¿Vale la pena?

Since I am poor and cannot afford to travel every weekend, I spend most of my time in Málaga. Which is perfectly fine by me, since I loooove Málaga. I remember before I left, I was nervous that I was going to be super homesick, since I haven’t really been “away” from home… ever. Since I went to college, I became a lot more independent, but I never felt that “I want to be home” feeling since I lived.. two miles from home. So I was nervous that I was going to be trapped in Spain, and really miss home.

Well, lucky for me, I fell in love with Málaga and I haven’t been homesick. That is… until this week. It was my birthday, and I missed my family. I was sick of “studying” for midterms and having no idea of the standards here for grading. I missed my best friends, my shower, my bed, etc. But my main reason for being homesick was being tired of learning Spanish.

I’m halfway through my program here, and I’ve struggled a lot with expectations and different things. For instance, I was under the impression I would be close to fluent by the time I left Spain. Yeah freaking right. Yes, I can understand and speak sooo much better than when I first came here, but I struggle with how mediocre my Spanish really is. Further, I haven’t really wanted excellence in something in a long time. But fluency – I absolutely crave. Annnnd I am constantly frustrated that I’m not going to have it.

So while part of me wants to just go home and say “this is good enough”, the rest of me says “you can always do better” and that’s why I end up at the beach with my grammar book. Or ride the bus listening to Spanish music. Or constantly stopping in the middle of my sentence to ask if I’m saying something correctly. Or memorizing colloquial phrases that make no sense to me. It’s so, so much harder than I thought it would be to do this. I definitely didn’t expect to struggle this much.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s “vale la pena” (worth it). I love communicating in Spanish. I love when I can understand Spanish as if it were English. I am really excited to see where my future takes me in terms of continuing to learn the language.

 

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2 thoughts on “¿Vale la pena?

  1. You’re sweet–anything that’s worth doing takes a lot of struggle–and humility. Some people will do something until they realize they’re not hitting it out of the park, then they quit. I think what you are going through is normal. I was told by bilingual people that about 2 months is a watershed at which you stop feeling like you’re swimming through molasses. May that be true for you, that you’ll suddenly find it easier!

  2. Thank you so much for this, becuase “la Sevillana” is feeling the same way. Stupid because I can’t actually dance Sevillanas. and becuase I still can’t understand sermons at church…and because I had the chance to talk to a famous flamenco singer and my Spanish just left me all of the sudden. AND because I am too cheap to leave Spain and see the rest of Europe.

    I am going to be soooo homesick for Sevilla, but right now, I do miss my family, and EE.UU even though I literally have 2-3 Spanish families.

    Trust me, it happens. Keep working and hanging in there; think of how much time it takes people who live in EE.UU to learn English REALLY well. Also remember that only 6% of U.S. students actually go abroad for more than a month. You have actually made it here! You are only halfway through, an think about how much you have improved already!!!!!

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