4 In Others / General

You’ve been missed

Dear you who are reading this,

It’s been a long while since I last logged in. It has been an unprecedented year for you and me both. In fact, the first half the year felt like previous life to me. The year passed by in a blur, like a rollercoaster ride. I’ve been through the ups and downs, but it always felt like I didn’t quite have the time to process what had happened before I was being thrown into another sharp bend or dip. The churning feeling in the stomach was probably the only constant. I’ve switched to the past tense already, as though I couldn’t quite wish to leave this year behind. 🙂

For a good number of years, I sought solace in this space. Mostly alone, but whenever someone reached out to me, I was always thankful. Every interaction was a new connection formed, and some turned out to be the people that would have my back for the past 10 years, while others blossomed into online friendships that transcend borders and timezones. I value every new connection and bond.

This space has also reflected my growth over the years, whether in language learning or beyond. It is a record of my lingering regrets, of what-could-have-beens and of the decisions I took (or didn’t take) over the years. The silence over the past few years were also illuminating and it reminded me of what I had sacrificed and what I have gained.

Back to language learning. The past few years were not great – mainly because I was always so busy and perhaps without really realising it, I had lost the spark in me. While there were short bursts of motivation here and there, overall, I had been in a bottleneck. When words no longer flowed out as easily, I struggled to put together my thoughts to write in this space and that’s when I know. The blog had been my “best place” (a Shaman King reference) and yet I didn’t return to it. Somewhere deep inside, I was withering a little. I didn’t want to touch that wound, and I chose to ignore it most of the time and focused on doing what I needed to.

I chose to be elsewhere.

I ended up withdrawing further into my own world, and spending less time on social media and blogging. While I like talking about language learning and I have made it a hobby to do so, I always believe that the actual language learning comes first. I can’t talk about something that I don’t do. As I spent less time on learning languages, correspondingly, I spent less time talking about it.

In the past years, the online language community has really become a thing, with #langtwt, studygrams, language challenges and a lot of content being churned out. The cynic in me feels that sometimes, there is an increased focus in talking about language learning rather than doing it. I also didn’t quite identify with the overly polished aesthetics of most content/posts, the deliberate branding / curation of content, the overwhelming positivity (gosh I sound so jaded!) and the competitive undercurrents. Oh, and the occasional “drama” inevitable in any community. I find myself strangely resistant to it, and by association, I begin to feel even more detached from this space I used to call home.

But now, I think that’s a silly sentiment. I wasn’t being me. I do things my own way. So yes, now I’m going to continue doing things my own way and at my own pace. I am not sure if I will find that same spark that motivated me to write almost everyday (who was that!), but it’s okay. All I need to do is to be true to myself and embrace the ups and downs of life, which includes language learning.

Today is Christmas.

Merry Christmas to those who have spared some time reading my long and barely coherent thoughts. I spent the day alone, doing the things I love. I read a couple of chapters of a Korean novel, I cooked my meals, I re-watched a couple of episodes of What’s Up Secretary Kim (damn Park Min-young looked so great) and I had a great chat / language consultation session.

Rediscovered my love for k-drama My Girl’s OST. It was seriously the best.

Best purchase this year was a Takoyaki pan. Can’t believe it took me years to finally get down to buying one. Now, I can have takoyaki anytime.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

메리 크리스마스!

Best,
Shanna

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Jeannie
    25 December, 2020 at 10:33 PM

    “The cynic in me feels that sometimes, there is an increased focus in talking about language learning rather than doing it.”

    Ditto.

    I’ve thought of deleting my accts because I don’t like some certain things I see. The pretense I can sense and the urge to question them. But I learned to ignore and just continued doing my own thing (though sometimes I can’t help but judge).

    I like reaching out to people and help them out. I like to encourage them and see their potential. But I sometimes think I sound controlling and demanding. I also feel like a 꼰대 which I am avoiding to turn into haha.

    A lot of things might have changed but my admiration towards you and your love towards langauge learning remains the same 🙂

    Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoy your takoyaki machine! (checks coupang for one)

    • Reply
      Hangukdrama
      2 January, 2021 at 5:12 PM

      Jeannieeeee! Just saw your comment. First of all, Happy New Year!! 🙂

      Nooo please do not delete your accounts. I will miss you SO MUCH. Yeah I refrain from participating in drama in general, but there are things that I see and don’t like too. I’ll just do my own thing and stay in my own world hahaha.

      You have helped so many learners <3 you are amazing!

      (and yes takoyaki machine is life-changing)

  • Reply
    jidoeq
    29 December, 2020 at 8:16 AM

    i wish you posted a more clear photo of the novel pages. curiosu to see what kinda words you’e learning in novels.

    also have you also highlighted your korean books??? do you also highlight your japanese books? kinda feels like i’m defiling the book haha when it’s japansese so i don’t do it but i have no problem doing it to my korean books. we bought it so we can do whatever we want to it anyway

    • Reply
      Hangukdrama
      4 January, 2021 at 10:37 PM

      Hello! oops, next time I’ll try to post clearer photos of my notes. 🙂 Yes, I highlight both my Korean and Japanese books. But I only write in my Korean books. For two reasons. First, the layout of Korean books make it easier to annotate compared to Japanese (vertical), and also my Korean is stronger so nowadays I highlight lesser things and can just write the meaning + sample sentence in the book itself. hahaha interesting how you think it’s defiling one but not another heh. But I don’t touch my Chinese books too so I sorta get what you mean!

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