26. October 2016 by swissfitchick
If you work with teenagers, well then you don’t sweat the small stuff any more, trust me on that one. They take it all from you if they want and you better stand with both feet on terra firma if you want to survive there. Nonetheless, I love them with a passion as I do my job – I even accept the fact that I am not a free-as-a-bird nomad any more, which is unfuckingheard of me.
Making a comitment, apart from my friendships or my passions, simply isn’t my forte – signing a contract for an appartment, saying yes to a relationship or accepting a permanent position makes my skin crawl and makes me to bolt in terror. Yet, this time things were different – I was more than convinced that I was going to work in this job or else I’d jack Switzerland in for good. Another office job would have been yoke around my neck , albeit the salary and the conditions being sweeter, but I knew I would sooner or later lose my mental clarity (yes, hooray, it exists!) or die from boredom – and – who are you kiddin’ – boredom and I have never been or will be bedfellows.
So, meanwhile, I’m over here, working in a permanent position in my hometown. Shiftwork to be exact, because the teens live here in this home and need care 24/7 . Aged 14-19 , mixed genders and multicultural, they aren’t difficult in a educatable way, they simply come from difficult familiar circumstances and some of them suffer from different traumatas or negligence. They are teenagers – and if you are or have ever been a Mom to a teenage kid, you know the moods, the highs and the lows of life at that age. I myself was the trouble kid par excellence – which is probably the reason for this age range being my scene and having an in with these kids. I won’t be going into detail about my teenage years, because that might damage my fine repute. Or has it been damaged already? Don’t answer that.
So I do the basic stuff with them. We cook together, I remind them to clean their rooms and their part of the house, I wake them up in the morning and know when they leave the house and when the come back (which is best-case…). I watch TV with them, lead discussions about life, make lame jokes or let them teach me teenage slang and social media skills. The challenging part is keeping up a more or less harmonic relationship, working on trust and confidence, solving problems at their school or work and solving conflicts with them which arise when rules are being ignored. It is a group of 9 teenkids, so yes there must be a small list of rules which they clearly hate but understand and accept more or less. But, we also celebrate their successes, steps forward and things they manage to dominate which dominated them prior to that.
This may sound difficult, but in fact, there is a silver lining – these kids are great. They’re not only super smart, they are pretty hilarious, really sweet, needy and oh so interesting. I love to be by their side during this time and supporting them in a difficult phase in life. We all have good and bad days, but all of it is honest, straight and authentic. It’s not an office where you smile despite feeling shit – they confront us with all their shit going on, but are also thankful that we put all our effort into being there for them.
I have all the freedom and peace I want in my freetime because I don’t have to take care of a family, a pet or what not. So what I’m looking for to challenge my senses in diversified ways, is a job that makes sense to me. At the end of the day I want to feel like I have been challenged, I have a task in my life to fulfill and I want it to make me happy. I want to feel at peace within because I feel like Im doing the right thing – and with the life Im leading today, I know that I do so. Nothing is constant and everything is changing, every minute – plus there is still so much more to see and learn in this world. Generally speaking, I see what I need and I take it. This way, I am happy and can share my experiences and happiness.