Friday, May 28, 2010

About learning : Other people's questions

En français
I know that you would like to be able to learn something all the way and then when you are ready you go show of (speak a language, play the piano, read all those books or watch a movie without struggling....) whatever. I least that's what I want. I want to be able to learn whatever I want without having people on my back all the time questioning about : what I'm doing, what I'm learning, what I already know.... But I figure out that except if you are learning something secretly (difficult to hide the sound of your brand new guitar) that's impossible.

Normally, I'm just fine with questions. They ask me whatever they want and I answer more or less deeply. Trying not to get fights about methods (I had a major one before so I'm done with that and will let that guy being fluent by only using "Assimil" if he wants.)  So I can also get ride of people and their questions as soon as possible. But recently that has been going a lot on my nerves and I think I figured out why.
People have been asking if I understood things that I'm really trying hard to understand. The more effort you put on something the more touchy you get about it. Even your friend innocent question : "How much do you understand?" or "Do you understand it all?" tends to get really painful when you always have to answer "No".
Sometimes I really want to go : "No of course I don't that's brand new and I'm learning so $%#$^%."
Why? It's adding to the frustration I'm putting on myself (I know I should just go watch one more episode of "花より男子" to solve the problem :) ) for not knowing it all already and that's seriously not helping.

Now today someone asked me a different question which is probably the one frustrating me enough to write this all post. We were talking about something that I know way better that he does and after I answered his question with a perfectly fine and correct answer he went :
"Why don't you know?"
And that really killed me. I took it philosophically. Ok maybe I didn't explain clearly enough, maybe that's the language problem again so I explained again, nicely, slowly. And he looked at me as if I was talking nonsense and told me that he was going to find the answer by himself. The answer was just written in front of his nose.

I needed to do a lot of effort to learn English and to be understood, to achieve my native level.
Now, I'm doing it all over again in Japanese because I really want to. But if people dare to speak English to me and don't understand the answer even when I'm already speaking extremely slowly and using the most simple vocabulary I can think of. I want to yell. I don't mind repeating myself, I don't mind changing the words that's not the point.
The point is : don't look at me as if it was my fault if you don't understand after I did all that. In that situation, I'm the one with the knowledge and I won't do anymore efforts to be understood. Enough is enough. It's other people's turn. I worked for it enough already. At some point you have to separate what is your problem and what is other people problem. I guess that was today's lesson for me. Writing that, I'm not frustrated about the question anymore. I know what I know and I know what I don't. But I also learn that I have to say stop and to let the other people around deal with their lack of understanding. I can't be ashamed of my English level, I can't go hide it because some people around won't understand me. I worked too hard for it.

So next, what am I going to do about all the other questions that are going to come my way about everything I learn? Well I'm not to sure. I guess that also depends a lot on my mood at the particular moment when it's asked and who asks it and how.
But what I will do for sure is separate my own feelings about my knowledge and my own wish with the way people look at me. The extra pressure people want to put on you is absolutely not necessary. You're good enough at doing it for yourself. Don't let them take the position of the judge because they are more likely unable to hold it.

And other point. Generally the people who dare ask the worse and more painful questions are the one who are actually not doing anything themselves. Like the people who so really really really really want to do this and that but will never get started anyway because they are too old, or it's too difficult, or they don't have time or are busy or ...
Don't let people giving excuses put you down. You worth better than that, you started already, you are deep in it and you'll start tomorrow again. You're better and you're awesome nobody can take that away.


  1. I'm fine, I needed to rant. I got sick, I slept for 3 days. Now I'm back in my warrior shoes again.

  2. Good to know that! It's a pity, that guy just lost a chance to communicate wit ppl/ know other ppl. The process of communcation is as interesting as the answer itself,I think. But you have nothing to lose!LOL! btw,I am glad to know you seems have lots of fun(most of the time) in JP. is seb with you in JP now?

  3. He will arrive on Thursday.