kids, playing and laughing and loving them, the parents chose to believe this stranger over me. Consequently, they told me they could no longer trust me with their boys and asked to me leave – the very next day. We won’t dwell on the fact that this was the day before my birthday, the weekend my aunt and uncle were visiting Seville and that I had a 10k race that Sunday, or that it was ironically only 2 and a half weeks until I was to leave Spain anyway. I was shocked and didn’t know what to say. Of course I tried to explain myself and prove my innocence but unfortunately their minds were made up and I could see there was nothing I could do. So what else do we do in desperate circumstances but ring our mothers? I think I scared here quite a lot…..a crying daughter down the phone at 11:30pm starting the conversation with ‘something terrible has happened’. Apparently she thought I’d been raped. It wasn’t like she expected me to tell her this story, who did?! Somehow I managed to find myself a hotel for 3 nights and we booked flights home for the following Monday. I wanted to stay in Seville to see my aunt and uncle, and also to run my race on the Sunday. It all felt like a bad nightmare, it didn’t feel real.
The next day I packed my bags. In all honesty, I think that day was the hardest of my life so far. These people, who had been so kind and welcoming to me for so long, were suddenly cold and wouldn’t look me in the eye. I wasn’t allowed near the boys apart from when we said goodbye. It broke my heart. Saying goodbye to those two was brutal. I didn’t want to let go when they hugged me. I left them with a photo album I had been creating of all our happy times together, unfinished, with the hope that Marta may finish it with them when the photos I had recently ordered arrived. Marta seemed the most affected by my gift, so I suppose all was not lost and that she did appreciate how much fun the boys and I had over the months. When that door closed behind me I felt quite lost for a few minutes. All that had been my life and my family for the past 6 months was suddenly gone. They would go on with their lives and I was left to pick up the pieces of my own crumpled self (and broken heart, if we are being dramatic) and figure out how to turn the page on this incident. I always imagined that I would stay in contact with these boys forever, writing them letters and sending them Christmas cards, etc. But now I just don’t know if the parents would want me to. And what hurts the most is that there is a strong possibility that they could both grow up and not remember me at all, or how much I loved them and how much fun we had. All I can do is I hope that that photo album doesn’t become buried in a dark cupboard along with all the other skeletons, and that the good times are remembered over the bad. Which is what I am trying to do at the moment, but honestly, it’s really quite hard.
Despite all this I managed to enjoy my last few days in Seville, thanks to my fabulous bunch of au pair friends (who all offered to put me up in their houses) and my family. They all reassured me of the absurdity of what had happened, and they reminded me of who I really was, rather than this nanny-monster the woman had created and who I was staring to believe was really was somewhere inside me. I’m still struggling with this. It’s never been hard for me to doubt myself and this has really challenged me again. But my wonderful friends distracted me and gave me lots of hugs. They even somehow managed to throw together the most amazing and adorable photo album of all our adventures in Spain in ONE NIGHT. So thank you again, you know who you are and I love you all. Who knows what I would have done without you! We went for brunch on my birthday and I then went out for dinner with my aunt and uncle to a great Lebanese restaurant. We did some sightseeing on Saturday, which was a nice way to say goodbye to the city, and on Sunday I ran my race. Perhaps it was the angst and anger inside me, but I ran that 10k in my fastest ever time to date and even managed to come 1st for my age group! I was so surprised that I didn’t believe it when they called out my name from the podium and they had to repeat it! It felt like a nice way to end it all, especially after a traumatic few days.
So there you go. That’s how my gap year ended. No, it’s not what I wanted, and nor is it what I ever expected. At first I thought this would be something I would never tell anyone as I was ashamed – ashamed of what felt like a complete failure and also of the person I was portrayed as. But that’s not who I am and although it wasn’t exactly a complete ‘success’, I know I have come out the other end as a better and stronger person. I could waffle on a lot here about maturity and responsibility and finding myself blah blah blah. But who wants to read that? All I have left to say is that sometimes there are crazy people who make up crazy things, and sometimes there are even crazier people who believe those other crazy people. And what can you do? Nothing really. Except for carry on with your life, hanging up the socks the way YOU WANT TO, and remembering the good times that make you smile, whether it was a Sevillian sunset, or falling of the merry-go-round because Agu pushed it too hard. Just keep your head up, and flaunt that suntan 😘
Muchos besitos mis queridas