“I have a friend who learned English in one year after moving to Australia….”
“We had barely moved to the UK, and my daughter who didn’t know how to say“how are you ”already made a lot of British friends.”
I hear these kinds of statements all the time! I understand it’s challenging not to compare yourself to others, especially when it seems like you have been working harder than others to get there. I don’t blame you, but I am not here to encourage you either.
Every one of us has a different lifestyle, schedules, routines, backgrounds, problems, health conditions, etc. It’s impossible to reach the same results at the same time when you have different calendars. Some people have kids; others don’t, some people have a difficult job/boss, others don’t, some people are financially stable, others are not, and yet everyone can achieve the same results, however – when…? Well, this is another story.
I am about to turn 33 in a few days, but I still remember my mum saying: “you have no bills to pay, no husband to worry about, no food to cook, so the least you can do, young lady, is to come home from school with good grades.” Oh God, I miss those days: study, eat and play… eventually some chores around the house, but God, I was happy, and I didn’t know.
Well, the funny thing is, the reason you learned everything you learned at school and you graduated (I hope) is exactly because you didn’t have a busy life and with that said, let’s stop comparing ourselves with those kids who move to an English speaking country and in two months are fluent! Yes, I know you are jealous of them, believe me, I’ve been there, it’s a very unfair comparison.
Now you are an adult, yet able to learn things and achieve anything your heart desires, but perhaps you don’t think so. Ok, I’ve been there too, my parents forced me to study many things, Science, History, how to make the perfect rice, but not English. I realized that I needed it when I was at University. So, yes, I know how it feels when you have a job and a degree to keep up. However, I don’t know how it feels when you have all that plus a husband, plus kids and dogs, plus going through a divorce, or being unemployed; no, I don’t… But as you can see, a lot can happen in one’s life, and that’s why we should respect our and other people’s limits.
You are not your friend! If he became fluent in a month, great for him! Perhaps you will probably have to work a lot harder to get there, and in the process, you will have to deal with an annoying boss, cook dinner after a busy workday, help your kids with homework, pay bills, nevertheless as your friend did you will also get there!
I recently found out that I have a slow metabolism; while people who have desk jobs like me burn about 2000 calories a day, I burn less than 1000. After all, for the last 3 years, I got distraught. I’ve been working really hard to lose weight, exercising every day, eating less than 1200 calories every day so that I won’t lie, I wanted to give up and forget all about these diets and healthy lifestyle things. Then I looked back I realized that even with the baby steps I have come so far, I couldn’t go back just because some people are luckier than I am with their metabolism. We must work with what we’ve got!
We are all different, but we can all achieve what we want to if we don’t compare ourselves to anyone. Remember that: you are unique, with all your virtues and flaws, you are something to be proud of, trying to be like someone else is a waste of the beautiful person you are.