It has now become clear to me that while my environment growing up in Texas first enabled me to learn Spanish, it has been my own deep driving desire that has pushed me to find more of it over the years. I elected to take Spanish in middle school, high school, and then college; I’ve taken many trips to use the language abroad and now I’ve chosen to spend this year immersed in it around the world. Since my affection for Spanish has been a constant throughout my life, I never really noticed how significant of a role it’s played. It was when I realized its importance that I decided to turn my curiosity into a priority. Now instead of it being an accessory to my life, pursuing Spanish is actually shaping my life.
Before studying again this year, my last formal Spanish class was in college. Without much use, my skills grew rusty and in place I dreamed about becoming fluent. The rustier my Spanish became, the stronger the desire grew. Back then I labeled this desire as fantasy – the pleasant-seeming result of something without thinking about the hard work of getting there.
Fast forward a few years, and it’s no longer a fantasy – I’m currently working on becoming fluent. All I did was make it a priority and now it’s really happening! Are fantasies just desires that we don’t prioritize? …things we feel so strongly about but we don’t deem important enough, we don’t make time for or we don’t think we’re capable of achieving? What if rooted in our fantasies are real concrete desires that are actually attainable?
Our visions could be difficult to take seriously because we bedazzle them with unnecessary wishes and expectations that make them seem out of reach. These fantasies may be more accessible than we think. We just have to wipe away the glitter to understand the deeper driving desire that causes us to think about it all the time.
Change in Direction
I had never thought that language could be my guiding light. But in December as my remote work program concluded and I began planning my next steps solo, it occurred to me that now was the time to realize the fantasy of becoming fluent. As soon as I made that decision, the places I wanted to live and the destinations I wanted to explore became clear too.
I spent the first 5 months of this year in Mexico & Spain – living with locals, attending Spanish classes, reading in Spanish, dating in Spanish, even thinking in Spanish. It’s now month 6 of full Spanish immersion and I’ve just arrived in Colombia. Not only is pursuing Spanish giving me direction for where to live, it’s gluing together my interests, ones that before seemed so distinctly different, and opening opportunities I hadn’t considered before. I’m here in Medellin to combine two of my loves and learn to teach yoga in Spanish. This combination of interests was not something I ever imagined when I did my yoga teacher training last July or sat down for day one of Spanish school in January.
We can feel stuck or stifled in a certain place which makes us feel like what we want to do isn’t possible or it doesn’t exist. It causes us to fantasize about things that don’t seem attainable because they aren’t available in our current circumstances. But what we imagine might not be as far from reality as we think… it might just be surrounded by a haze of characteristics making it seem more difficult or grand than the actual root desire. Simply changing environments whether that’s a place or a community of people can give greater access for passions and desires to bloom.
Pursue what you love, because if you’re not pursuing what you love, what are you pursuing?