A real relationship from kid’s perspective

I am an au pair and I take care of 3 boys (3, 5 and 8 years old).

During the dinner, I asked them about their school and friends. Two older boys started to boast that they have a lot of “girlfriends” and even “boyfriends”.

I asked them how they recognize if that’s just a friend or something more and it’s a boyfriend.

-If that’s just a friend you play together and have a nice time. But you know someone is your boyfriend if you can toot beside him.

Lol, I can’t argue their logical… Goodnight!

 

Public or Private school?

So today when I was in a car I heard in a radio discussion about the benefits of sending kids to private school despite costs. I heard many times that the future depends on what school you attend to, however, I deeply believe that it’s only a myth and my story can prove it.

I’m a Polish girl from a big family. I have 3 brothers and the most wonderful sister in the whole world (well, I have only one so maybe I think like that because there’s no comparison lol). We weren’t poor but at the same time, my mom always had to manage money wisely to afford a standard life for 7 people family. I always admire her because I have no idea how she made it that with the income we had, I have never felt like I lack anything. There was always food, a lot of sweets, money for school trips and trips abroad once a year. I’ve never had expensive brand clothes though but I wasn’t too upset that I didn’t have Nike shoes like most of my friends did. (Nike, Adidas, etc. are very expensive brands in Poland). Most of my friends at some point started attending language schools which are expensive, as well as going for paid tutoring lessons to have a chance for better grades at school. Those were things my parents couldn’t afford, especially for 5 kids. My siblings and I went to public schools, which are meant to be “worse”. However, the truth is that it’s not up to a school where you will end up in your life but it’s fully up to you. All schools cover the same material so no matter where you go you study the same things. Of course, some teachers explain things better than others. They can make someone passionate about some topics. But even if you have a terrible teacher, you have your textbook you can learn from, thousands of information on the Internet so there’s nothing that stops someone from mastering the class material on your own. If someone really wants to get good grades, he or she will get them by putting an effort into studying. Those are just excuses made by students or their parents that someone wasn’t accepted to a better high school, college, etc. because he didn’t have good teachers or the school wasn’t good enough. It makes people feel better about their failure if they can justify them and blame someone else than themselves for them. And that’s the biggest mistake. Everyone needs to learn how to accept their own failures because everyone experiences them in life. Once you acknowledge that you missed some opportunity because you didn’t put enough effort to get it or just simply because someone else was smarter and more talented it gives the power to try harder again. I cannot be upset every time when someone was better than me because then the whole life I would be depressed. As long as I know I gave my best, I can be proud of myself even if I failed at something.

I went to the public school in Poland and I ended graduating at one of the British university. I got my degree in Biotechnology. It wasn’t easy. I had to work every weekend to afford my stay there. I had no rest day. I had to save on food like crazy and I couldn’t afford too many treats for myself. Most people were saying that they wouldn’t make it because lifestyle like that doesn’t give enough time for studying and consequently, obtaining good grades. However, I got good grades and achieved a lot because I didn’t stop. I didn’t look for excuses that the system is against me and a person without rich parents can’t study abroad and succeed. I made it despite scarce free time, not enough nutritious food and language difference. Polish education doesn’t provide students with good English level, that’s why most people go for paid classes somewhere else. I couldn’t afford it so instead, I found online penfriends and started to exchange emails with them each day. It was hard because I used translator google to translate almost everything at the beginning. No one was there to really explain to me the grammar issues. However, I didn’t stop and somehow after many months of doing that day by day, my skill got enough good to be the best in English classes at my high school group. I bet my English is still funny for most of the native speakers who are reading my posts, however, I’m not discouraged and I’m still learning. I proved that the desire for learning something is enough, you don’t need money to learn something nowadays. With the Internet and all the information that can be found there, nothing is impossible. Of course, it is more difficult without money, and it requires way more effort but it is within reach of everyone who really wants to achieve something. My sister is the best example that your financial status doesn’t matter to get a good education. She also graduated at the university in the UK and her grades were as high that she got accepted after her bachelor degree (3 years) straight for PhD. She’s doing research about Stem Cells in one of the 100 top universities around the world and she’s paid to study there. She was sent to conduct some experiments in Hong Kong for free, and additionally, she was receiving money for each day she spent in there. My other brother finished Bioengineering in Poland. He had passion and now he is in the paid internship in Portugal which was offered to him after his team won an award with their project in European competition for technical innovations. My other brother is still in university and I worry for him as he’s a lazy monkey. Jacek is spending time on playing computer games all the time so I’m not sure if he’s gonna finish his studies. I pray he does, he’s my silly little brother and I love him.

