Saint Petersburg

Please like me

So, today I found out that my German sucks.

I mean I was already told like 5 times that it is not good enough for me to work with German clients. But I did not stop answering messages in German if I got one.

I did not want to admit that my diploma means squat at the moment, that not using German for 6 years was a fatal mistake, that I cannot really call myself a linguist with a BA in German studies because it sounds like a joke.

People from work complained. It turned into a whole ugly little mess. I had to talk to people, explain myself and apologize. And most importantly, I had to admit that my German is just not good enough, it is not at the right level.

My ego is bruised. I am annoyed that it bruises so easily. I am annoyed that I take it to heart. I am annoyed that 2 years (this September) of individual therapy did not solve this issue. I am failing therapy, or therapy is failing me. Anxiety. Self-criticism. Apathy.

Fuck it.

Why can´t I give myself some time to get back to where I feel comfortable using German again? Why do I have to rush, to demand immediate progress from myself? Nobody else is asking for it, nobody else is expecting me to start answering German clients in German.

I do not know how to manage my impatience and perfectionism. I do not know how to accept my flaws without turning to self-loathing. I just want people to be impressed with me. I want them to like me and be on my side. Even when I am not on my own side. Especially when I am not on my own side.

 

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China, Saint Petersburg

Queen of the Desert

Yesterday we watched a rather dull bio film about Gertrude Bell, portrayed by the incredible Nicole Kidman. The film, of course, got me curious about Bell´s endeavours in the Middle East, and I think I will read her biography and her letters (available on Project Gutenberg). But, at the same time, watching Nicole Kidman head into the desert on the back of a camel made me feel weirdly guilty about my own studies of China and its language and culture.

I currently have a few ¨projects¨ connected to my study of Chinese language and culture, but I find it hard to dedicate even 30 minutes to each of them daily. Maybe I expect too much from myself, and I should just pick one thing and stick to it (lingq seems to be the perfect answer), or maybe I just don´t have enough passion for Chinese. And that´s what I feel guilty about. For not being as passionate as Gertrude Bell. Oh, well.

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