While out to dinner the other night, my Love and I were discussing goals for the New Year. As he listed some of his, I reflected that he seemed to have several categories: career, personal development, artistic. He stopped me and said, “ in my mind, its all language.”
At first this confused me because learning Spanish was in fact one of his goals, which in my mind was personal development. But he went on to explain that all of his goals were essentially about learning, or getting more adept at, different languages. For example; music is a language, getting better organized is a language, investing is a language. Once he explained it that way, I understood it. The more I thought about it, the more I embraced this metaphor!
My list of goals also includes items that could be termed languages.
One is literal: I am determined to learn French.
Well, maybe two are literal: I want to expand my word usage so that I communicate more clearly, mellifluously, succinctly.
The others may not present obviously as languages but they certainly could be.
In massage therapy I want to broaden my vocabulary to include more acupressure and trigger point work, both distinct dialects of bodywork.
This month I will begin offering my dance classes as my own business (more on this soon). Business speak has never been among my primary languages, but I am excited to stretch myself in this way, dotting new i’s and crossing new t’s, all while communicating in my native tongue: dance!
Perhaps my most endeavoring goal is to prepare some healthy and delicious meals at home. The language of buying ingredients and assembling them with any level of skill might as well be Swahili for me, but I’m gonna give it a go!
This metaphor resonates with me for another reason. Learning a new language requires you to be a beginner. As adults we can struggle with being a novice at anything. Amassing life experience seems to dictate that we should already know a little something about everything. But how can we?
To master any language we must set aside what we think we know. We must free ourselves of beliefs about what we should know. We must open ourselves to new ways of speaking, thinking, doing, understanding. We become seekers of knowledge rather than keepers of the status quo.
Nothing stirs my ambition better than the quest for knowledge. Becoming “multilingual” represents expansion of thought, enrichment of life and a greater connection with the World at large. Framing my goals as languages makes them feel exciting, fantastique, wunderbar, perfecto, subarashii!
May your year be filled with quests that stir your soul. May you speak many languages, with love!