A lot of people say that you shouldn’t have a lot of kids because you can’t provide them with money for a decent life, but my family is a proof that not money are the most important but the love and attention you give to each other. In theory, there was no way we could succeed in life like that because we were from a big family and everyone knows the stereotype about families with lots of kids. But life is about opportunities you take and hard work you put to achieve your goals. Anyone can achieve anything. Even without “headstart” like going to the private school.

I love you mom and dad and thanks for teaching me how to work hard and how to accept my own failures without putting blame on anyone else.

 

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Does America make people fat?

I came to the USA almost 8 months ago. Since high school, I have been struggling with my weight, however cutting down sweets and eating food cooked at home helped me keep my weight on a good level for so long. During my university years in the UK, I have lost some weight even though I have not been eating too healthy. Being short on budget and being always busy helped me avoid eating too much. This is how I looked at my best:

 

I was glad to finally have the flat tummy, it is so hard to get! I think I was weighing around 62 kilos (136 lbs) at that time, what with my height 177 cms (5.8 ft) was pretty decent.

But then I decided to move to the USA…

My first step was to say bye-bye to the UK and come back to my home in Poland for a month. Being back with parents mean that you have nice meals ready for you anytime. It’s such a luxury after being a student in a foreign country, additionally supporting myself from my very own funds only. “Yes mom, I’ll have seconds of that dinner” “Oh yes please, this cake was so delicious that I cannot refuse the extra piece”, etc… It’s how it happened, 4 kilos (~9 lbs) more… It still wasn’t that bad. I would be able to lose it quickly after going back to the UK. It’s how every Christmas looked like. I was coming back to Poland to put on weight 5 kilos (10 lbs), just to lose it within the next two weeks while being on my own again. But this time, instead of coming back to the UK I left for the USA. That was a crucial difference, which complicated the whole situation…
The very first days I came to the USA I wanted to try everything, so it came with no surprise to me that I looked like in food pregnancy all the time. However, after a few days, I stopped eating as much and normally my stomach would come back to normal, but not this time. Even when I hardly ate anything, my stomach was still bloating. Even celery diet gave no results and it was always a perfect remedy for getting my flat stomach back. I found out that the food in the USA has a huge impact on my body. Unfortunately, it was a negative one. It didn’t matter if the food was “organic” or not, still, I felt heavy and terrible. I guess all kind of food has too much sugar added. Here, even the bread is sweet. At least it tasted like that when I first came but after a while, you don’t even notice that anymore. You can get used to the worse quality of food very quickly. I think this picture shows how dramatically my body changed:

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Still, I cannot be too upset because at least my body got bigger curves at the same time but my mom is really distraught as I got “Americanized”. In Slavic culture, the skinny figure is the most desirable one. If I came back with a shape like this, my friends and family would tell me straightforwardly that I am fat now. Nevertheless, people here claim that I am still “slim”, but I don’t feel in a slightest bit slim and I need to get back to shape. The same thing happened to my other Polish friends while they have been living in the USA. They said that since they came to the USA, their stomach is all the time bloating and they put on weight so easily on no matter what they did.

