Each time when I see a meme about grammar mistakes - my stomach shrinks. I swear, I applaud people who write perfectly in any language. But I struggle. I do. And it took me a while to let go of my fear. Well, still letting go though. Hear me out.
At school, I was never good at grammar (or math, chemistry, IT, etc.). But I was good at storytelling, literature, arts, music. I always wonder, what if my teachers were embracing my skills rather than my weaknesses... would I be somewhere else?
Schools were not pleasant places for me. I felt lonely, not understood. I was hiding the days when I starved because there was no money for food, and skipped classes on my periods as we could not afford pads, or pain killers (I was fainting from the pain I had). In all schools I felt that I am not belonging there, am judged daily by the results, not being fit for the line of perfection. And to be honest seemed that no one cares how our, students, lives were going.
Yet, the school did teach me. I found classes that I liked. Teachers that were keeping me every day inspired me to go further. I found people that lead me into an understanding about the world that surrounded me. As an example, I adored ethics classes. There I learned about music history, architecture, art history, simple heard stories about life - things that kept me going.
I think grammar classes were the hardest for me, as it felt I should have that very naturally. Like it was written in my skin. But it did not go well. Very ironic that I work in communications, and my main language is English now. I was told that I will never speak English, and I am an idiot as I do mistakes when I write my native language. That shame bothered me for a long time. Still does.
I speak Russian, Lithuanian, English. Read and understand in German. I think I also speak in German - it just, I do not aloud myself to do it yet. I can follow up French and Spanish conversations (takes longer but I get the point). But Grammar is something that I am shaken each time when I need to write in front of other people. I feel ashamed or judged. I judge myself. Like it defines my personality, knowledge. Defines my professionalism.
When I moved to Switzerland, English was and still is my first language. I was smashed with so many different English versions - it seemed it's never enough, never good. YES, I do not speak perfectly, I do mistakes, YES, I need to read again and again text (in any language to be honest) to see that, oh snail, I switched letters together, or wrote the opposite. But jeeeeez snail gorilla - give me some credit for trying, learning and keeping going. And thats why I am using professional copywriters when it's needed.
Where I was 6 years ago, or 15 years ago with my skills for writing - is a big difference. I am still feeling good in storytelling (well, you can judge me as you read my stories) but I do care about each word I am giving away. It just my brains sees words differently. Maybe I would be better in Klingon or Elves languages.
We do not learn by being punished and ashamed. We learn by being supported and sometimes hugged. Ok, sometimes pushed a bit too.
Till later my beasts