What is the biggest challenge you had to face during your life up until now?
I guess there could be many answers to that question. After all depending on circumstances and urgency something immediate might appear to us as bigger as it actually is.
May it the overcoming of a disease or a cruel stroke of fate. It might be an important job interview, a competition or an exam. For sure during our adolescence we all had that one test we felt our lives are over if we failed. I had plenty of those moments for sure.
I figured that it would be also fair to count mental diseases or internal issues to those really big challenges we have to face at at least some point in our life (and often more than once). On a second thought it might even be our true biggest challenge to find a sense of inner peace or whatever you might call it.
But for now I want to talk about one of my biggest challenges in recent years, which is still ongoing and probably will be for a couple of years. Hell it might never end!
I am talking about me trying to learn Japanese.
We all know the feeling of learning something new, just to realize that there is still even more to learn. Or as some scientist whose name I forgot said: The brighter the radius of light, the more shadow is going to surround it. Beautiful metaphor, isn’t it? My physics teacher would be proud.
I swear nothing could be more accurate to describe my feelings towards my learning process right now. Even though I get almost daily assured – by many different sources – that my Japanese is improving day by day, and even though I am trying my hardest to learn new Kanji and vocabulary every. single. day, I feel like I am not only making no progress whatsoever, I also feel like getting worse.
I know it is an illusion, I know that I understand more than I did a year ago. But yet still, day by day I realize more and more what kind of monumental, gigantic challenge lies ahead of me.
Maybe I was too naive, blinded by my fast early success, thinking that it would not be an issue to be able to pick up the Japanese language within a year or two of living in the country.
Or maybe I wasn’t?
After all I’ve been here for just about 6 month and everything could perfectly go according to plan. Or will my learning schedule burn me out within the next couple of month?
The only thing I know right now that, hell, I’ve no idea. One day it feels like everything is fine and the next day I stand in front of a confused convenience store staff – equally confused – and question everything I learned so far. But what can you do, I have committed to this and thus I will continue to try hard learning this wicked language even if my mental breaks. America fuck yeah!