100th Blog Special

I've written 100 of these things, and still dunno what will fit in this box.

This week’s blog is a special one, for a totally random, arbitrary reason, because it is blog number 100!  Well, sort of.  If you were to look at the site stats, it would actually be listed at the 115th blog, but that would include the English versions of the blogs that were drafted originally in Spanish, too, and I’m not counting those.  I mean, I probably could, but this is already arbitrary, as 100 is just a nice, round number with no other real significance.  The bigger milestone coming up just around the corner is the two-year anniversary of this blog project, which is of course also arbitrary, but at least tied to the path around the sun of the planet we’re all stuck on.

Anyway, aside from everything being arbitrary and life being ultimately meaningless in an “I’ve been listening to goth music recently” sort of way, it’s the hundredth blog!  Woo!  When I started this blog out, I thought I might hit this point eventually, but a lot of things were up in the air about this project.  I wanted a way to document and catalog the time and effort investment I was putting into learning Spanish, and this seemed like a neat way to do it, so I put it together and got to work.  On the other hand, I have worked on similar projects to this blog that petered out after a few months, so I came in without the expectation that I would necessarily hit ten blogs, let alone one hundred, so it’s gratifying to look back at the ever-expanding folder in my OneDrive.  It’s also nice to feel like I have a reason to celebrate.  Celebrations feel extra vital to me these days.

Normally at landmarks, I look back at the time and effort investment so far, but we’ll be hitting that landmark next month, so I’m not really interested in doing that.  I’d also consider curating my “best” blogs or something here, but I don’t really want to do that, either.  I’m not fond of digging back through my old writing at the best of times, and when a lot of it is semi-autobiographical and referring to me using the wrong gender, I’m definitely not up for it.  Instead, I think, I’m going to touch base on this project conceptually, and how it’s changed and shaped from blog one to one hundred.

I just mentioned that I started off on this blog with kind of muddled ideas about where it was going to go, but I did have some ideas.  I came into this already an experienced writer and blogger, who had found some success before in some rather niche corners of the internet.  I liked blogging, but had never done it that regularly, and I was sort of “between projects” at the time.  Which is a loaded statement, in that it was literally true that I didn’t have a creative project on hand and was looking for another one, but also an apt description of my life at the time.  I was in a pretty bad place in my life, and was feeling more and more trapped and stifled with each passing day.  The space between projects had grown so vast, I wasn’t sure if I could even start on the next project at all.

Okay, so, some background about me.  At the time I started learning Spanish, I was working as a fulltime Uber and Lyft driver.  It was a job I enjoyed and could do very well, but isn’t a good long-term job, and I knew it.  It’s a way to make money that slowly eats cars, so there was no such thing as “getting ahead” financially, it always felt like I was slowly getting more and more behind.  And while the money I made doing it was pretty good, there’s no real way to advance at it.  At the same time, it was fun and comfortable, and I had been without a real job for a long time beforehand, so there was a lot of friction keeping me where I was.  It wasn’t the best and wouldn’t last forever, but it was more appealing than most other choices I could think of.  I was trapped, but the doorways leading out didn’t look that appealing.

Teaching myself Spanish was, ultimately, me contemplating the prospects of carving a new door out of the wall.  I had no idea if I could get my Spanish level up to a professionally viable level (and still kinda don’t), but I’d been gifted a copy of Rosetta Stone Spanish and always thought learning it would be cool anyway, so I figured I could move something in my life forward.  It would be okay if the job stayed static and my life didn’t move forward right now, because while that was going on, I’d be learning Spanish, and could maybe pivot that into a new career later.  Maybe not in a direct, language tutor or translator capacity, but it would at least look nice on a resumé.

After beating my head against the stone wall that was Rosetta Stone and taking to the internet to try and learn about this language learning stuff, six months later I was very enmeshed in the process and was starting to shift my view on it.  The things I was doing were starting to work, and the methods I followed made intuitive sense to me.  I had opinions about language learning.  I also knew from personal experience that I’d be handling the task of learning better and more consistently if I had some manner of keeping myself accountable.  Additionally, I was noticing a disappointing lack of real, solid documentation by others on the subject, where they kept track of their progress in any real depth aside from recap blogs about things like Add 1 Challenges and the like.  And for the way my head works, when everybody kept saying “a long time,” I would just say “what sort of ‘long time’ are we talking about here?”

So, in the perfect storm of being between creative projects, engrossed in language learning, wanting to hold myself accountable, and seeing a frustrating gap I wanted to see filled by some other poor soul, I decided to start this blog.  And while I kept my expectations realistic, part of me did wonder if maybe this might be a viable career pivot tool.  Maybe not from the blog itself, since blogs are close to impossible to be something profitable (but hey, maybe, we’re not ruling it out as an impossibility here), but maybe as the substratum for a book.  I wasn’t sure if that would end up being feasible (something I’m still unsure of), but it was something in the back of my head when I got started.  So I registered the domain name, built a quick WordPress site, and got to work.

