I think I'd like to make a t-shirt that says, "I survived my first day of language school without suffering a breakdown." (Or without killing anyone.)
Yes, it was a lot to take in. And yes, I struggled with some of the pronunciation. But then again, so did just about everyone else in my beginner's section (praise God I'm not alone!). I've also been told that the real breakdown comes about 2 - 2 1/2 weeks in, so I guess that means I'm in the "honeymoon" phase of learning Spanish.
Over the last two weeks that we've been here, I haven't been able to communicate. But I've listened to those who can. I think this has been very helpful for me. A big part of learning another language is listening. In fact, our homework assignment tonight for one of my sections was to come home and watch some Spanish television or listen to some music in Spanish. That, I can do! And have been doing!
While there are still sounds that I struggle with (the double R sound in particular), I've actually started making these sounds as long as I don't over-think them. This has been my biggest struggle in the past, I think. I've convinced myself that I can't roll my Rs or pronounced the R flap. But I've heard myself do it! So I believe a retraining session is in order. I need to remind myself that, as long as I don't over-think it, I can make those sounds. I may not be able to just sit here and roll some Rs off for you, as if making car sounds with my son's toy cars. But when using those words in a sentence or when repeating them, making those sounds is certainly within my grasp.
I'm honestly very encouraged about how this year will go. I'm not naive enough to think every day is going to be this wonderful. And I'm not naive enough to think I'll just "get it". No. I realize it will be a struggle at times. I realize there will be tears (mine and my professors'). There will be days I want to chuck it all and hop the first plane back to the States.
What I'm so grateful for, however, was that God helped me get through today. As we learned with Tayler's hospitalization those first five weeks of her life, the key is to take each day at it comes. When I get up tomorrow morning, God will give me the grace, strength, and ability to get through tomorrow. That's it. The next day when I get up, He'll do it again for that day. By taking each day as it comes, we will get through the first month. The first trimester. And then, the entire year.