Some days, I wake up in a panic. I think, I can’t do this. It is way beyond me.

The pressure almost turns into a crushing weight with a physical dimension — it only grows as more responsibilities and considerations of life get added to the equation.

When I’m distressed, I often look back and draw encouragement from the past: all the times I never ever thought I could pull through, the close shaves, the challenges I’ve overcome. In quiet moments, I realise, yes, that’s me. I’ve always endured tensile tests and confronted my worries and fears.

Perhaps that is where life derives its richness from. Whatever I’ve lacked, God has always faithfully provided.

Recent times have brought new challenges and learning experiences in learning Chinese.

Exploring again in language what feels like an integral part of my heritage and identity has been an experience of searching and finding. It wells up in my heart sometimes, the realisation that I am Chinese, I love Chinese. 我爱华语,我爱中华文化,我怀念上华校的日子。The language carries a warmth and captures an essence that inevitably become lost in the best of English translations.

But when I read beautifully articulated essays and hear people speak with eloquence and fluency, I get a wistful pang of wondering if I would be able to do that one day. How I wish I could, again.

I tear up when I remember my 14-year-old self sitting in front of the television admiring captivating Chinese debaters like 胡建彪 and 龙纹敏. I wished so badly at that time that I could speak like them — full of wit and grace. I find it hard to believe now that two years later, I actually did realise my dream.

Remembering always inspires me to dream again…

However, the more Chinese friends I’ve made, the more I’ve realised understanding cultural contexts and linguistic nuances across different geographical locations is not simple.  GoSpeaky.com has been a useful platform in facilitating this process. The translation students I’ve found there have provided wonderful insight and information.

GoSpeaky language learning

I love the clean interface, and the edit function (to correct your buddy’s language) is a stroke of genius! 很享受我们互相切磋的过程……

这十年来一直努力提升着英语的水准,有时我似乎忘了当初的我是多么热爱富有活力和生机的汉语。我爱看中文书,我更爱听中文演讲。它运载着中华民族儒道互补的传统文化,有着强大的亲和性和独特的诗意,也因此具有唤起不同情绪的奇妙功能。有时会不禁慨叹:这是多年失去了再寻找回来的「我」呀!

p/s:农历新年期间写了中华文化中的羊这篇文章,有兴趣可以看一看。