A few days ago something happened in my life, and it makes me reconsider the relationship between me and English.
Through out my life, I have been given lots of opportunities to access information written in English or to communicate in English.
There was a time that I saw English as certain kind of shelter for me. I use English as an alternative language to express myself. By writing or speaking in English, I thought maybe I would be able to get away from all the disappointment or miseries that happened in the Mandarin-speaking environment that I’ve been surrounded all my life.
English then became sort of like a silent company, opening its arms, embracing me in silence.
Or, every time when I communicate with people in English, I would see myself as if I was a native speaker or a citizen from those English speaking countries.
But all this is just my wishful thinking. I’ve come across with lots of English idioms at work recently. That makes me feel more than ever that I actually don’t know very much about this “good friend of mine," and English is not my native tongue.
This revelation seems to bring my idealization of English to an end, but it is also a liberation. English is not something that I was born to inherent, so I don’t have to care that much if my English is good or bad. I don’t have to work hard on building an image that is coherent to the diploma I received years ago, and I don’t have to pretend to be some sort of native speaker anymore. When I can let go of all these, I can take a good look at myself and my surrounding. I can set my eyes on other beautiful languages around me, or I can look at some other languages that I have been passionate about.
I am glad to have this revelation at this moment in my life. Although I still need to read in English everyday, I think I’ll have a different relationship with it. I hope this difference in thought can bring up difference in other areas of my life.