It hasn’t even been a week since I decided to give up my phone for a month. I am not struggling too bad, probably because it hasn’t been very long. I have SO MUCH MORE free time now that I don’t stare at a screen for hours everyday. My day and life has become meaningful and honestly, it feels good to be away from all the drama and negativity online and amongst acquaintances. Everyone that has needed to communicate with me this week has been able to do so, just maybe not on their time schedule. And that is okay. They are understanding and patient with me and if their not, then I wouldn’t know!
The point is, the world keeps spinning and everyone else goes on with their lives whether or not I’m keeping up with the memes and news. I certainly haven’t missed Facebook. It is obvious now that Facebook consists of the people I know but don’t care to have conversations with consistently. All of my family and close friends never post anything. If I have their cell numbers and we hangout in person, why even bother with social media?
Back to the focus of this blog; what am I filling my time with now that I have time?
I have always wanted to be fluent in a language besides English. I have been to numerous international conferences where colleagues my age were fluent in multiple languages and I admired them. I have taken enough Spanish courses in high school and college to know that it is a lot of work to learn even one language decently, much less multiple languages fluently.
I chose Spanish for a couple of reasons.
- Previous Exposure: As I mentioned, I had the opportunity to take Spanish courses throughout my education. I had a semi-firm grasp on the basics, but I never strove to be fluent. I was there just to pass the class to receive a credit.
- Application: As a Texan, I have ample opportunities to converse and practice my Spanish with some Hispanics. I have a friend and some colleagues who are Hispanic and they tell me they are happy that I am trying to learn. They laugh when I butcher a word, but that is part of the learning process! Also, being bilingual would be a huge help in the job market. Almost every application I’ve ever filled out has asked if I am bilingual. I know of some people who get bonuses for having such a gift.
- Romantic Language: I love the way it sounds! I know that Romantic languages are only labeled as such due to originating from the Romans, but I like to think that it has to do with how charming and smooth the languages sound. I already have a wife (who is learning French, by the way), so I’m not worried about charming the ladies, but it is an amazing language with lots of culture behind it. I keep recognizing English words that I didn’t know came from Spanish. It’s remarkable.
I am doing other things with my free time, but I will tell you about them at another time. If you don’t know how to fill some free time, I would strongly recommend learning a new language, whichever one it may be. I am using a website called Duolingo to learn. They are wonderful and really run you through the basics to help you build a good foundation. They have 10-20 options of languages for you to learn and are developing more programs for other languages as well. They have an app that makes it more convenient to study and practice. Go check it out and let me know what you think!