Monday, September 13, 2010

Me talk pretty one day...En Español, claro!

Today is twenty-nine days until my birthday.* Twenty-nine days until I can kiss my twenties goodbye and enter (GULP) my thirties. Of course, I have taken stock of my twenties (some years totally sucky, some years bordering on awesome) and faced the dreaded "Five-Year Plan." Of course, five years ago, my plan was so very different. That makes sense, right? You grow, your plans change, you never make as much money as you had hoped. The market takes a nose dive, making the thought of home ownership practically inaccessible and the guy you were dating? Turns out you didn't like him all that much (and it was glaringly obvious that he just wasn't that into you.)

Constantly we are starting from scratch, reevaluating our lives and making new plans. However, I have had a constant "goal" for quite some time. I want to speak Spanish. In high school, I was able to start my Spanish classes a year early, ending with A.P. Spanish class my senior year. I did so well that I placed into junior level Spanish classes in college. Sadly, my two years of Spanish in college were filled with native Spanish speakers that weren't so kind to me. I was shy in class and therefore didn't speak much. Here's a tip, for all you wanting to learn a language: You MUST speak it to be able to learn it (big duh there, right?). Well, when the girls in my class would laugh at my pronunciation attempts, despite my writing skills blowing theirs out of the water, I decided it wasn't for me. (And also, one time I came to class wearing a baseball cap and no makeup and the one girl thought I was a boy, told me so, then proceeded to laugh about it with her friends. What a jerk.)

That one decision might be one of my greater regrets in life. I wish I would have stuck with it. I wish I wouldn't have let those girls get to me. Sadly, at nineteen, my skin was quite thin and I couldn't grasp the concept of two more years of humiliation via a foreign language. Because I stopped taking classes, I didn't take the opportunity to travel abroad in college (another one of the great regrets in my life.)

Now that I have you all sad and "woe is this awkward chick," I am pleased to announce that not only is my skin thicker these days, I am putting regrets behind me. Rather than sitting at home and reading subtitles and regretting that decision to quit my Spanish studies, I am...going back to school! Well, I'm taking Spanish classes. Ten years after I made the decision to stop taking classes, I have made the decision to start taking classes.

Oh boy. I'm nervous. I did the little self-evaluation and placed into the beginner level, which, face it, is a slap in the face to someone that used to be on the fast track to being bilingual. However, I figure that I'd rather not be overwhelmed with the tenses that I have completely forgotten over the years. Therefore, I will once again begin my studies in the beginner level. Proudly.

My current five-year plan? It really is a work in progress. I guess we shall see how it pans out. As of right now, I am glad to start crossing those things off my list that I have been "meaning to do." A natural procrastinator, I decided last night that I was going to stop procrastinating. Well, tomorrow. Tomorrow I will stop procrastinating. (I'm kiiiiiddding.) Maybe in five years I will be able to write out a five-year plan in Spanish. Wouldn't that be fancy?

* My dad will appreciate this notation. You see, I have always loved my birthday, so as a kid, I always maintained the exact count-down to my birthday. He could ask me at any day of the year, "How many days til your birthday?" and I would be able to answer. As a kid...right.

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