Since then, this blog and its purpose have slowly morphed over time, both from the perspective of my relationship to Spanish and this project, but also from how my life and situation have changed.  I am in a much better place now than I was at the start of this project, both emotionally and financially, and can afford in both ways for this whole thing to be “just for fun.”  I’m not discounting the slim possibility of all this changing into something more somehow, but it’s totally okay for me if it doesn’t, and I can continue documenting and cataloging my language learning journey wherever it takes me, and for however long it takes me.  One hundred blogs is a pointless and arbitrary landmark, let’s see if we can get through one hundred more, shall we?

Now then, let’s get to the numbers for the week.

Tuesday 4/21

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 6% of Una Oscuridad en Sethanon, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, 1 episode of Arte Divierte, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Wednesday 4/22

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 6% of Una Oscuridad en Sethanon, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Diablero, 1 episode of Calex MP, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Thursday 4/23

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of Una Oscuridad en Sethanon, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Diablero, 2 episodes of Calex MP, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Friday 4/24

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of Una Oscuridad en Sethanon, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 2 episode of Daniel San GMR, 2 episodes of Calex MP, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Saturday 4/25

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of Una Oscuridad en Sethanon, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Calex MP, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Sunday 4/26

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 5% of Diarios de Motocicleta, ~30 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 6 episodes of Daniel San GMR, ~120 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Monday 4/27

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 15% of Diarios de Motocicleta, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Diablero, 1 episode of La Zona Cero, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes
  • Total Duolingo: 140 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total reading: 2/5 books read, 480 minutes
  • Total watching/listening: 19 YouTube episodes and 3 tv episodes, 570 minutes
  • Total speaking: reading out loud, 210 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 hours 30 minutes

Another pretty good week.  As I was guessing last week, I finished off Una Oscuridad en Sethanon on Saturday, completing the subseries inside the larger Riftwar series.  Being in-between the larger overarching stories in the series, I thought it was a good time for a break with something else.  I just happened to be gifted Diarios de Motocicleta by a friend of the family, which of course is a super important work of Spanish language literature.  It’s also on the short side, so pretty perfect for my purposes.  Based on its length, I should be close to done with it by the end of next blog, so I’ll be getting back to Riftwar soon.

Returning to Riftwar is both positive and negative for me, because I spent a good while this weekend hunting for more books in the series, and I think after the next subseries of two books, I’m gonna be SOL.  Oh well, maybe I’ll return to the series at a later date, if more books come out.  Or maybe I’ll revisit it in a whole different language even.  Who knows?

Speaking of spending time doing stuff over the weekend, you’ll notice my Thursday and Friday were weird, and that was because I took a four-day weekend for my own mental health, after having been worn down from work recently.  Coming out the other end, I’m very glad I took it and am feeling better now.  Things are still stressful and all, but it feels a lot more manageable.

This week, I also finished Diablero, which could have happened sooner until I got distracted by Calex MP, a new Youtube channel.  Overall, Diablero has been enjoyable, and I hope there are further seasons of it, though I didn’t get the comprehension ‘boost’ that I was hoping for from finishing it.  It’s still pretty dense and has a lot of stuff I can’t follow word for word.  It also isn’t terribly long so far and I’m not sure I had enough material to really get that boost I was looking for.  Ah well, it was still enjoyable.

I’m at the spot in the month where it’s time to look back on how I’ve been addressing my yearly theme of Personal Fulfillment, but, well … I mean, I’m not the only one experiencing this year as it’s actually turned out.  The theme itself has felt less and less relevant as time has gone on, with lots of things getting put on hold and everyone being stuck in a place of ‘making do’ with things.  We’re all stuck in an unwanted yearly theme of survival, and while I haven’t abandoned reaching for personal fulfillment—I did just take a mental health four day weekend, after all—I’ve been putting a lot of stuff off and accepting that life’s gonna be weird and unpleasant for a while now.  I think this is probably all in service to personal fulfillment eventually, as dragging myself down emotionally for not “doing more” right now is counter-productive, when it’s taking a lot just to stay even keel for the time being.  I am at least relatively secure and healthy right now, and able to work on this project in a productive manner.  The other stuff can all come later, once things are calm again.  I hope things get calm again.

Anyway, that’ll do for this one.  Here’s to a hundred more blogs, and to closing out what’s left of year two with a bang.  TTFN.

One thought on “100th Blog Special

  1. Congrats on the 100th post! It’s impressive that you’ve built so many good habits and norms in your day to day and gotten this far in your language learning. I always reading your posts since it only reaffirms my own passion for learning the language 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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