Chapter IX – Part 11

$ It seems to me the freedom you get from mastering a foreign language is only a drop in the ocean of the freedom you really need.

$ Right. I am like a swan in a golden cage.

$ I’m very moved by your confession. I imagine being aware of this can devastate the motivation to learn a foreign language.

$ That’s it. What sense does it make to focus on a drop if I need an ocean? All the more, this drop requires so much effort.

$ Look at how far you got looking for sources of your motivation. Look at how deep it goes. You come to the coaching classes with an innocent intention to learn French and it turns out that your hairdresser, your coffee machine and two people you love more than anything else in this world: your daughter and your husband can be obstacles in this process.

$ Am I a kind of abnormal? Does everybody have such problems?

$ If ‘normal’ means ‘like 50% of the population + 1′, then yes, you’re normal. Usually, when we declare we want to do something and we don’t do it, we look for an excuse.

$ Do I?

$ You went one step further. You faced the enemy. After 3 months you were not happy with your progress, so you investigated potential reasons. With my little help.

$ Which left me nowhere.

$ Do you feel like whining? To me, you learned a lot today. Firstly, how to tackle and research things that seem to be important in a certain moment of your life: transition and motivation. Secondly, how to enrich your vocabulary, playing with your associations. Again, it’s too soon to tell whether it left you nowhere or not.

$ There are people who have it all: carrier, happy marriage, mentally healthy children.

$ Desiderata says: if you compare yourself with others you can become either vain or bitter because there’ll always be better and lesser persons than you. Do you personally know people you’re talking about?

$ No, I don’t. I meant celebrities I know from colorful magazines.

$ I’m sure people who have it all pay their price. Sooner or later. I know a couple of successful people who tell you fairy tales about their happiness. They describe only a part of their lives. I remember a prominent doctor, a professor of a well-known medical school. In his words, his life was a paradise: he was accomplished at work, married for 50 years to a woman he met at the University. All children became doctors, all of them wrote their doctor thesis. Add 5 grandchildren and a beautiful house with a garden. O my gosh!

$ I’m waiting for a punch line.

$ I happened to meet the doctor’s family. All children used to take drugs because they couldn’t stand the father’s pressure to succeed, two of them were also sex and love addicted and tried to commit a suicide. The mother’s carrier faded away so that the father’s one could flourish.

$ I don’t know what to say.

$ Well… You’ve got two letters left in your scheme.

$ What really fascinates me in mastering a language are the multicultural aspects.

$ You mean when you learn a language you become a member of a new culture.

$ Rather when I already speak a language, understand what I read, what they say. The very process of learning can be rather frustrating than encouraging.

$ If you say so.

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