Saturday, October 16, 2010

What Can a Year do for You?

The rumors are true, I've lived in Sarajevo for OVER a year now! 
Here's looking at you, kid! 
 In honor of the big milestone, I thought it would be fun to give a compare and contrast to what my life was like before as a shower scheduling, burrito eating, softball playing band director in Texas to my life now as a planner-losing, cevapi devouring,  ski-loving English teacher/Bosnian language learner in Sarajevo, Bosnia. 

I normally teach adults, but I love this picture too much to not post it...

Then: When entering a shoe store, I say "good afternoon," look around at the style I want, ask for my size, then pick between the regular, narrow, or wide version.
Now: When entering a shoe store, I say "dobar dan," and immediately ask if they have anything in my size (10). If by some rare chance they do have something (again, a rare occasion), it is usually something that would have been before my grandmother's time.

Then: I drove an average of 45 minutes a day. 
Now: I walk an average of 45 minutes a day.

Then: I had the emotional stability of a doped up reggai bass player. (Its aaalllll goooood)
Now: Often times I have the emotional instability of a mom who gets teary-eyed watching Hallmark commercials. 


Then: I said I would update my blog weekly.

Then: If I drove in a straight line at 80 miles an hour for 3 hours, I would get from the top of Texas to somewhere in the middle of it (If I'm lucky...)
Now: If I could drive in a straight line for 3 hours at 80 miles an hour (not that that's possible right now), it would get me from Bosnia to Budapest, a country with a completely different culture, language, food preferences, currency...

She may benefit from a trip here...

Then: I liked long distance running and ran a lot of miles.
Now: That hasn't changed, but now I count in kilometers and thus have a higher sense of achievement.

Then: Saying "you have too much time on your hands" would come out of my mouth A LOT.
Now: I honestly can't imagine saying that to anyone right now, and I honestly think most people need a lot more "free time" on their hands.

Then: I could barely count to 100 in Spanish, my "second language."
Now: A month ago I was able to share my testimony all in Bosnian, specifically telling how Jesus brought me from living an over-achieving, world-pursuing, "rat-race" feeling life to a life with peace, redemption, purpose, and heart-awakening adventure.

Then: This is the setting where I performed the clarinet... (see the red curls in the background?)
Now:  I now perform in an English pub and WITHOUT music. To put it all together, I'm an Irish woman playing Scottish folk music in an English pub while living Sarajevo. Whew.
(To my musician friends, I want to add that this whole playing by ear thing intimidates me a whole lot more than Shostakovich ever did...)

Then: Sleep came as I could have it and it was not a high priority.
Now: I learned very quickly how meaningless my 30 hours of weekly language study was without sleep, so getting a good night's sleep is HIGH HIGH HIGH on the priority list!

Then:  Good hiking would happen MAYBE once a year, and this after a loooong road trip to Colorado.
Now: If I want to and the weather is cooperating, I could wake up tomorrow and go hiking in the gorgeous mountains surrounding Sarajevo!
Then: My identity was wrapped up in how busy I was, how well my students were doing, what my ratings were at contest, and the things "I'd" achieved thus far in life.
Now: I'm learning more and more that my identity is found in the One who created me, and by seeking Him with all that I have, I more fully understand who He created me to be.

Then: Culture shock= scary.
Now: Reverse culture shock=scarier!!!

Then: Going to coffee meant sitting with someone for an hour, maybe 2 if we're lucky.
Now: Going for coffee could be an all-day event, and I make sure to block out at least 2 hours each time.
traditional Bosnian coffee
For all you schedule lovers...

Then: School dates would be set the April before the next school year. 

Now: A friend of mine didn't know when the last day of school was for her child until THAT DAY. They kept saying things like "maybe 2 more days... maybe next week... could be tomorrow.."

Then:  I would schedule the exact time I would eat, take a shower, and go to bed.
Now: I get a little stressed when someone tries to plan a coffee (or skype, etc.) with me a week before.

Then: Each week would look VERY similar.
Now: One of the most dreaded questions I get is "What does a normal week look like for you?" because there is no normal week....

And finally, in honor of football season:

Then: I thought Bevo was a fat cow. 

Now: I still think Bevo is a fat cow and am waiting for someone to correct me on this...
Mmmm... barbecue... 

Till next time,