Two months into my challenge I am experiencing my first bad reaction to italiano. Yes I have anxiety, nausea, headaches and AMNESIA! I have been questioning whether or not I am really capable of doing this. Posso imparare italiano? Io non so. This a bad case of self-doubt. It seems like the more I learn the more I discover how little I know. Listening to Italian speech is proving a real source of despair. Equally because I have only just started I neither know enough vocabulary nor do I know the vocabulary I do know well enough.
So I am feeling quite down about things today. I feel like someone has sunk my gondola. I am not sure where this negative emotion has come from. I am not lacking motivation. Since I began learning Italian I have not said to myself “oh no I can’t be bothered today”. I woke up this morning and was looking forward to learning. However at some point today I was listening to some different things and I hit a point where I just thought I am not getting any of this, the words just collapse into each other. They aren’t even words, just noises. It is too hard!! Molto difficile! Molto dura! Impossibile!
So I start to question whether this is such una buona idea. There are many other things I could do with my time. But here is the thing – I could throw in the towel now and do something else but I would be bound to hit the same brick walls. I’d want to master something that was difficult and I would just as likely have to struggle through equally hard times. So you might ask why strive for something that is difficult? I was never any good at languages at school so it would be easy to accept I am no good at languages now. Let’s see what’s on TV instead. Preferisco guardare la televisione perché è facile. Or perhaps get my sense of achievement from watching others. Become a FAN and then when “my team” win something I can share in that, “We won! We won!” when it was really the achievement of other people. I mean think of the happiness others seem to experience watching eleven sweaty men in shorts running around a field. Yeah okay I’m random ranting. I’ll stop.
But I would not be content with having no goals and having no sense of achieving something. When I began this I was realistic…it’s going to be a five year thing old sport. Maybe I could hold society to account for conditioning me to expect instant gratification? Anyway, I will not allow myself to be overwhelmed by how I feel now. Yes, five years is a long time. But I imagine it will be like taking out a mortgage on a house. It starts off huge and insurmountable but each year the debt gets smaller and more manageable. So I need to have faith in myself. I will continue to improve and learning will get easier as my knowledge expands. Then just maybe it will seem less impossible and less hopeless and maybe maybe maybe one day I will think…this is possible.