Why did I somehow decide that I would like to spend chunks of my free time studying foreign languages? First, it was Spanish, then Arabic, then Portuguese, then Korean, and then Mandarin Chinese. By taking all of my focus and putting it only learning the words of a new language, I can escape from the hard problems and thoughts that I have(this is an upside that can turn into a downside). It feels as if I’m starting anew. It’s exciting. There’s nothing in the world to me like talking with someone in their native tongue. This realization changed my life.
When someone is talking in English as their second language, it sometimes sounds a bit robotic. It’s a tool that they use to communicate, where communication would otherwise not be possible. But if I can talk to them in their native tongue, whatever it may be (Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, etc.) I see their face light up. I hear the emotions they express through their own natural language. The tones flow with ease from their vocal chords, they are not trying so hard. I love this. I don’t want anyone to have to give this up. As much as I can, I want to learn to speak in other languages, it is one of the greatest joys in this life to me, to branch out in this way. The kinds of relationships that I can have when I am speaking another language are so special to me. That is why I have this goal to be “intermediate” in Arabic, Korean, and Chinese, by 2026. I think that it is so worth it. In Richmond, I can definitely find people who speak all three of these languages.
So, this is why I get tired of English. There are many other languages to speak, and I only have so much time…
Speaking of the downside of this (a brain poop* session):
Branching out is freeing, trying something new. It’s adopting a bit of a new identity.
What I need to guard against is giving up my own identity.
Sometimes I just want to get rid of the “identity” I have, whether it’s being a Christian, a college student, being American, or being white.
Nobody likes white people anymore. I don’t think that I like them either.
It’s better to be brown.
I’m getting tired of old clothes and an old hairstyle.
Like a spoiled kid with old toys, I want new ones.
However, there is something special about the identity that I have, the one that is reality, that I think I need to learn how to appreciate rather than just continually seeking new identities, but never actually completely owning one.
*brain poop: something that comes from my mind that I’m not sure what I mean, but I needed to write it down. Sort of like the relief that you feel when you use the toilet.
(**disclaimer: I do like white people. Some of the feelings expressed in this blog post are not more than feelings, and writing them down helps me to distinguish them, so I hope that you do not take this the wrong way.)