Some springtime thoughts:
Hello everyone, I hope you are having an excellent spring. Typically, I will take the opportunity to comment on the tendency for Québec to not have a true spring, however this time the weather is more characteristic of that which I knew when I lived in a place with a less frenetic climate. Consider this post as an update on my life in the last year as a means of purging thoughts which are starting to form a great entanglement in my mind.
Many pursuits of my life are in view of reaching their end. I more or less stopped truly studying French the past year in the month of September, following my enrollment in an educational programme delivered in the language. French represents something like the project of my life until now, with around two years of formal study and four years of immersion in the form of daily interactions with francophones and media available in French. At this point, after a little bit of introspection, I am arriving at the conclusion that there is no further reason to continue to study the language as I can now participate in daily life in Québec at a deep level. Of course, I still do not have a perfect command of the language (particularly in it’s written form), but I am fairly satisfied with my level. I didn't have any specific intentions when I started, but I suppose that I was probably looking to reach a very high level of french comprehension. I imagine that I could probably obtain a grade of around C1 if I took the DALF today, but I feel no desire to work towards this.
As when I evaluate my interests at the moment, I feel no desire to fully master the language; there is very little that interests me with regards to French culture in this moment, and I find that at least a bit lamentable. I always tried to be honest with my intentions to learn French—generally as a means of leaving the country I was born in and to immerse myself in another culture—but I must admit that sometimes I regret having spent so much time on a skill that I no longer use for leisurely purposes. In high school, I amused myself by reading many novels by the great authors of France, and I suppose that for her, this would be quite a practical skill to have, but this is no longer the case. In summary, with regards to my personal interests, this language doesn’t give me much anymore, as what is a language but a means of communicating and receiving information?
The above paragraph might come off as a bit negative, and therefore I feel the need to underline the positive: the true fruits of my efforts remains in the possibility to connect with my current community and to be able to create a life for myself in this part of the world. Indeed, I am incredibly proud of what I have been able to do with my life until now. I am also on the precipice of completing a second round of schooling, which constitutes the last great project I planned for myself in my adult life. The list of successes I’ve had so far has gotten longer: I have almost finished my immigration process, I will soon have a degree in my adopted language, and I was able to create a feeling of community and belonging which always escaped me in life until leaving my city of birth. Frankly, I have only a few projects remaining which leave me with the desire to wake up every day.
However, these last few days this sense of fulfillment has transformed into a vague sense of anxiety. To resume a bit what has been floating non-stop in my head as of late: at some point—I’m not sure when—I ceased to truly want to create something to leave in the world. When I was younger and more ignorant of the world around me, I had in some way or another, a compulsion to try new things, in order to shape my environment as a means of leaving a trace of my sub-conscience in the space which surrounded me—something which calmed my spirit.
However, I am left with no interior motivation to do even one thing which one could consider productive—note that I employ this word in the sense of producing, externalising, and not generating value to capital, as the issue is such that I have not tried in the slightest to leave even one trace of my life in the last three years. The irony of writing these thoughts in the form of a public document doesn’t escape me, however the fact that the only thing which occupies my mind as of late is the resonance of a feeling of lack of motivation illustrates a bit where I am mentally. Its completely reasonable that I feel such emotions during what is essentially a turning point, however in the duration of my life I have always had something which pushed me to continue in the midst of the monotony which makes up our daily lives. Every day I worry that this drive is nowhere close to coming back. What are we supposed to do when we have reached a certain high in our lives? I would possibly have a bit more hope if I had the feeling that things can still become better, but as of yet I am not convinced.
For the moment, I can only envisage a few more things I want to accomplish. Firstly, I truly desire to continue pursuing the study of Japanese to a level similar to which I have in French at the moment, something which very well could take the rest of my life without more rigour (I’d like to discus my difficulties with the language until now; possibly in another blog entry), and finally I’d like to learn Greek, as a great part of my family is Greek and I feel some shame about not understanding the language. Beyond that, I have no other ideas besides assuring the basics required of life to myself.
Note however that these last goals are completely devoid of creative character; languages are little more than codes to express human thought. This comes back to the problem I mentioned earlier: at best, in my current state I envisage little else than to consume that which others make. I lived a life without truly wanting to finish a personal piece, always contenting myself to admire the work of others. That which botthers me most is that instead of feeling a deep sense of shortcoming, I feel a sense of shame. Do I really want to continue to follow a path in which I remain a simple observer of life?
Spring is often associated with ideas of rebirth, a new day, but I rather feel like this year, it is marked by a sense of endings. I hope that before my mid thirties at least, I will have a better idea of what to do, or at least a contentedness in what I am doing and where it will lead.