Speaking Fluent Spanish-ishly

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Apart from moving far from family, friends and traditional opportunities to work, a challenge of moving abroad is learning the language and local customs…but it’s also one of the fun parts too if the stress doesn’t tweak us out.  But, how many times have we all heard, ‘You’re moving there! oh you will just pick it up in 6 months, no problem!’  Yeah, I got that nugget of encouragement (torture) a lot…A LOT from people before & after we moved here.

Before I go into why this challenge is such a spectacular lesson (like all life we must think of the shitty times as such or else we lose all motivation for trying the impossible). I can state some very valid reasons (excuses) why I have struggled…

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Halloween costumes…the pain and pressure.

So last night was Halloween! Hope y’all are enjoying a sugar (or bourbon) induced haze heading into work today after dealing with the throngs of kids (both young and awkwardly not so young) knocking on doors and kicking over lit up pumpkins.  It’s a lovely USA tradition, which I am glad is celebrated in pockets around Santiago, Chile as well. Even better as it is mostly Catholic denominated country, we have today, Nov. 1st, off of work & school for All Saints Day to sleep it off.  Yeah!

So in our family we have a tradition going all the way back to the 80’s of making our costumes…like when I stapled christmas tinsel to a hat to be a witch, or went hog-wild with puffy paint and pink lace gloves to be a punk version of Madonna (totally not Material Girl-style). We do this with our kids now.  This year my daughter was a flamingo  and my son was a puma (after some recent trips to deserts and rain forest around this end of the world).

Now we can all pinterest and find oodles of cute amazing hand-crafted ideas of costumes lovingly made up by ex-Martha Stewart scouts.  Ours honestly don’t look like that.  My kids costumes start to fall off and apart about 1 house down the block. It becomes more of a gross motor challenge to keep pants up, tails out, candy bag at the ready and head-piece from blocking all vision.  There are excessive safety pins involved, cut up old pieces of clothing, duct tape and glued on foam that add to the texture of the experience.

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Why I write about failures…

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There are many amazingly talented, successful people in the world today. They inspire us because their list of achievements, one right after another, make it all look easy.  That easiness makes others feel like success for them, too, is accessible.  We all want that. We all strive for efficient, but earned, success for our passions. But, sometimes we have kiss a lot of frogs before we find our prince charming.

Mine are the frog stories.  Personally, I learn a lot through failure. I am also a SLOW learner and very STUBBORN, so it often takes me a few failures to finally figure out I can force a square peg into a round hole.  I also work really hard, often too hard.  I have always been a bit of a busy body and pensive in my self-reflections, so I always try to do more.  I know, how ironic….a perfectionist failure devote.

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PUBLISHING FAIL (My first really half-assed attempt)

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So I am basically convinced that about half of all people think about writing a book at some point.  Maybe a third of 25-40 years old focus on writing children’s books which makes sense as raising kids definitely fills you with stories.. stories that rhyme, about joy, about the ridiculous, the exciting, the sad, the moralistic, the downright scary….ect.

So I squarely fell into this category around my early 30’s when I basically (and somewhat, well… mostly arrogantly) decided no books on the market (the entire vast publishing market that I clearly knew nothing about) fit my needs.  You like where this is going????

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I get knocked down but I get up again….

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Nice quote by Nelson.  As for the song, that was a pretty nonsensical band name, and album name and over all a one hit wonder that got annoyingly stuck in the brain.  Kinda similar to how annoying it is when you are have a really crappy day and your super perky friend (whose favorite vacation still is Disneyland) gives you bear hugs, singing Dionne Warwick loudly in your ear while reminding you that life is so much better than you think.   COME ON PEOPLE, we need practical help not movie scenes and barney songs!

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Asking questions…oh the hypocrisy!


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We have all been there,  reading the same line in a book or newspaper 5 times and still not getting it, trying to understand what our 401K is really invested in, or trying to pronounce hoity-toity french ingredients correctly while out at the latest hipster farm to table spot. The feeling of not always understanding what’s going on around us, was a feeling I remember as a kid and still face as an adult.  I never grew out of it, and can’t imagine I ever will. Even though the subject matters may have changed, there are lots of things that baffle me on a daily basis.  But why…why, is it so difficult for us to open our mouths, raise our hands and simply ask for clarity sometimes?

In finding a picture for this post, I did a search on google images and was surprise at how many pictures are about calling people out for asking ‘STUPID QUESTIONS’, wasting peoples time, answering sarcastically and overall judging them for asking in the first place.  Tough crowd.  I like homer’s approach personally.

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