Sometimes I have these realizations of being…less than I think I should be. I have standards for myself that truly aren’t attainable, and frankly, I care about what people think a little (a lot) too much. Then something happens that knocks me on rear (sometimes literally) and I realize that, WOW, I am full of pride.
This week I got a new tutor. You see, when you remain with the same tutor you start to get a sense of how awesome you are and how you totally have a handle on this crazy hard language. Not that I ever really and truly thought I was good. Or even okay. But I digress. My tutor came and I couldn’t understand her. At all. I thought that maybe she was joking and was really speaking something other than Chinese. Then I understood a sentence. A sentence about how I should be talking a lot better than I am. I’m not gonna lie. It stung. A lot. But then, I really thought about what she had said, and it is true. We use a method unlike anything she has taught with, so I shouldn’t be up to her standards, but I should be better than I am.
My pride has stunted my growth.
I told my coach I didn’t want him to come. Because, well, because it was hard when he was there. It was embarrassing. It meant I couldn’t cheat and speak English. It meant he might judge me. Then he came after months of not coming because he had no choice. My tutor needed to be trained and helped. And, honestly, my coach is really good at what he does. He knows this language, and he knows foreigners and the ways we try to cut corners. So he came, I took a deep, cleansing breath, sent him to the corner chaise lounge where he was not in my line of vision, took another deep breath and tried my best. When I was freaking out inside, about to cry, I asked him what I was supposed to do. And guess what?
He helped me.
Imagine that. It was freeing. I emailed him an apology because I was so wrong. I am sure that learning a foreign language should teach you the foreign language, but I feel like I am learning much, much bigger lessons.
And then, because apparently my pride was out of this world, my gracelessness reared its humiliating head. I had afternoon class one day this week due to scheduling conflicts , so I decided to exercise one morning. As I was jogging on the treadmill, I was praying because this was the day that my new tutor and coach was coming and my insides were threatening to come out of my mouth. Well, I was really talking to Jesus earnestly and my eyes closed as I sent Him pleas to calm me down.
I fell off the treadmill. For the second time in not so long amount of time…
If that won’t refocus your thoughts, I’m not sure what will! Laughter usually makes all things seem a little less serious, but I would really prefer to laugh at someone else tripping over their shoelaces than it always being me who can’t walk and chew gum…