This is the type of affirmation that I used to repeat to myself, as a mantra to direct the sluggish iceberg of my subconscious mind into a direction that I wanted to go. By embodying that feeling, I have manifested that outcome: I am now, truly, living the best days of my life.

My house is small, and uncluttered. We have the furnishings provided by our landlord, and we brought only the best of all the possessions we used to own. Paring down from a 2300 square foot house into 20 pieces of luggage gave us the opportunity to extract nothing but the finest from our catalogue of worldly possessions, and we have a few things that are deliberately chosen and of high quality. I wear nice, simple clothes, and I carry my laptop everywhere I go in this new culture in a slim bag resting on my hip.


Every day I am expanding my linguistic skills, reawakening the dormant part of myself that loved to learn, and allowing it to fully indulge in the acquisition of new information, in every interaction I have with people who don’t speak my native tongue, all around me.


Recently I had the first casual spanish phone conversation I’ve ever had. My friend Ronald, who drove us down from his home in Alajuela to our new home five hours away in San Isidro de el General, called to see how we were all doing. We talked about our families, and our businesses, and had a nice ten minute chat, all in Spanish. I’m nowhere near fluent, but I’ve hit that brink of capability, where I now feel comfortable enough with a language that I don’t have to concentrate on the mechanics of it while using it to communicate.


Since my other two tongues are dead languages, I’ve never had this feeling of casual accomplishment, that I have read about in other multi-lingual speakers’ journeys towards fluency. The competency milestone is something never truly achieved in Latin or Ancient Greek, because there is never occasion to sit back and chat. The words all mean something frightfully important when the person reading or listening is not fluent either, because seriously, nobody with anything to do on a saturday night is fluent in either Latin or Ancient Greek. I might not have any plans this sabado, but my kids take up three saturday nights every weekend.


And now, on my fourth language, I am able to chat in a foreign tongue. It is a glorious feeling. These, truly, are the best days of my life.