For those who did not realize it, English is not my first language. I am French and I speak French. I started with writing in English (publicly) with my previous blog. I changed the name and it became In Space We Trust. In fact writing in English is not comfortable for me. It itches, it is a pain. So I questioned myself: Why do I write in English on this blog? Why do I continue with this thing that makes me feel awkward?
This post was supposed to be an excuse post. An excuse for not having a perfect grammar or for my lack of vocabulary, but now I don’t care. I read this post by Pat Flynn and realized that it really does not matter.
I have never tried really hard to learn English. My Mom paid for English lessons when I was a kid but I was unable to really express anything more than “My name is Manuel and I am 8″ for what I remember. I had problems with my english teacher in Junior High School. I did not like her, at all. I was also too shy and I didn’t want to talk or participate in the class and my progress was really minimal.
And then High School happened and I must say my English teachers did not help me at all. But I started to go to this little movie theatre called “Les Studios” in Tours, my hometown. And specificity of this movie theatre was that all the movies were in original language. This is how I got better. I watched tons of movies over there (most of them in English of course). When I reached college I decided to stop going to the mandatory english classes. I got a couple of problems with the university administration for skipping classes but since I had good grades nobody could really say anything. I was not super fluent though.
This is when I met Kate. She would become my wife eventually. She is American. She speaks French really fluently so I did not have to make any effort to talk to her. But I had to talk her family and friends. So I started reading intensively in English which was surprisingly not so difficult. Fast forward seven years >>>> I open a blog in English.
I think the first reason was because I was reading many blogs in English. I was commenting in English and after a point I decided to express my own ideas outside of the comment sections of other blogs.
But I could have done the same thing starting with French blogs and open a blog in French. So why English?
Many people tell I am not really French. I must say I appreciate when somebody tells me this. It’s not that I don’t like being French. It is more that it feels good to be able to define myself without any origin constraint. Define myself for who I want to be. I always had a fascination for the North American culture (as much for the good reasons as for the bad ones) and I have always been pulled toward it.
I think this why I write in English. Because it is fun and because I love connecting with people (and if they are english speakers it is even better).
And there is something else too. It scares me. I makes me uncomfortable like I said before. I think the real reason is I want to test the edge. I started to write in English because it makes me better. I am building a new skill. Writing in English is like staying balanced on one foot. It is not super comfortable but it is ok. The thing is when you start feeling comfortable on one foot, you feel awesome when your two feet touch the ground. When I started reading books in English, I had to really select ‘easy’ books. Now that I write in English I can pretty much read any book in English.This is why I write in English and I feel more comfortable very time I hit publish. It still feels awkward but it is getting better.
So I want to push a little more. I have some ideas of stuff to publish. I was talking about this stuff to my voice memo application on my iPod yesterday. I stopped because even talking about it to my iPod felt too crazy. It was about doing what I love, walk toward another edge… crazy… And since I start to feel comfortable with writing in English, this is time to go toward the crazy ideas. It is the right direction, probably uncomfortable but right. And I will talk about on this blog. I just need to geek out and tell my voice memo first.
Did you ever try to make yourself uncomfortable? Believe me, it itches, it can hurt too. It can make you feel like shit. I know what I am talking about: I am too shy to express my ideas to my iPod and then I talk about it here. I will probably feel bad tomorrow when I will read this again. My resistance will ask me why I talk about it. This why I will quickly finish this post and hit publish (sorry for the lack of edition, I just want it to stay as is)
How do you make yourself uncomfortable in what you do? What do you get from being uncomfortable? I would love to know.
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Like I said, I have some crazy ideas (and I know they are crazy because I am sweating as I am writing this). So if you want to follow me where I go, subscribe and receive my posts in your mailbox or also subscribe to the rss feed.
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