Swallowing Frustration

I hate not knowing things and I hate not being able to involve myself in conversations. Imagine, therefore, my frustration as I begin to integrate myself into my new life in San Sebastian.

Classes are going well, very well in fact. I know more Spanish than I thought I did, but I still don’t know enough for day to day life. I speak very slowly and understanding takes many repetitions. People will often  turn to the person beside them and start a new conversation once I’ve finished my first thought, but haven’t finished the conversation. I don’t get angry with them, however. I’d likely do the same. It’s tiring for them to converse with me. So, I swallow my ego and try to understand whatever I can from the new conversation.

Of course being impatient doesn’t help either. I want to know it all now. I want to be fluent now. I end up wanting to cry about half the time from the frustration.

No wonder most people don’t pursue happiness.


3 thoughts on “Swallowing Frustration

  1. I remember going through this when we first moved to Québec. It was so frustrating to have adult thoughts and ideas but a child’s vocabulary.
    Even still there are jokes that I don’t get (most of which are culture related so even if I do understand the words, the idea is still lost).
    Hang it there. It gets better.

    Bisous from Montréal

  2. Nada Thomson says:

    Grab a note pad and pencil; immerse yourself in tv sit-coms or soap operas and talk radio; write down words you don’t understand and then after the program, look up all the words. In a way, you’ll be patterning your new language acquisition after babies – they listen for a long while before they start to speak. I don’t propose you become mute, but I do extol the value of listening-listening-listening…you’ll be chatting up a storm by Christmas!

  3. Alex Fayle says:

    Not talk? Me? Ha!

    But it’s true. I need to listen more. When I’m in a group of people and I don’t understand, I tune it all out and head off into my own world. I need to pay more attention and really work at listening (no matter how tiring or initially boring it is). It’ll totally pay off. Thanks for the reminder!

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