Month: November 2014

Being the person they think I am, redux

Insert generic apologies for being away from the blog (depression/winter darkness/physical illness/mice in the roof above my flat/you know how it goes). Hopefully I’ll be more on course to post again soon; I still have so many half-drafted posts and things I want to talk about!

But in the meantime, a quick anecdote — along the lines of being who my conversation partners think I am:

Today I had one of my regular Skype conversation exchanges. We spent some time discussing job interviews — both he and I happened to have two in the past week. (Mine were for positions in countries where my target languages would be useful, go me!) And I said something like, “Oh, maybe over the next year I can work harder on getting my French and German up, because it’d be really useful to be able to pass the B2 exam for both of them [in terms of being eligible for more jobs], but… that’s probably not going to happen.”

(Self-denigration as reflex: I feel like a lot of this stems from depression but also it’s me living in England, where people deprecate themselves as a matter of course.)

And he said, casual as anything, “Why not? Why wouldn’t that happen?” As if he had no reason to assume that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Of course he doesn’t know about how depression and anxiety grinds me down and keeps me from doing a tenth of what I like to imagine I might do otherwise. But, you know, we’ve been practicing my German together for probably six or eight months at this point — and he’s said a few times that he’s noticed great improvement.

So why not, right? Why can’t I be the person he thinks I am, that would be able to pass that B2 exam? Why can’t I act like that person?