looking back at my last entry on this goal (which was a year ago).
I’m no longer living in Israel so at the moment there’s no issue about being afraid I’m going to make mistakes in my Hebrew. But I still wouldn’t say I’m completely open in my conversations with people, particularly those I don’t know too well. I used to get accused of being too open… in a naiive way… but now I think I’m much more careful about what I give away about myself. I’m not sure if this is just me getting wiser, or more cynical.
I still do admire people who seem very open about themselves. Maybe it’s their innocence I admire.
However, I think it is possible to be honest and straightforward about your opinions and feelings without giving away too much of your self. 5 years ago
My Hebrew has improved a lot in the last year; I’ve been speaking it a lot more and working on improving my vocabulary. Much of the teaching I do these days is in Hebrew too and seeing myself able to do that (I keep expecting my Grade 6 class to burst into hysterical laughter at my Hebrew but so far they haven’t!) has boosted my confidence a lot.
The biggest challenge remains being able to contribute to a group discussion. One-on-one chats are not that much of a problem, assuming the person I’m talking to takes the fact that I’m not a native speaker of Hebrew into consideration. However, a couple of weeks ago my bf and I had a couple of friends over and, although it was a struggle to understand much of what they were talking about, I stuck it out and contributed to the conversation whenever I could.
In the past I would have kept silent even if I thought I might have been able to contribute, because I would have been afraid of making a mistake and of looking silly. I guess I’ve stopped caring so much about what people might think and when I do make mistakes, it doesn’t bother me so much.
I want to maintain this level of confidence and combine it with a higher level of openness, be more willing to talk about myself and my opinions. 7 years ago
It’s nice how every time I come back and look at this goal, it refines itself a bit more. It becomes more clear to me exactly what I am trying to achieve here.
This goal is intimately bound up with my relationship to my boyfriend’s family. We see them at least once a week so it’s important to me that we have a good relationship. But we are very different people, so that makes it challenging to begin with. Then there’s the fact that I want to speak Hebrew (my second language) with them in our interactions. Trying to improve my Hebrew is a goal in itself and I feel that speaking it with my boyfriend’s folks is a really good opportunity to become more fluent.
Because of issues I’ve had to do with both Hebrew and winning the in-law’s approval, this goal was always destined to be hard work. But I’m determined because my level of happiness living in Israel is deeply connected with these issues. And my happiness is my responsibility.
Here are some more things I want to do, connected to this goal:
- Don’t censor myself when I’m around my boyfriend’s family; express my opinions and be true to myself and my beliefs even if they don’t necessarily correspond to their opinions/beliefs.
- Be confident about beginning conversations with them; be less heavy about it.
- Offer opinions and advice freely but sensitively.
- Create and take opportunities in one-on-one situations with members of the family.
- Be more open; show more of myself.
- Find areas in which we can relate to one another. 7 years ago
This goal is really connected to my speaking Hebrew in social situations because I don’t feel shy about leading conversations in English. In Hebrew I’ve often been worried that I would make a mistake (and, really, so what if I do? I know that making mistakes is an important part of language learning…) or that, because I haven’t understood what other people have been saying well enough, I would say something entirely irrelevant or inappropriate!
But since I’ve returned from a trip I feel much more relaxed, generally. Being away for a few months really gave me some perspective. There’s a big world out there and experiencing it has made me feel that I was placing far too much emphasis on these difficult little social situations and on the opinions of certain people. My world doesn’t have to revolve around how well I feel I ‘performed’ at the in-laws during a family lunch (gosh! How dramatic!)
I feel I’m making improvements in Hebrew and feeling more relaxed speaking it and, combined with the fresh post-trip perspective, can definitely say I am closer to achieving this goal. This week my boyfriend and I are joining his folks for a few days in a snazzy hotel in the country. Let’s see if I can maintain this relaxed attitude. 8 years ago
If there’s an opening in the conversation and I have something to say, I should say it. If I’m not sure what’s going on when people are speaking Hebrew, I should ask. If something has excited me and I want to share it, I should. I need to be less heavy about the whole thing. Even if I make a mistake in my Hebrew, at least I tried. 8 years ago