Language barrier…literally

I woke up late today because I stayed up late reading. I had a craving for the English language and ended up finding some books in English in the living room and started reading ferociously. Then I woke up and read some more.

Lately though I’ve begun to feel the effects of the language barrier. There is so much that I want to do but I often find I don’t have the language for it. I don’t especially feel a part of my community here in my town and I think that a large part of it is due to the fact that I’m not really involved in anything other than work. In comparison, at university I was taking classes, working, going out all the time, holding positions in various organizations, and participating in a bunch of different hobbies. All of that has immediately stopped and it’s difficult adjusting to it. So now my mission is to gradually re-enter life here and build a new life for myself not only in a new place but in a new language. I’ve moved enough to know it’s difficult to do this any time you move to a new place. But to do this in a new country and a new language just piles on the obstacles.

And so lately I feel like there’s a wall between me and everyone else, an invisible wall that I just can’t break through. It’s so thin but so strong and I feel like I’m hurling my body against it with all my strength only to bounce off of it. I try to scratch through it but I can’t succeed in ripping it down, only in snagging it a bit. It’s like I’m suffocating and no one understands me and I can’t express myself fully and to the extent that I want to.

But I remain determined and I know this is just one of the challenges that comes from living abroad. I also know that confidence plays a big part in learning a language and because I haven’t had many opportunities to practice my language, I’m losing my ability and therefore a bit of my confidence. So my goal is to get out there and find every opportunity to practice and speak. When I communicate with people and get results from my efforts it’s one of the most amazing feelings in the world.

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