Someone is always better, smarter, prettier, more sophisticated, or more eloquent than me. That’s how the world simply works. When you work with a group of people who are recruited for their smarts, you start to realize everyone has their own strengths. I know that I can demolish a logistics problem, but can I tell the difference between tones? Nope. I don’t have short term language memory, but my pronunciation is half decent.
Language is a humbling experience and it is fun for a few weeks then it sucks again. It isn’t easy, that’s a given, but I’m struggling to determine if it is dependent on a specific set of variables. Does caffeine help or hurt my ability? Is a good day relative to my ability to remember that one word I just can never remember on the fly? Do I have shitty days when I judge my abilities in relation to my classmates? Or does that push me to be better? If I eat too many carbs does that impact my attention span? Is my interest level correlated to my perception of usefulness of the vocabulary? Or do I really only like the words that are related to my interests outside of language, such as Star Wars. What impact does my fear of inadequacy/rejection have on my attitude during the day? For god sakes someone get me some R^2 values!
Attitude really is half the battle. So starting this week I’m going to go back to basics. Back to my lessons and back to what matters. The lessons I learned during my time in Peace Corps. I used to read them daily and I need to start that again. Because no matter how difficult the day, it will never compare to having typhoid or hot season when the power was out and falling asleep into your own pool of sweat was uncomfortable to say the least. Learning a new language is grueling, don’t get me wrong, but it is also incredibly amazing. Some days I just need to check my attitude at the door and appreciate this grand journey.