大家好！My English is not very good, but I am writing this article for you! Today was a big day and I want to share my happiness!
I am on my way back home in the train from Heidelberg to Freiburg. I have a smile on my face. Actually I can’t stop smiling and I would like to scream and cry at the same time, dance and give the world a big hug, because I am so grateful!
Today I took part in the 15th Chinese Bridge Competition in Heidelberg. I was well prepared, knew my speech by heart, and it turned out to be wonderful! I would like to go back in time. Today is the 21th of May 2016, exactly two years ago I finished school and had a big dream to study medicine and become a wonderful doctor. This dream didn’t work out, lucky me! Because of this I decided to study something interesting, something crazy although I didn’t know what would expect me. Learning Chinese was a spontaneous decision, I didn’t plan it and I didn’t expect anything.
Let me try my best
Sometimes I feel like everything works out perfectly when I have no expectations. A friend of mine asked me: “I know someone who started learning Chinese and failed. Do you want to talk to him?” and my reply was: “No thank you. If I fail, I will fail anyway. There is no point in waisting energy on that. If it happens, let it happen. I want to try my best, maybe it is enough. We will see!” Studying Sinology and learning Chinese turned out to be one of the best decisions in my life so far. I learned to try the impossible, in order to make it possible. I even fell in love with a Chinese man. Crazy things happen in life!
One year ago, 21th of May 2015 was not easy. I was struggling, both with my personal life and with my studies. I couldn’t feel the progress. I was learning Chinese every single day and I was spending hours and hours and hours writing down the characters and despite all these efforts, I could only say simple sentences like: “I like cheese. Cheese is yummie.” I couldn’t say: “I like to eat cheese, because I think it is really tasty.” I couldn’t say more than very simple sentences. That was driving me crazy!
I was asking myself: „Why am I doing this?“ „Warum?“ 为什么?
All my vocabulary cards at that time
Reaching my own limits
When would I finally reach the point where I would be able to express myself with my own words? I was only putting words and phrases together, that I learned from my textbook. I couldn’t play with the language, I couldn’t be creative, I felt my own limits every single week. New text, new chapter, new words, new grammar, new frustration. My Chinese teacher is wonderful and very supportive, but I did not feel as if I could ever make it.
From time to time I thought of the following sentence from the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein: “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”
When I was learning Danish, that was my motivation and I felt like there were no limits. But while learning Chinese I sometimes was not so sure about that anymore.
Life can change- So can you!
Last year changed my life, I guess you always have to go through dark times in order to discover life again, to see and feel the sunshine and to find your happiness and new motivation.
力 means „power“
Giving up is not an option
It all started with the book “The longest way” of Christoph Reehage, the guy who tried to walk from Bejing to Germany and made it til Ürümqü and wrote this very interesting book about his journey. I was fascinated by his story and felt motivated, there was no way of giving up on learning Chinese. Little by l developed a dream:
My dream of being able to write, speak and understand Chinese. I started to believe in myself again. One evening in Freiburg I had a wonderful experience, an eye opener, something that touched my heart deeply and made me laugh. A small Chinese boy noticed just by observing me, that I was listening and understanding the conversation of his family. It is a beautiful story and this was part of my speech. Here is the link to my speech: Chinese Bridge Competition 2016 Jorinde Wiese
I did write an article about the story I am telling in Chinese on this blog called “Langnasentheater” and I sent it to my family. This time around I was also writing my first article about my “Chinese Alzheimer Disease” and other interesting things happening while learning Chinese. I was ending my article very passionate:
“Everything is going to be fine in the end.
If it’s not fine it’s not the end.”
– Oscar Wilde –
My dream came true
Today was a big day, one year later, the 21th of May 2016. My heart was beating fast, my legs were shaking, although no one noticed, because my voice stayed calm. I was standing on the stage, smiling, pretending as if I would speak fluently Chinese. At the moment I can only say simple sentences, but please give me some time and be patient. I am working on it! And I was so happy that I couldn’t hide it. I simply had to dance! 我高兴死了！
It was a wonderful experience to be part of this competition! 谢谢大家!
I am so excited and I just can’t hide it 🙂
Singing with my heart
During the competition I did also sing the song 传奇 and I love both the melody and the lyrics. It is so hard to sing when you are very nervous and excited, but I tried my best. Here is the link to the song: Chinese Bridge Competition 2016 Jorinde Wiese
I can really feel the lyrics and they mean a lot to me! I started singing with my friend Wenxin and one day we will sing together!
The past few days have been exciting, stressful and motivating! I can’t wait for all the new things that will happen in the future.
I am ready!