I was trying to eat more healthy and exercise almost every day, however, it didn’t really help too much. I kind of gave up and then it happened. One day I checked my weight and it turned out that I managed to lose 5 kilos (11 lbs) since the last time I checked it (it was like 3 months previously)!! I was so happy! Apparently, my party diet started to work! My sister and I found out this diet during our university years and so far it seems to be the most successful one. This diet can be summarized to drink as much as you can and go party. Even midnight McDonald’s after nightclub wasn’t able to reverse effects. Maybe I should exactly describe this miracle diet some other time. If I’m gonna get back in shape with it, I’ll for sure post about it!

I can feel that the food here is so bad for keeping a body in shape. Even with my eating habits that always helped me stay fit it is so difficult to stay slim here. However, Americans can’t blame only the quality of food for contributing to their obesity. I see on a daily basis how terrible eating habits they have and what’s even worse, they pass those habits on their kids. This combination gives an obvious equation, the USA is one of fattest nations around the world.

 

Let’s not start from the beginning but from today

I know that the blog should have an introduction. I should start with stating the purpose and some explanation, however, tomorrow is another day and I’m gonna do it some other time. Let’s start from today. It’s the same when you meet someone face to face, isn’t it? You don’t really ask first about dreams and goals, the past and the future. You just enjoy sharing that very moment. I hope no one will be disappointed with starting from the very present moment.

I had a lovely day. I mean I had a lovely afternoon, or maybe just 3 hours of it. Rest of the day was exhausting and terrible. But those few hours were enough to make me feel good at the end of the day.

It is my Sunday off. Not completely because I needed to go to a monthly meeting. I am an au pair in the USA and the law here requires me to be there. The meeting is meant to be fun, it’s an opportunity for au pairs from the same area to get know each other and at the same time, the area director is checking if all girls are fine and nothing bad happens in our host houses. Most of au pairs don’t really like those meetings and they are not attending them. I can’t blame those girls, being thrown to another country and then they need to go for a meeting with all strangers. It is awkward. It was terribly awkward for me as well, especially that I am an introvert and I am not good with chitchats. However, I wanted to take that opportunity and get know other girls here even tho I am going to feel so uncomfortable by trying to think all the time what I should say to someone so I don’t sit alone just by myself.

Today’s meeting was at the Apple Jack’s Orchard, it’s the first time I have been to the festival like that. I loved the atmosphere and views. The whole world around sunk in yellow and red colour.

DSC_0014The very first attraction we attended was the corn maze. We didn’t find an exit, maybe we didn’t try hard enough. Probably I was the only one who wanted to finish it, as by the entrance there was the sign saying to make a wish. I wanted it to come true, but it was impossible without finding the exit. However, girls wanted to go to the next attraction so I had to say goodbye to my dream and follow them. I wasn’t intending on getting lost alone in there, it’d be too scary!

 

Next attraction was the corn pool. I’ve never seen something like that before. Somehow I wished it could get super hot and all the corn turned into popcorn… I probably love popcorn too much. Anyway, it was fun moving in that pool. It wasn’t fun getting that corn stuck inside my pants though! Especially that I had leggings and I didn’t want anyone to think that I’ve got weird bumpy butt! T.T

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After getting rid of corn from my pants, we went for a ride on a tractor’s trailer. I had more fun than kids. Well, it was my first fall festival so I was determined to fully enjoy it. As the last activity, we got a photoshoot with pumpkins. Nothing looks better on Instagram than those, isn’t it?

 

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Everything looks so perfect in pictures, but the truth is, there were moments when each of us were just occupied with doing selfies or just waiting for others to finish. There was a lot of imperfection. While sitting in corn pool, I spend a long time on the phone and being upset about the message I got. You can’t see that in pictures. Everywhere, everyone looks happy. But nothing is perfect, life always mixes some of bad and some of good together. Common moments are great and it depends on us if we gonna enjoy and appreciate them. Today I got to know new lovely girls and I hope I will have a chance to hang out with them soon again. I have great memories from today and they will be there with me forever.