When Your French is Not Good After Years of Learning And Why Quitting Can Be a Great Idea

There are a few things in life you're just supposed to do: read a lot, learn to code (SILLY!), take useless certificate classes, take random classes on Coursera that you and I know you will never need, learn a new language etc.We are here to talk about that last part: learn a new language. I feel the need to add that I don't believe in all of the personal development crap. Let me explain. Yes, you probably should invest in yourself or I don't know, take care of yourself somehow. But I don't believe everybody needs to learn to code. I think reading is good and can be very interesting, but please don't read obscure 18th century literature just to sound cool if it sounds like nothing you're interested in. Also except a certificate is directly related to your career, please invest that time in your sleep. I'm not kidding. This year, and henceforth we are resting (more on this in a subsequent post). We are not taking any more than necessary. Which brings me to today's gist: learning French.

I already speak two languages very well; one native and one...they are actually both native languages. I think I just know English better, because well, that's what I speak more. Somewhere along the line, around the time I was rounding up college and thinking about next steps, I got it in my mind that French was something I was supposed to learn. One reason for that, I think, was because it would just be cool to say you speak French. Another was I thought I would certainly need it for my career. Except not really; I don't and probably will never. My plan was to take an immersive three to five months class. This did not happen. Many years later, I picked up the idea again. I have tried YouTube, and now Duolingo, and I still don't speak French. I am angry about this because I feel like I have spent way too much time talking about learning French and then learning French to not be able to speak French. Learning a language as an adult is freaking hard! Don't get me wrong; I do have some knowledge of the language. I am probably approaching intermediary proficiency, and with a little more dedication, I might surpass it. But I am tired of it.

So now I am reevaluating my choices. What is my why? Honestly, it's just one of those things; no real why per se. I still want to visit Paris with my sister, so it will probably be useful. With everything I have said, the next question would be, how am I learning? Well everyone always says to use YouTube for everything. Been there done that. It was not structured enough for me. My main tool has been Duolingo but I don't think it is very helpful. Because now I know so many phrases and words, but complete sentences are still tedious. Which leaves me wondering if those daily fifteen minutes or less I spend on Duolingo are not a waste of my extremely precious time. I mean, could I spend that time doing something very meaningful to my life and mental health? For shizzle sure. People say to learn by immersion. Pray tell, where do I get the time and money to dump my life as is and move to Paris for a year? Er no. People say to learn by listening to French music. Excuse you, I haven't even listened to English music. Pass. People say to learn by watching French movies. When I eventually get a minute to relax from what is usually a very mentally stressful and busy day, believe me what I need to relax is NOT a French movie. If this sounds like I am making excuses. Well, that's because I am.

My point is, learning French brings me zero joy and fulfillment. And while I'm usually not the type to only do things that bring me joy (because if I did that, I would starve), there has to be a bigger why for me. This post is me admitting there is none. Although, I rarely ever quit, I am  not afraid of quitting. I can quit a friendship, relationship, job, whatever, whenever I like as long as I have a good reason to. Like a lot of things, I'm just not feeling it.  So...adieu Francais. This year I am trying my best to embrace joy and release stress and pain.

I probably will still go to Duolingo once in a while when I have the time. Since all bloggers always motivate y'all, I'm doing y'all a solid by telling you to know when to quit. Quitting is okay too, sometimes. So tell me, what do you find yourself doing just because it sounds cool to do but is incredibly tedious and time consuming? Let me know.



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