5 Sep

I bought a pair of stilettos. As a 5’8” girl, this was probably not the most practical purchase and I am usually a pretty practical girl. The problem is, with my height being what it is, I rarely, if ever, wear stilettos so I am not accustomed to balancing on scrawny pegs that act as an aerator when you walk across grass, but that is okay. I will avoid lawns. And I know all women will be with me when I tell you that, they are gorgeous nude peep toe stilettos AND they were on sale. Justified.

I have yet to wear them out, I feel as though we need some quality bonding time before I attempt to trek across Sevilla on cobblestone. Consequently, I have been practicing, here and there, while my host family is out of the house. Don’t make fun; these things take practice… especially when you are as klutzy as me.

Speaking Spanish is like walking in stilettos. It takes a lot of confidence and is very wobbly. At first, you have to break yourself in, only speak in the company of those similar to your speaking level so that when either of you mess up, it is not a problem, you move on, and no one ends up with cherry-colored cheeks. Sooner or later; however, you have communicate in the real world, with real native Spanish speakers. This is when it becomes tricky. You stumble and fall but continually attempt to do so with the slight amount of grace you have left, it might not be much but you have to stand back up somehow.

In talking to my señora my mind often works faster than my mouth, searching for the correct pronoun, conjugation, tense and not to mention, the correct word itself. There is usually at least one look of complete bewilderment as I string Spanish-sounding syllables together, stuttering along the way.

I find that the hardest part in speaking a foreign language is speaking to a human being. It sounds silly, I know but I have always been taught that eye contact is key and when two big eyes are staring expectantly at you while you are simultaneously trying to say, on the spot, that “Seattle is not anywhere near New York, in fact it’s on the other side of the country and my family is not in danger of the approaching hurricane.” (Yes, we watch the news together.) Instead I come up with, “No, Seattle está no cerca de Nueva York.” Seeing as the soul purpose in learning another language is to communicate with people unlike yourself, this is detrimental. I am going to have to stop staring at the ceiling while I contemplate which verb and tense I should be using in this particular sentence. ¡Aye!

I might be wearing my news shoes out tonight, in public. Terrified does not even begin to touch the surface of my new endeavor but the excitement that comes along with it is, to say the least, worth it. It will be difficult. Pray I don’t break my ankle while walking on the gorgeous cobblestone streets of Sevilla that I love and hate so much. Successfully making it to my destination is yet another feat in itself. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Maybe I am not a very practical girl after all.

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