The question "What next?" had been on my mind for a while. After a period of contentment in this childless-not-by-choice life, something that other people have failed to understand (such as what I wrote here), I began to wonder what else I wanted to learn that could bring me joy and excitement. The combination of moving to Finland and infertility have dampened my quest in setting a long-term project/goal. I used to set long-term goals and worked as best as I could to reach those goals with gusto. I enjoyed both the process of getting closer to the goals and the moments when I was able to reach them. Moving to Finland and infertility have helped me become more able to focus more on the present and enjoy each moment (something I'm forever grateful for), but I must admit that I miss the joy of chasing after a long-term project/goal.
Because I don't feel like going up the ladder at work, I need to find a project/goal elsewhere. You see, back in High School I studied Japanese for two years, though I wasn't really serious and it was only once or twice a week, so I never did learn that much. The idea of (re-)learning Japanese occurred to me a while back already, but I was afraid that it would only mess my brain even more, so at first I told myself that I would only start learning Japanese after I became more fluent in Finnish. However, at the back of my mind something was nagging me. Was it just an excuse? Why did I want to postpone? For how long? The excuse couldn't stay too long, though, as the thirst to learn something new kept on growing as time went by.
I started off by using some online resources from the basic: learning Hiragana and Katakana once more. When I was doing the trace sheets, I realized that I remembered some of the characters, but the rest looked completely strange (I couldn't believe I could memorize both Hiragana and Katakana already back then!). I also realized that it felt awesome to be able to hold a pencil in my hand and trace those characters as it felt a bit like drawing (something I rarely do). However, using online resources was challenging as I got distracted quite easily.
So, to keep myself committed, recently I've purchased some Japanese books from TheBookDepository (I love them because they ship anywhere around the world without any postal charges and since books can be heavy, that means a lot to me!) and they've just arrived. WOOOOHOOOOOOO!!! I know there are plenty of free online resources to learn Japanese, but I love learning a language through books first (I still love the feeling of holding a book in my hand and being able to sift through the pages). Once I sort of get to know the basics, I can then move on towards using the online resources. That was how I studied Finnish on my own before I started going to Finnish courses.
This Japanese self-learning started very slowly and I even had lots of breaks in between (due to being busy at work and being sick after our holiday), but now that I'm having my second batch of summer holiday, I'm psyched to learn more. It feels GREAT to have a long-term project that would expand my brain without any pressure from outside (and my Mochi with his tick-tocking tail is just as excited LOL!!!).