Tuesday, May 8, 2018

too much is never enough

holy shit, i actually did it:

Es war ein Jahr. 🇩🇪 @duolingo

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

when i wrote this blog post on may 11th last year, i'd already been using duolingo for a few days, but now here we are, a year later. i think i only missed maybe 4-5 days in there - i know i missed two days because i was at rockfest, and i think there were a couple more days where either i was busy or just forgot - but yeah, a solid year of pushing myself to practice german every day.

it started off, obviously, because i got back into rammstein so hard and it drove me nuts not being able to understand the lyrics. (little did i know that it's, uh, probably better that way.) then i just thought well, what the hell, i at least have some background in german since i took it in university, so why not make it a mission to see how far i can go with independent learning? after all, there are free language apps now, which were never a resource i had back in the day (either when i was in school or when i was teaching myself japanese as a teenager).

here's a truth: when you're single, you can sometimes have a lot of free time on your hands, so it's a plus if you can find something to do to fill those hours. (i mean, even if you're in a relationship, you should still be able to have free time to pursue things you enjoy!) and since i was only a few months out of a relationship at the time, i found myself with hours on my own that needed to be filled.

the other thing that was important to me - and still is, really - was that it was something of value for me. i didn't want to spend all my sudden free time and energy binging on netflix - i wanted to do something for me, something that i could be proud of myself for. and even a year later, i still feel that way when i take time in the mornings and evenings to work away at my german lessons - that i'm doing something to be proud of and not to impress anybody else.

so where am i at now? i'm up to using two different apps (duolingo, which i've completed, and memrise, where i'm up to german level 6) as well as a grammar book to study, and i can construct simple-to-intermediate sentences. i've got a good mental sense of the placement of words, and my accent is coming along well. but the most exciting for me is that i'm at the point where i can look over a full paragraph in german and although i might not know every single word, i can actually get the gist of what it's saying! holy shit. (also, unfortunately there will be many a time that i actually pick up on what a rammstein lyric means, and then i openly cringe at how hard i'm going to hell.)

anyway, keeping up with learning a new language for a whole year is actually a huge success for me, since i tend to drop hobbies fairly quickly. the thing with me is, i'm not....the most motivated individual? and one thing that i really, physically cannot do is have weekly obligations that i need to hold myself to; ie. having a class every thursday night or something. if i have a "fixed thing" on my weekly schedule, i just end up feeling squirrelly and constrained and much more likely to skip out.

i used to push through it more when i was younger - i'd have spin classes twice a week; i registered for an 8-week japanese class - but now i've gotten to the point in my adult life where i try not to do things i don't want to do. this is...probably bad? i mean, there's something to be said for discipline, faking it til you make it, and so on. sometimes you should do the things you don't want to do.

but i'm an adult! and an inherently lazy one. which is why learning languages through apps is perfect for me. low commitment! (i'm bad at commitment unless it's something i really, really want.)

it's also fun that, as i mentioned on twitter a bunch of times last week (it was a slow day), i'm now officially past the one-year mark for my nipple piercings! which means i can probably take the studs out if i wanted, but even the thought of that makes me a bit queasy, so no. (pulling barbells posts out through my flesh? nooooooooope.) but it's amusing to remember how last year i basically decided over the course of a weekend that yes, i want to get pierced, it's going to happen like tomorrow, and then i went through with it and had to go do a jager shot like immediately.

it was then a very strange month of aftercare:

(i would also watch rammstein videos while doing so, because obviously i would.) like i said on twitter, 2017 was a goddamn ride, especially the springtime. i think i ought to be harnessing some of that madcap energy this spring as well.

now, to the mailbag!

thank you johnny in california! trust me, you are far from the weirdest lurker, i'm sure. i'm always a little glad that people both here and on twitter don't mind all the wrestling talk; i do try to intersperse it with more general interests and fun things for everyone. gotta know your audience.

well anon, bukowski said it best, for me:

and that's kind of it, really.

coooooooool cool cool.

and i'm off!

[ music | emigrate, "born on my own" ]