10h 30, December 02, last minutes in France. Paris airport, I was sitting here waiting for my flight going to United States. Since a year now it was my dream; leave my France and go living in America. I was watching this other au pair next to me, I can still heard them laughing they look so happy and excited compare to me. My head was full of questions with no answer, “Is it really that I want? Should I really take this plane?”
Twenty four hours later, I was in the States. At this moment, when I put the first feet out of the plane I really realized that it wasn’t just leaving a week for vacation. For an entire year I will live here, in a host family. A totally stranger in a big new world, with everything around will be new. Far from everybody, I started to feel scared and confused. What I just did?
One week passed, and my American Dream was turning more like a nightmare. No one single day where I was thinking about leaving this place and going back in France. It wasn't the fault of my Host Family, not at all. My Host was a super nice family; Sandrine, Thomas and their girl Manon. Their blond little girl, is the cutest girl ever, her name Manon was French because Sandrine was from France. Sandrine is pretty tall and she is this kind of women who is really sportive and active compared to Thomas, her husband from Chicago, who is pretty small for a man, and super lazy. They were all extraordinary and trying to do their best to makes me feel good and a real part of the family. But it wasn’t my real family, and I felt so alone, without them and my friends. I was a foreign in a town where I knew nobody, with people who was talking a different language that I couldn’t understand and with who I could never express myself because nobody understand a word from me.
It was the Saturday 14 of December when I really started to feel depressed, probably because it was my birthday and especially this day I was feeling really alone. It was my first birthday without my parents. I was 20 years old; first one I was by myself, far from all the people that I know and love...
Usually on Saturday morning I come from a party where I pass the night but today it was 10 o’clock and I had just woke up, lying down in my bed, didn’t want to move out. My room was still smelling the Jasmine from last night. Sandrine had habit to put a candle every night, all around the house. Outside it was really cold, I could see from my bed the snow coming down at the window. Next to the window, a red drawing from Manon was on the wall, this little blonde girl told me that she made for me a red one because my bedroom in France was red even that made me feel homesickness. Watching the drawing, I thought, “First birthday alone and the last one.” Took my laptop on the chair next to me. Skype open I was looking for my boyfriend: Samy Laamari, connected. Trying to call him but no answer. Ok, second attempt. I needed to talk to someone, I wanted to hear him say to me that every thing gonna be fine for me but instead he told me, “Océane, I'm sorry I cannot talk to you right now, I go see our friends.” The only thing I find to answer him was, “Asshole”.
Really? no hello, no happy birthday, no how are you. Nothing. If I could take my laptop and threw through the windows, I would have it done. Instead I just shut the lid down and yelled on my pillow like if could do something for me. Staring the wall, I was repeating in my head, “our friends” made me feel more alone than before.
After that, my day passed in my bed watching Doctor Who with a box of tissues.
Every day, it was a war in my head. What should I do? I really wanted to give up, left Park City, say goodbye. Told to Thomas & Sandrine that I am sorry but I didn't except that at all, it is really difficult for me to stay here, I really miss home. But, I couldn't. I was too scared to disappoint my parents, and my family evens my friends. What they are gonna say if they see me come back in France after only a month instead a year, maybe make fun of me.
But Christmas was the day I cracked. Every years, all my family eats in my place in France. Of course they call me on Skype. Everybody was here, my sisters and my nephew, my brother, uncles, aunts, cousins, everybody came to me to say me hello and asking me how I was.
"I am good, everything's fine here," lying to them.
I couldn't say the truth and It is true it was a really nice thing but also the thing the most horrible. See all my family, hear them talk, and laugh and I wasn't there.
The next day, seating in front of my desk in my bedroom, enwrapped by my cozy blue blanket super soft and armed with my hot chocolate, I called my parents desperate and in tears. The Skype ringtone sound, the heater at the maximum that was doing a huge sound, and Manon who was crying upstairs, everything was getting me angry. After 20 seconds of this annoyed bell, my parents answered. I immediately start to yell, "I want go back home now! I cannot stay here anymore."
The happy face to see of my parents directly turn in an original mix between the surprise, the anger, the amazement and the “What are you talking about?” They both were surprised of my reaction. My dad tried to appease me, “Please calm down please and expl-”
My Mom cut him off,
“Océane!” She called me Océane, that means trouble usually!
“What's happen again?" she asked with her strong voice.
Again? I thought, what again?
“I just told you mom, I want go back in France,” I answered, “Every day it is the same thing, it is too hard. I’m done." The tears was coming off.
"You have to try more and harder. You wanted that so go for," said my Dad
"How can you understand that? You are not here,” I yelled, “I am alone; nobody to talk, my English doesn't even improve. I am here for nothing.”
My Dad was pretty understanding like I thought and I could see with his face he was trying to think about it. But my Mom had always been impulsive and pushes us for everything. With my brother we used to call her “The Dragon” because she acted as a dragon. She wasn't spit fire, but words. Even if it was hard for people to hear the truth she was always here to do it. And my Dragon Mom was here.
"Océane stop it now. It's been only 3 weeks that you are over there. You knew it will be hard before go and the first months are the worst. Stop acting as a spoiled little girl.”
I wasn’t spoiled, I was scared it wasn’t the same. I was terrify.
She continued with, “We missed you Océane but it was your dream so do your best. You have to try again."
I was too much stubborn to understand what they was trying to tell me and I was so mad they don't want to listen to me I was sure they couldn't understand.
"You can't understand," I said, shutting my laptop.
After this short conversation I was still seating here in front of my desk confused, angry,
not knowing what to do, staring the screen. They were right, standing up, ready to get out of this bedroom. I need to try more, take confident and I will do it. Determinate to act, I was singing,
“Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife,” to encouraged me.
A week after I received a letter from my Mom, a green envelope that I opened faster than I could. I hadn't talked to my parents since last time, I was too ashamed to tell them that they was right but I was so happy to get some news. She was telling me that she knows it was really hard for me but I can be happy, I can learn, visit, meet some people and do all this things that I wanted do, all the projects that I had. She told that she understand that I was still very secluded but it was at me to change that and I had to force myself to do what I want. It was 2 pages of words from my mom who was trying to give all the helps that I need. After that I knew that my parents was expecting a lot from me, they wanted me to be happy, realize my dream and they won't give up on me, so I had to do the same. Fight myself, and do what I always wanted to do. Stay in United States do my dream and advance.
Finally after 3 really difficult months, I did it, I was happy on the American Floor. I met some friends, I was glad and I even decided to stay 6 months longer. To stay and fight my fears changed me a lot, I am more sure of myself now, I realize that I can do a lot of things if I really want to, and we have to live our dream don't just dream them. I choose to live my dream !