I mean, nearly every post could start out that way—from how this year has resulted in missed professional goals, to screwups in our physical and mental health, to strange and unexpected (and insanely difficult) choices we have to make about our kids’ education… all making us desperately search for some form of comfort. (And that’s to say nothing of what the stars allegedly have in store for next year…)
But! In the midst of missed marks and unexpected stress, there is one small thing that I have been clinging to, that has been offering me a thread of sanity through the insane. It’s small, it’s far from being fully seen through, but damn it, it’s mine. And it’s been a bit of a lifeline out of the dark well that’s thus far been 2020.
In January of this year, a friend of mine sent me an excited text. “I’m starting a small group of girls for Italian lessons!” Right away, I was in. As someone who minored in Spanish in college and has always had a passion for languages and other cultures, I’ve always been interested in learning even more ways to communicate.
For as long as I can remember, being Italian was part of our cultural identity. Even as a white girl growing up in a mostly-white suburb (albeit in a heavily populated Italian-American neighborhood outside of Pittsburgh), my family always reinforced in my sister and me that we were part of a greater community—a famiglia, if you will. And from traditions to recipes to the small bits of Italian language, we were always made aware that there was a rich history and culture that we came from. (Also, raise you’re hand if you’re Italian-American and “va fangool” was your favorite phrase growing up.)
But I’m proud that I held onto one thing that gives me joy outside of my work and my family.
And I hope the same for you—that there is something, or even the promise of something, that’s keeping you moving through these days with a little more purpose.
And for anyone else interested in learning Italian or another language, but not ready to go full-bore with lessons, I’ve got a great alternative!
These podcasts are hugely helpful for beginners! You’ll hear a native speaker, a teacher, and a pupil. One of the most important things when learning a new language is hearing it, and this where to start! So if you’re interested, dive in! Let me know what you think!