During this break, I spent a LOT of time just relaxing and doing creative things.  Now that I am back home I wanted to take a minute to study Japanese.  It is a very difficult language to learn.   But I think that’s the case with all languages.  I am at the point where i am a little frustrated.  I have been here for about two years and my level of understanding is beginners intermediate.  I suppose.  I can understand a lot of Japanese.  Basic conversations, and things regarding school situations I can understand just fine.  But sometimes I just can’t get it.  It’s like selective understanding.  I wish I could express how it works, but it is very difficult.  When it comes to speaking, I know a lot of vocabulary.  The more common a word is the easier it is to remember, which I am sure that is something that is not unique to me.  But grammar patterns is so difficult for me to pick up on.  It generally takes a long time.  I study a grammar point and I make sure that I understand the usage but then I will forget it.  I often see a lot of other people who speak Japanese to a very good level.  Even if they don’t know business Japanese, they can have a great conversation with Japanese people.  I can’t do that in confidence.  At least not yet.  But in this year one of the things I will do is trust extra hard to speak Japanese.  Although I interact with Japanese people on a regular basis, I don’t have an opportunity to speak Japanese.  But now I will try harder to speak it.  This is part of the investing in myself that I want to do this year.  I


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