By Esther Arnaut Amador
Are you in the place you want to be? Are the choices you are making really your own?
Throughout my life, I have heard people say, "Life is based on the decisions we make." But I wonder, are we making decisions for ourselves or are we letting others make them for us?
Almost three years ago, I decided to come to the United States as an au pair. At that time, I was working as an elementary school teacher in Mexico, and honestly, the process of deciding to quit my job to come to the United States was hard. I believe that part of what made it hard was that I was used to making decisions based on other people's opinions. What others would think was always in the back of my mind. What if I made a mistake in the path I chose? What if I didn't succeed? Fear and doubts are there all the time, but I have learned to let them go and move forward with the difficult decisions that I know to be true to myself, even when others may not understand the path I’m taking. I’ve found that experiencing vulnerability through making hard decisions for myself has been a major part of my growth.
This is the family I work with as an au pair. In them, I found love and support,
and I consider them an important part of my family.
That's why I moved forward with courage and decided on the path that makes me happy. Since that moment, it has been a wonderful journey from the sunny beach life in Baja California Sur, Mexico, to the beautiful rollercoaster that is the windy city of Chicago. I never imagined that I could find so much love, peace, and joy in a foreign country. I must say that maybe it is not just about the place, but the people, which help everything make sense.
Living in the U.S. has helped me be more confident and open to people. I have made many friends in the most unexpected places. Once I was babysitting in a park, and I saw another girl babysitting as well. I started a conversation, we exchanged numbers, and since then we have become best friends! I can't imagine my life without her now!
This decision has not only led me to grow as a person but as a professional. Currently, I'm preparing to reach my goal of completing a master's degree in the U.S. This is why I'm studying English at the English Language Academy (ELA) at DePaul University. I’ve found it to be a wonderful place to learn and make friends from all around the world! If I had not been brave enough, and if I had not chosen to follow my own decisions, I could never have had the incredible and special experience that I am living!
This is me, living in the Windy City. :)
Learning to let go of everyone's opinion of our life may not come naturally, but I believe it is something we have to learn to do. We all have different ideas on how to reach happiness and contentment. Throughout my own journey, I’ve found that you have to move in your own direction, following your very heart, because if you make decisions based on what others desire for your life you are going to end up living somebody else's life! Those two things have helped me experience what I never previously imagined.
I hope you learn how to make your life something you are proud of and see beauty in the world around you.
Esther Arnaut Amador from La Paz, Mexico, is studying English at the English Language Academy at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.