This is me in front of Playalingua del Caribe International Language Centre, a small language school in Playa del Carmen where several years ago I lived for a few months to take daily Spanish lessons. I recently had the chance to return and bask in a few moments of nostalgia.
Every morning, while attending the school, I woke up and had a few hours of Spanish class and each week that went by saw me grasping more and more of that beautiful language. By the time I left I was very proficient. I won’t go so far as to say ‘fluent’ because that would be a huge stretch but I was definitely very comfortable carrying on conversations with locals and speaking in various tenses about all sorts of topics. Achieving that level of proficiency is still one of my biggest life accomplishments to date – that and marrying Mr. Oh-So-Right and having 2 beautiful little girls.
One of my ‘life goals’ is to speak Spanish fluently. As I’ve said before, this will likely take me my ENTIRE life because I seem to be on a “1 step forward, 2 steps back” path as far as this language pursuit goes. After returning from Playalingua and settling into an advertising job in Toronto my Spanish-speaking skills PLUMMETED. I’ve been slowly working on them, in fits and starts, ever since. I’ve taken local group language classes, private lessons, Rossetta Stone, borrowed children’s Spanish books from my local library, received a subscription to the Spanish version of People magazine and watched Spanish movies (without the subtitles!). You name it, I’ve tried it. I still have lots of ground to make up but one of my biggest challenges is to harness the courage to just speak the language freely and not be afraid of saying something wrong or not being understood. Easier said than done.
When I finally reach my goal I plan to write a post here entirely in Spanish. Hopefully it will be all about a fabulous trip to Argentina and Chile that I’ve just returned back from…..
Do you have a goal you’ve been working on for years? How do you stay motivated?