Think your Japanese is pretty good? Think your Japanese sucks? That’ll change. Over and over again. In rapid succession over the months and years. You feel you are on top of the world one moment, and the bottom the next.
You can’t escape
Everyone starts off at the same level 1.
No cheat codes. You are full of uncertainties, have little to no ability, and question your progress early on. Then you start to get better at something. At multiple things. You compare yourself to others your level. You compare yourself to your previous self. You compare what you couldn’t do then to what you can do now.
And now you are feeling good. Cockiness sets in. You are pretty bad-ass. Flex your muscles a bit.
Then something knocks you down. An experience makes you realize that you didn’t know as much as you thought you did. There are so many people better and doing things better than you. You have such a long way to go.
This repeats endlessly.
It’s great to feel confident about your Japanese. If you could stick to one emotion, this would be it. Right?
Both are equally important.
You need to have those moments when you feel high up in the kanji sky. But you don’t want to stay up their too long. A little self-doubt and humble attitude breeds motivation to get better. It keeps pushing you up till you start getting cocky again. And then something knocks you down, and you restart the cycle.
How are you feeling right now?
A bit cocky (be honest)? Or a bit humble?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.