On showing up

oh shit was that today

Let me start this entry by talking about one of the nuns I got to know over the past few weeks here at the convent*: Her name is Teresa, and she has recently developed her affinity for learning English. Upon every encounter, she will query something basic; how a word is spelt, pronounced, the correct sentence order and so on. She became so persistent at this that I now expect it of her on a daily basis. Just for the record, that wasn’t a complaint. At times, she will ask me to record random stuff using her trusty voice recorder – the days of the week or the Lord’s Prayer, anything goes – just so she can listen to them in slow mode and practise the pronunciation herself. During our odd one-to-one lessons, she will write down phrases she learnt and re-write them neatly in another notebook. In short, when it comes to picking up the language, the woman is dead serious.

My efforts in keeping up with my Spanish and French pale in comparison all of a sudden, however, not at all surprising as I’ve always been laid-back in my approach. Translation = I hardly do anything. I tend to have random bursts of motivation and will be at it intensively until enthusiasm wanes slowly but surely…next thing you know, I’ve slipped back onto my blasé ways. Although I’d happily get on with the work once in a blue moon, it would take a colossal amount of effort and willpower to turn it into a routine.

This, unfortunately, permeates into my other endeavours. I’ve taken up guitar, crochet, photography and cooking amongst many other lame hobbies I’ve said why not to. Currently none of them I can say for sure are at mastery level. And I didn’t mind this until I started to notice people around me seem to cultivate their interest and grow by the day.

I want that for myself too.

There’s no need for diagnosing here, just plain acknowledging. As the nun suggested, write down your aims, have some routine, stick to it and show up each time. I’m no stranger to the first part; there have been one-too-many futile attempts with what’s required next though. So I fail to show up and I can only blame myself for this. So here I am, treating this wonderfully cringe post as a pivotal moment: from now on, the goal is to keep attendance. I bought a yoga mat and I’ve made my blog public more than ever. Those are two things already (what am I thinking) but I can do this, Trudis.

I don’t really know who Trudis is, but I know for sure if all else fails, there’s always Shia.

*For those of you who have stumbled upon this page just now, I’m currently teaching English and live at the school residence which happens to be run by the religious order.

Featured image: Mind Exchange

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