I wanted to post today about gender in pronouns (and elsewhere) in Español, but wow — I don’t know exactly how many days have passed since I last posted here! (I’m afraid to look just yet.) I started this blog with the intention of posting at least once per week, with an occasional guest post and/or link to an external article, podcast episode, or YouTube/Vimeo video pertaining to the study of Spanish. Lately, I’ve really missed the mark!
My other objective was to keep myself hitting the proverbial “books” (in actuality, mostly the websites I use for self-study). I’m afraid that I’ve fallen woefully behind in that respect, as well. ¡Caramba!
Trust me when I tell you that I am every bit as motivated to continue with my studies, and with my blogging, as when I started this endeavor back in Noviembre de 2015. The trouble is not a lack of motivation; it’s a deluge of noise, of inputs, of interruptions.
I’m not trying to throw out the I’m-too-busy card here, either. Everyone’s busy, and we make time for what’s important. I get that. But what has been occupying my mind for the past several weeks (indeed, a bit longer than that, if I’m completely candid with you), is the end of a wonderful era I had hoped would last considerably longer. Well, I’d hoped it would last forever, actually, but knew it couldn’t possibly.
I don’t feel at liberty to be all that specific, but a change in my work-life predicament has left me emotionally stung, for lack of better word, for a while now, and the thought of studying and blogging actually hurts at the moment. What I want to write about, of course, are my feelings about what is going on, what is causing the pain. However, I don’t think you’d be all that interested, and I have others’ privacy to consider. Thus, I’ll simply state that I’m sad and missing the almost-daily camaraderie of a very dear friend these days, and it’s affecting my studies negatively. (Those of you who read regularly already know her name. Some of you will understand; others will not. Está bien.)
On the mend?
Not entirely, no. I have, however, resolved to work through the pain. It’s not that the pain has subsided enough for me to concentrate effectively. Far from it. I’ll likely have to listen to each lesson at least twice now in spite of my natural ability to retain audibly delivered information. I’m just that distracted. However, it’s almost as though some force or person or power is attempting to thwart my efforts, and I will not tolerate that, even if I have to work exceptionally hard to fight said force/person/power. Otherwise, I’d be letting letting it/him win, so to speak.
If all of that sounds a little melodramatic for a blogger trying to share his study progress, I apologize. (Lo siento.) I’ll try to keep it lighter going forward. Just wanted to explain the current blogging drought the best I can.
Getting back into the swing (at least a little bit) of sharing my Español studies, I would like to explain my obvious parting with the patriarchal tradition inherent in both Español and Inglés for a moment, and assure you that it’s done purely out of defiance of societal norms — not out of ignorance of same. When I entitled this post “¡Lo siento, amigas!”, it was not my intent to address solely my female friends, but all of you.
I assure you that I do this in my English-language writing, as well. I do not appreciate the ubiquity of male pronouns in any language when writing in the singular (e.g., “to each his own”) and absolutely refuse to stoop to mixing the singular/plural with atrocities like “to each their own”. Since I (a male) am a huge fan of (in fact, pretty much obsessed with) the opposite gender, I’m perfectly comfortable yielding pronoun dominance to them! So it is that I will often (usually) use terms like “amigas” to refer to “friends”, “hermanas” for “siblings”, “mijas” for “children”, etc.
Now, that does not mean that I intend to ignore or flout the rules when it comes to words with gender ascribed to them, such as el amor or la vida. While I don’t quite understand that convention (yet), I am actually quite taken with it. It’s going to require a lot of work getting it all straight, and I have yet to move from the what and whether into the why of gender-specific words. However, it’s worth further study, partly due to my desire to achieve fluency, and partly because it fascinates me.
Bueno, amigas, that is about all I have to share for this post — not much, I admit. My confession: I got so far behind in my studies that I was losing some of the vocabulary from lessons (lecciónes) 1.1-3.1. So, I went back over them. I am now ready to commit to one lesson per day, in hopes that the momentum will carry me through este tiempo muy difícil.