This Post Might Be Cheating

So, yeah… sorry for the appalling lack of posts. Truth be told, I’ve been a little overwhelmed, in ways good, bad, and indifferent. I’ve been in Kosova for almost three weeks now, and I keep waiting to feel a little less like a fish out of water. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some great people who have been a huge help in adapting, and I do like Kosova, but being a new person in a new place – and a new job – is more draining than I thought it would be. I have all these ideas for things I want to write about, but not the energy to actually write them.

So, I thought I’d cheat a little and post something I’ve already written.

All of my classes just completed an assignment this week called a This I Believe essay. This I Believe began as an NPR radio series in the 50s and continues to this day. The requirements seem simple enough: write about something you believe, make it precise, make it personal and relatable, and make it brief (350-500 words).

It’s been so fun to watch students’ reactions to this project. A few are writing incredibly personal topics that they have made me swear I will never make them share. A few are really diving deep. I haven’t gotten to read more than a few snippets of some of them, but I’m looking forward to reading more.

I promised them that if they wrote one, I would write one. It seemed fitting to write a little about how I got to where I am now. So this is my This I Believe essay, called “Eight Years.” And, in case you’re wondering, it’s 499 words long.

Eight Years

By Danielle Zaborski

In 2011, I got engaged to my high school boyfriend. We’d had our ups and downs, but I loved him, and I was sure that would be enough to sustain both of us.

In 2012, I graduated from college with a degree in English and the license to teach it. I also broke up with my boyfriend. I had finally realized that loving someone isn’t the same as wanting to spend your life with them.

In 2013, I started my first teaching job at the high school I had graduated from, and bought a house across the street. I thought that this would be the real start of my life.

In 2014, I finally admitted that anxiety from my job was eating away at my life. I quit the job that I thought would be so perfect, upset with myself for failing. I rented the house to my friend because I could no longer afford it alone.

In 2015, I started a new job teaching English at a small middle school. I fell in love with it. This lovely group of students and staff gave me back the confidence that I thought I had lost forever, and gave me the tools I needed to rebuild myself.

In 2016, I did not go back to teach at that school. It was too far from home, and I didn’t make enough money to pay my bills as well as the gas to drive so far. I did, however, accept an invite to live with a friend in Australia. I stayed at her house, and she helped me find a job. I sang in her church and fell in love with the people there. I thought, “Maybe this is where I’m meant to be.”

In 2017, I was back home in Ohio, and learned to teach English to speakers of other languages. I accepted a long term sub position for a teacher on medical leave, and I was sure that this job would be my way of getting hired full-time by another school close by.

In 2018, I said goodbye to my family and boarded a plane to Kosova. I had accepted a job teaching, of all things, high school English, which I had been certain I would never teach again. I met a great group of students and teachers who I am very excited to get to know.

I have shown you these eight years of my life, each so very different from the ones before, to prove that life will not always happen as you expect. At different points, I had expectations of being married, thriving in a job I had been trained for, living in my own house, and staying within my comfort zone. None of these things came to be, and thank God. I believe that life brought me to exactly where I need to be, and that I will be perfectly fine if my tomorrow doesn’t look like I expect it to.


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