Monday, December 9, 2013

2014 Resolution: Unlock the Spanish part of my brain

If there's one thing I learned while my grandma and aunts were in town for Thanksgiving, it's that I HAVE to learn Spanish (again).  I say "again" because here's a fun fact: Spanish was my first language.  That's right - I used to speak Spanish fluently and now, it's like a fleeting memory.  I can understand what people are saying and I might not pick up every word, but I still understand the gist of what is being said but I can't ever have a conversation.  Why?  I get too in my head about it.  I told one of my aunts that it's like when you're a kid and you have this really neat / fun talent and you're at a party with your parents and your parents ask you to show your neat / fun talent and you get all embarrassed and you shut down.  I've seen kids do it and I know I've done that and the same thing happens now when my Mom demands that I speak Spanish.  It's never in an authoritative way but I still have a tendency to shut down because I've been put on the spot: the sentence forms in my brain, I think too much about the verb tenses and male and female whatevers and try to get my brain to get my mouth to say it but my brain is like "I'm afraid they're going to laugh / correct you so hard / get irritated if I'm wrong, so let's just say it in English because you definitely know that" and then it comes out in English and I get semi-scolded for not even trying.  There's a whole process that happens within a split second and it gets scary.
The scariest part is that I know it's there.  I know it is but I don't know how to unlock it.  Oni told me how she unlocked it for herself - because that was her first language, too - and I've kind of explored those methods but none of them really work but I think it's because I kinda don't want them to?  I don't know.  There's a lot of pressure there but I think I know how I'm going to do it because I've already made a declaration for 2014:

I had to throw subtitulos in there because that's my current favorite Spanish word right now.

So, I'm going to hijack all my Mom's issues of Latina Magazine (since they have the articles in side-by-side English and Spanish), I'm going to *TRY* and watch the Spanish news.  I say "try" because I don't even watch the English news...and I'm going to give Notes In Spanish a try.  I think I'll also try and in keep in contact with my my aunt in New York and talk to her in Spanish.  She and I have always been close and I think this will be a fun way to stay in touch.

Has anyone else kickstarted their 2014 resolutions?  What are yours?

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