The next few months will be insane.
In just two weeks I will be shipping out to Bangkok. For two months I’ll be traveling all by my lonesome, making my way through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Suffice to say I’m ecstatic.
And that’s not all! I am moving across the damn country to New York City within a week of my return to the US of A.
Naturally I am nervous, excited, impatient, and a million other things. The phrase that articulates this scattered web of emotions is, “freaking fuck out”. This next chapter of life will be an interesting one for sure.
That said, shit’s been crazy lately. What will be the most drastic changes of my life are just around the corner, and I have much to do before January 3rd.
It’s tough to wrap my head around. A dramatic shifting of priorities is enough to make anyone feel shaky and uncertain.
Throughout all of this craziness I’ve been trying to learn to speak Spanish.
I’ve always regretted that I didn’t take advantage of my 4 years of high school Spanish. At the time I preferred to stare at the wall, wishing time would move faster.
I’ve made efforts to become fluent in the past, but they never really stuck. My studying habits were never consistent. Naturally, I didn’t make much headway.
This changed throughout this past year when my efforts became consistent.
For a time, studying Spanish was my favorite way to relax and pass the time. I would marathon La Fea Mas Bella on Netflix(with subtitles) until the bastards removed it. I would read Spanish literature, listen to podcasts, mess around on Duolingo– you name it.
I was putting in tons of reps to honing my language skills, and was proud of my efforts.
Learning a language is hard work. It can be frustrating at times as it’s hard to gauge progress. Some days it seems you can understand everything, like fluency is just around the corner. Other days it feels like I might as well be learning Klingon.
As the realization of my fate loomed closer, things changed.
I simply haven’t felt like studying Spanish every waking moment. I don’t have the brain space anymore. My motivation for this task feels exhausted.
My focus and mental energy is simply being used up in other facets, more pressing facets. I have other shit to get done, shit that MUST be done before 2 weeks is up. Spanish will have to sit on the sidelines. For the moment.
However, I’ve still managed to keep up with some study habits. I’ve been doing one hour Spanish lessons over skype once a week. Truthfully some days I feel resistant and want to cancel my class. Yesterday was one of those days. But for whatever reason I haven’t yet and am always happy after class.
Nowadays, my Spanish practice consists of reading aloud a paragraph or two from a Spanish language newspaper, once a day, plus my Skype lesson. That’s it.
That’s a HUGE reduction from the time and effort I was devoting to Spanish a few months ago. This sounds like a lot on paper but it’s probably only about 2 hours a week all total.
It feels like I’m not doing enough. It feels like I’m blowing it. Like I should be doing everything I was doing despite different circumstances and priorities. However, whenever I chat with Maria, mi profesora, it seems like I’m still getting better.
Sometimes our feelings and reflections on our efforts can be misleading. We are all doing the best we can. Doing just a teency bit of spanish practice a day feels like nothing, it feels like I’m failing. But it’s still something. And it’s really all I can do right now. Apparently it’s adding up. I still stumble over words often, but I’m moving forward… apparently.
Staying consistent with something is enough to progress. Priorities change. Life is not static.
The intensity of our efforts will oscillate throughout our journey.
Some roads are straight and boring like the 5 down to LA, or whatever that road is that goes through Nevada. We can go fast here. The miles on the odometer add up pretty quick.
Some roads are windy and require that we slow down a bit and focus on the curve in front of us so we don’t end up careening off a cliff to our doom. DOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!*
Our own speed limit changes depending on the surroundings. It’s important to listen to those speed limit signs. We may be able to go a little over or a little under the speed limit, but we’re still close to the mark.
This means we’re moving at exactly the speed we ought to be. It might feel like we’re slogging along in comparison to that 70 mph patch of road we just exited, but 30 mph is a great speed to travel at sometimes.
Effort isn’t directly tied to results in a 1:1 relationship. It’s not that simple.
So what is the ratio of effort to results? Who knows? There isn’t really an answer for that aside from “it depends”.
We don’t know how fast we’ll progress. We do know that if we keep driving in some capacity, we’ll reach our destination.
*Ok that was a tad grim. It’s not THAT dramatic if we screw up. Mess ups are ok. This is where the car analogy falters. What really happens when we careen off the cliff? That cloud dude from Super Mario Bros. swoops you up and gently sets you down right where you fell.
P.S. As I’ll be relocating to NYC in early March I’ll be taking on new clients and would love to work with you! I’ve helped tons of Californians become more awesome, fit, adventurous, non-obsessive versions of themselves and am super excited to help New Yorkers do the same!
Want to get in on the action? Fill out this short application to get first priority!
P.S.S. Don’t want to wait 2 months? I’m also accepting new members for my online coaching groups!
Simply fill out THIS application(Hint:it’s the same form)