Thursday, March 22, 2012

Treading Water

I am exhausted, but not in the way you might think. It's not a fatigue if the body but one of the mind. My brain is in overdrive. I spend all of my day consumed in Spanish and my mind is working overtime to try and process it all. I don't think I've ever experienced a sensation quite like this before. Total immersion is wonderful but it can be frustrating at times. And not because I can't understand. In fact, that's not a problem at all. The people I encounter are always willing to speak slower to help me understand. Generally, I get the point. It may take a few repetitions but everyone is so helpful and happy that I'm trying to learn their language.


My frustration lies within myself. Of course, I am limited. I never learned Spanish in high school. I studied French. I didn;t start learning the basics of Spanish (besides learning how to ask where the bathroom is) until recently, and only then by listening to Spanish language learning podcasts from Scotland. Hey! Don't knock Coffee Break Spanish. I've actually learned quite a bit from Mark and Kara as it turns out. So, I'm learning but I can only retain so much so fast and it's frustrating to me when I can't carry on a conversation past ordering a meal without significant pauses while I try to find my words. They're locked in there somewhere but slow to emerge right now. It's all about finding my words and for someone who seems to have a relative command of the English language it's incredibly defeating.

But, I'm doing it. And people are incredibly helpful, patient and thankfully not falling into English to help me out. I'm swimming in Spanish all day, every day even just as a casual observer. Sometimes it feels like I'm only one step above drowning - treading water. But at least my head is above water. And, you know what? The challenge is actually invigorating. I needed this. I really did.

1 comment:

  1. So awesome - even tho I studied Spanish for 4 years in college, I long to get immersed someday and be fluent...


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