I’ve been studying Korean by myself every day for 2 years now and I’ve found that it’s not the act of studying itself that makes it painful. It’s the “I shoulds”, my own silly rules of “I shoulds” . I should study this drama script even though I’m not motivated to do it. I should memorize this word list even though I don’t want to. I should speak Korean more fluently than I can now. I should be able to understand this book, even though I can’t. These beliefs are painful because they’re against reality. My reality.
However, when I question myself, “I should? Really? Why do I think I should? According to whom?Am I really sure that I should?” all my silly beliefs disappear and I find pleasure again in studying.
Because the truth is I shouldn’t do things when I simply would not or could not do them. I shouldn’t sleep less to study, I’ll get sick. I shouldn’t speak Korean fluently now if I can’t. Reality is reality. Arguing with reality is stupid. I can never win. So I stop having “I shoulds” and I do what feels right for myself, each moment. And I change my mind as often as I need to. I can do that. That’s exactly the whole point of learning by myself, so I can learn whatever I want, study and not study whenever I want, progress as much or as little as I am supposed to.
Whatever I do or not do, I will always be the best student in my class, since I’m the only one.
Since I’m also my own teacher, I can give my student (myself) as much support as I need, and I can let myself be myself, all the time. No “I shoulds” because it never works.
And when I realize that, suddenly learning is fun again.
I’m so glad that I can’t afford Korean classes. ###