Some things I’m working on.
- Nederlands (Dutch)
- Trying to not get killed while riding my bicycle
- Household chores, recipes, and fixer upper projects
- Keeping in touch with others
Okay, so today wasn’t such a good day with Nederlands. I woke up with a sore throat so I slept in a little. Frans brought me tea. I woke up and began my morning study. It took me around thirty minutes to write a childish paragraph. I’m sure there are many mistakes. The title of the paragraph (essay) was Mijn drom (My Dream).
I know, I know, it’s awesome that six months ago I had no tools for even writing a childish essay, and now here I am, eight years old again.
It’s not always so fun being eight years old again when you’re 32. Trying to express yourself in broken, childish words because they’re all you have, all your brain will come up with. It’s even harder for a language-loving, pefectionistic writer whose five strains of thought needed to be weeded through and expressed with care, even in English.
I join the long line before me of frustrated peoples who felt proficient in their own countries and ways, and now must begin all over and (gulp) face the world and language and expectations of another people and (double gulp) face the expectations of themselves. And there will be a long line after me as well.
I never have felt more humbled, more vulnerable, as I do when I try to speak Dutch.
Maybe walking around naked in public would be easier. Okay, no it wouldn’t. And learning Dutch is more fun. But today learning Dutch was not fun. Last week it was, and next week it will be, but today it is not. My brain hurts. I’m making more and more mistakes. The process of learning.
Sometimes I wish I could be a Dutch baby and have a Dutch mama to patiently, sweetly, teach me all of the words and things I am supposed to know. When I try to speak, people celebrate! Look, she’s speaking! How cute! I long to experience each word as a baby does. Boek. Melk. Baby. Mama. Nu.
Nu. I want to learn this language nu.
I don’t want the humility, patience, humor, embarrassment, commitment, frustration, frustration, frustration learning a new language takes.
And then the words of Julian of Norwich come to me, like they often do at times like this, like a Dutch mama whispering a lullaby…
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
And I tune into the online video interview of our new king and queen. No subtitles, but I pick up on some things. All shall be well…