I occasionally wonder what the point of all this is. The aim of language is to communicate but I am a fairly introverted person and I seem to get more and more socially awkward with each passing year, to the point where, unless I’m in really good form, I’m not really capable of holding a relaxed conversation in my own language, let alone in another one. Perhaps as a result of that, I am still very backward in my use of the basics of Portuguese that would maybe come quite naturally to someone who was used to having conversations with people. I’m studying for the C1 exam, which is quite advanced, but I’m still making really basic errors, mixing up ser and estar, using a instead of para, using the wrong tense or gender.
Some days I just feel like I’m only doing this so I can read more books. Well, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it seems a bit self-centred and not really in the spirit of… I dunno, reaching out across the sea and making connections with other people in other places or whatever.
I was at the Portuguese embassy yesterday at a book launch and I went thinking I’d speak to people in Portuguese and just immerse myself in that for an hour or so, but I ended up sitting and reading a book before the presentation and then afterwards got talking to some other British people, in English, until one of them did the “oh, I’ve just spotted someone I know on the other side of the room” move and I didn’t really have the mental energy to go and find someone else to talk to so I just sort of slunk away without saying goodbye or thanking the author or the ambassador. Le sigh.
Anyway, these moods come and go, and I suppose the main thing is to not make any rash decisions while under the influence of negative thoughts. Just keep working and wait till the positivity returns and I can maybe make plans for how to be less of a total disaster.