Sorry it's been a little while! I've spent the last few weeks getting comfortable in my new family, saying goodbye to all of the trimester kids who are heading back to the States in less than a week, studying for exams, and marathoning the new season of Gilmore Girls.
The last couple of weeks have been hard, but not necessarily for the reason I anticipated. For one thing, I got a bad cold, so I've been pretty exhausted for the past week. Sure, it is holiday season, which means that I'm missing my family and friends more than usual, but that's to be expected. I think what's made this period of time so rough is the realization I had a few days ago: It's December. I know that that sounds pretty insignificant, but it's meaningful for a few reasons. Primarily, it means that I've lived in Spain for two and a half months. Which of course in turn means that I only have two months left. When I tried to explain this to my Spanish friends, they scoffed and said that was so much time, but I was hoping to be further along by now.
It sucks, but even after all of this time, I'm not 100% comfortable in Spanish. Learning a language is so much harder than I could have ever imagined. That being said, I have improved an insane amount since I arrived. I've even dreamt in Spanish (which was pretty cool). I've gotten to the point where I don't need to have a dictionary on-hand when I take tests, and I even ask the teachers questions (which they actually understand). I obviously wish that I were fluent already, but I think it's important to keep things in perspective. I still have days where I understand better than others, and it still takes me a second to respond sometimes. I think that my incredible progress (though it may still not be all that I wish it were) is due mainly to the fact that I gave up on being perfect. I started letting myself make mistakes. I'm a perfectionist, so that was really hard for me to do, but once I did, my Spanish did improve.
Part of why I feel like I can make mistakes now is because I'm so comfortable where I am. I really love my family, my school, and my friends. It's amazing to me that my friends can be so protective and supportive of me, even though we've only known each other for a few months. I've also really grown to love the fact that my school is so small, because it means that I can build a relationship with nearly everyone in my grade. I help people use Microsoft Excel, I lend others my calculator to play Snake (TI-84s aren't a thing here, so mine gets a lot of attention), and I laugh with everyone. This place is really feeling like home, and I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is going to be to say Adios.