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I was terrible at French. Many years ago, I handed in a piece of French homework which took more hours than needed because I had decided to write it out first in English and then spend hours with a dictionary translating it into French, in the hope that I could produce a decent piece of written work. I was over the moon when I found out that I got 10/10 but my teacher threw my work on the desk and told me that it was too good for me to have written it. I felt humiliated but I was also determined to prove myself. The next week I handed in another piece of work which received 9/10. I thought that my teacher would finally believe it was me who did the work. Unfortunately, she did not.
It was such a pivotal moment for me as it was the point that both my confidence in French and my faith in the educational system were shattered. It also hindered my willingness to stay committed to learning other foreign languages. Even though the French teacher most likely does not remember this moment, it has stuck in my mind since and I can remember it as if it happened yesterday. This fear of French became so great that it almost became a monster living inside of me. Every time I thought I was ready to start up a conversation in French, or introduce myself to a French person, this monster would trip me up. It was like I was fighting against myself.
Back then, I never thought I would be living in Brussels, working in a dutch/french bilingual environment and publishing a blog post in French but here we are, with the relaunch of my blog, I decided to write my posts in both English as well as French.
Sometimes it is scary to step out of your comfort zone but whether you take baby steps or one great leap, make sure that you are doing it for yourself and not because others told you to do so.