So something I noticed about myself while in Paris last week was how scared I was. Let me explain…
I was afraid of the following:
- being pegged as an amateur wannabe Parisian, a tourist, lost and wandering around a city far greater than myself
- speaking French and being wrong (probably my biggest fear)
- being asked questions in hurried French in which I cannot for the life of me understand and in turn, unable to respond due to my misunderstanding
Why am I afraid of these things???
First, I actually AM a tourist. Why do I care so much to look like one? I guess you hear enough stigma surrounding looking like a tourist in such a posh city. You don’t want to be considered that silly American girl. I just wanted to fit it. Probably linked to my love for the country and language and such (hence, this blog). I think that this inability to embrace my the role of tourist caused me to miss out on a lot of key experiences.
Linked to the first somewhat is my fear of speaking…I have quite a lot of French knowledge now. Well, compared to my knowledge just 7 months ago I feel like I have learned so much. I was much more comfortable listening to what people were saying and understanding, my reading comprehension was better. I was actually able to read a French menu and know what I was ordering (thanks to the food chapter in my French class, haha) compared to when I went this past Thanksgiving (November).
Now, a little side explanation to this: I am a perfectionist. As cliche as it may sound, this is one of my biggest weaknesses. I am terrified of making mistakes and this flows into my leaning French. I am finally able to practice with my BF speaking sentences, small silly conversations but even then, I hesitate before each utterance, not because I dont’ know it, I just doubt my knowledge…errrr! I know for sure that the only way I will ever be fluent is to be put in a situation where I don’t have the choice. In Paris, I was given many opportunities to speak English, which is good and bad.
Anyway, I guess that is all for my mind wandering Wednesday. I just wanted to rant, against myself and my fears of this language. So let me know if it is just me. Any tips and tricks to get over these fears are appreciated although I realize that it’s all about just getting out there and doing it.
(sidenote: I still owe a few days of travel blogging from my trip to Paris. I have started drafts, I will finish them soon enough and post a gallery of my favorite pictures from my trip très bientôt!)
à toute à l’heure