More Saturday Thoughts

Sometimes, it’s hard to be me.  No wait, that’s not right.  Sometimes it’s hard to be the person I want to be.  It’s very easy to be me.  I just wake up and there I am.

We’re two weeks into 2012 and I fear I am deceiving myself as to whether or not I am being successful in my attempts to improve myself.  I’ve managed to call all but two days of the year good ones, and as long as I continue to mark off the days with a green X, I can tell myself things are going well, but is that really the case?  Now before I go and get all down on myself, I’m going to maintain that I must have done something right in order to deserve the green X versus the red one.  I’ve been reading and writing and watching TV in Spanish, which is all well and good, but despite my resolution to ease back on the other languages, I still feel as if I am losing what little ability I had in Italian and French.  Now, last Saturday, I sat in Starbucks and wrote an entire blog in Italian, which pleased me, but then today, I attempted to have an online chat with a native Italian speaker and I had to look up just about everything I wanted to say.  I have some ideas on how I can go about getting back into the swing of things without driving myself crazy, but the dreadful procrastination demon is looming overhead.  I keep finding things to do that aren’t really directly related to language learning or anything even close to the sort.   I know, I know, I’m not a student and I have no deadline.  It’s a hobby, and given it’s a hobby, it should be done when I want to and for however long I want to.  I shouldn’t try to force myself to do anything or it will just become tedious and boring.  I tell others that all the time.  In fact, sometimes I think I would be a better language coach than learner.  I am great at giving other people advide and suggesstions, but when it comes to my own progress, I find myself stuck, staring at a computer, asking myself what I want to do next.  The answers aren’t even really that hard, it’s just that I can’t bring myself to do any of them.  For example, I am writing this blog entry.  I tell myself I should write it, as I have been a little lax with it of late, but really, this is just my way of avoiding looking for some useful Italian interaction.  I plugged in my old laptop last night.  There is absolutely nothing on it of any use, which is why it had sat in the corner of my room collecting dust for the last two years, but for some reason, I was inclined to boot it up and start tinkering with it.  It’s occupying my time, but unless I start changing the entire OS into another language, what purpose did it serve for me to turn it on?

On one hand, I try to tell myself not to worry too much.  I can still speak Spanish better than any other native English speaker I know, and if I truly had to, I could fake my way through a basic conversation in Italian.  French would leave me out in the cold, but really, what’s the hurry?  I don’t know any situation that may come up in the next few months that would throw me into a situation where I was forced to speak either Italian or French.  I mean, we did have a bus visit us at work a few months back full of Italians, so I suppose that could happen again, but besides that, I can’t think of anything.  I know a lot of it is just my stubborness combined with suffering from OCD.  (OK, I haven’t actually been diagnosed or anything, but whatever)  I strive to be perfect in everything I do.  I know this, and I try to either accept it or fight it, but neither one seems to help me out.  I don’t take things lightly, we’ve already talked about this a while back.  I keep telling myself I need to find a way to enjoy what I am doing without obsessing over perfection.  Hobbies, by definition, should be fun, not stressful.  I just can’t seem to do anything without taking it to extremes.

It’s nearly 4:00 in the afternoon, and to me, the day has more or less been wasted.  I did make it to the gym this afternoon, which is a battle so far this year I am winning, but even there I was not particularly motivated and I felt I was just going through the motions.  It didn’t help that I forgot my headphones at home and couldn’t listen to my iPod.  I listened to some of my Italian program in the car, but that is really just passive listening, as I have to focus on driving more than vocabulary.  I poked my head back into the language chat rooms again, but I found myself talking to Spanish speakers, which is fine, but not the challenge I wanted today.  I would rather not mark today as a red X if I can avoid it, but I am feeling like even though the underlying desire is there, the true motivation is not.  While it would be a great exaggeration to say I can speak freely in Spanish, I would like to be able to talk at least as well in Italian.  Oh well.  Perhaps I should head back to the chat rooms.  We’ll talk.

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~ by James on January 14, 2012.

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