Learning Spanish in a foreign country has had some unexpected consequences. I feel as if my social skills have regressed by about ten years. Sentences and questions I know perfectly well how to say turn into a jumble of ums, stuttered words and avoiding eye contact.
Strangers have become scary and intimidating again, even though it has nothing to do with the people themselves. It’s just my old, awkward self coming back to stir up trouble, saying that no one likes me and I’m bothering people if I try to talk to them. It’s frustrating.
A couple of days ago, I received some timely advice in the form of Mark Manson’s latest post, Shut Up and Be Patient. It reminded me that big changes take a long time. If I have some patience and keep practicing, I’ll feel more comfortable speaking in Spanish.
If you’re working on any major life changes, his article is worth a read. Or if you like Titanic references, it has that too. A word of warning: his writing style can be crass, but he has many compelling posts on self-improvement, relationships and life in general.