I am not good at writing posts when I am discouraged. I’m terrible at feigning enthusiasm, and there have been several posts I’ve written over the past couple of months that I abandoned halfway through, with the thought “what’s the point?”. I tried to write another one tonight, and it met the same fate. I just can’t pretend. I can try to, but it never, ever works. Maybe it’s just a peculiarity of my background or personality.
I keep coming back to one thought: why am I doing this? I’ve said before: I don’t know. I live in a city in Texas that has very few Japanese people, I am uninterested for the most part in nearly all Japanese media, I have little to no interest in going to Japan, and the best answer I can give myself is “because I can”. That’s a perfectly legitimate reason, but it doesn’t, in my mind, justify the amount of time and money I’ve spent in a pursuit that has no purpose. And yet I continue to do it, and I don’t know why.
Just like I don’t know why I blog here. I think it’s partly because I want to help others who might be intimidated by the whole thing – no matter what my motivation, I’ve learned a few useful things over the past couple of years, and I think I have a few interesting things to share (that not even my native teacher knows!). But I think it’s partly because I just want to convince myself that there’s a purpose for my studies. It’s not working.
And it’s compounded by the fact that I am currently taking a medicine whose primary effect seems to be to make me care less. In some ways that’s a very welcome thing, but it’s not very helpful when I am trying to convince myself to study in the evening and can’t even come up with one good reason to do it except that I committed to it for some unknown reason at some point in the past. In fact, it is one of the few things I’ve managed to even remotely stick with – I don’t even practice piano as much as I do study Japanese vocabulary.
Maybe I understand myself even less than I do others.
And yet, tonight, I will study some more. Why? It’s a complete mystery to me. I wish I had a reason.
Thank you for writing. At least I am very interested ^^
You know, sometimes you don’t know why you do something, but you keep doing it and then some day, it comes in as useful. Everything has a reason, it may not be a good enough reason for you at that point, but if you enjoy it, just do it. Maybe one day, you will be in a situation where your Japanese skills come in handy.
Not being able to stick with things – I’ve had the exact same problem. Apart from languages, there haven’t been many things I’ve been able to stick with, everything gets dull and boring, usually after a couple months. I even would like to move like every few months, because I can’t stand being at the same place for a long time lol. I’ve always thought that living like a nomad would be fun.
I could never understand people who keep and do the same things for years and years without changing anything, yet I thought that’s how it’s supposed to be, so I tried to do that too, but my nature really doesn’t like that, so I let it be. If that’s how I’m supposed to be, so shall it be.
Maybe don’t forcibly try to convince yourself that there needs to be a reason you are aware of right now. I struggle with this too sometimes, not being able to care less, but if we don’t care, who does? Who’s gonna create some high quality stuff if not people like us?
You said you have a couple of interesting things to share – well, isn’t that a good reason?
One more thing regarding not being able to stick with things – whenever I feel like I’m getting too attached to something, I feel the need to break it off or at least distance myself for a while. At first I noticed this behavior with people, but it includes things as well. Either that or something really just got so boring that I have to leave it.
There is something called “avoidant attachment style”. In psychology (attachment theory) it refers to your relationships with people, but I noticed that it extends to a lot of other areas in one’s life too (see my examples above). So I guess that might play a role here too. Not saying it’s something bad or one needs to change it. It’s just as it is. Maybe it helps you understand yourself better.
And yes – yourself is always the hardest person to understand.