January. Nearly hitting the six-month mark of au pairing, boredom and frustration really starting to kick in. Have a quick trip back to England and realise that Germany feels as much a home to me as the country where I grew up.
February. Went with my host family to the grandparents’ house for a week, again another test of my patience. Travelled to Berlin and stayed there on my own for four nights. Broke into an abandoned radio tower on the outskirts of the city with a Mexican girl from my hostel room who I’d just met that day- one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Went to my first Deftones gig.
March. Studied a three-week intensive German course at the uni and had great fun pretending to be a student again. Started to really feel ‘included’ in the Weimar social circle- went to a lot of awesome parties. Broke up with my boyfriend of four years over Skype.
April. Started seeing a different guy; drank a lot of red wine and played a lot of guitar. Still trying to emulate the seemingly carefree lives of my student friends with varying degrees of success. Started to realise that entire weekends would go by without spending any time with my host family.
May. Host parents went away for five days to Switzerland: I invited aforementioned new guy to the house without their permission. A wine glass got broken and I nearly got sacked. Things ended between new guy and I, which was remedied by spending long hours in the park with my friends drinking and singing. Gave a talk on London at the uni and my host family came along. Started half-heartedly looking for jobs in Germany.
June. The end point of my time au pairing was starting to draw nearer; I wrestled with excitement at the prospect of freedom again versus the stresses of ‘what do I do next?’ Stumbled across a job advert for a language school nearby, went to the interview and got the job. A new door opens.
July. Had a very pleasant last couple of weeks of au pairing, then moved out to my friends’ place as a temporary measure. Started to feel somewhat lost due to a lack of structure in my life. Summer came; warmth and relaxation ensued. Started teaching my first private groups and fell in love with my new job.
August. Moved into a friend’s old room in her flat and had the place to myself for weeks at a time. Another guy came onto the scene. Every weekend was spent watching the sun rise after spending the night at some party or other. Started supplementing my teaching work by working at Subway and two weeks after starting was managing the shop on my own.
September. Was told that I wasn’t able to stay in the flat where I was; daunted by the prospect of househunting at the busiest time of the year. Had a break-up out of the blue on the same evening that my best friend returned from a month in her home country. Left Subway due to it being far too stressful for the €5/hour I was earning.
October. Went for a birthday weekend in Berlin with my best friend and made two awesome new friends who introduced us to its underground punk scene. Was interviewed and chosen out of twenty people to join the lovely flat where I now live. Developed a habit of sleeping over at my best friend’s place multiple times a week. Started teaching at external business clients- great for my self-esteem and a lot of fun.
November. A month defined by money troubles; ate a lot of bread and jam to cut food costs. Rejoiced when my first ‘proper’ payday came. Contact with host family slowly breaking down. Real family (minus brother) visited Weimar and I was proud to show them round my adoptive hometown. Received lovely feedback from my students.
December. Applied for a job translating for the student body for this state of Germany and got it. Made new friendships and strengthened a few existing ones. Got given some very sweet Christmas presents from my students and friends. Went back to England for a week and gorged myself on unhealthy food. Had a surprise greeting from my friends at the station upon my arrival back in Weimar.