A few days ago I travelled from my home in Ontario, Canada to Quebec City. I am immersing myself in French for a week. I know that a week certainly isn’t enough time to learn a language! However, I stopped practicing and taking courses a while ago and hope that this week will put me back on the path of learning, practicing and enjoying communication in French. I managed to find a wonderful place to start this rejuvenation process. The people in Quebec have been warm and welcoming. Old Quebec is an amazing snapshot of Canada’s history. Things could be worse!
My mornings are filled with grammar lessons followed by oral comprehension. My mind is stretched as I tried to find strands of memory from long ago. My class is full of interesting people from around the world, all with the same goal of learning French.
Language training is also a big departure from my usual day-to-day work life which includes teaching nursing at a university and working part-time as a nurse practitioner. It’s both scary and exciting to find myself outside of my comfort zone. I’m reminded of what it feels like to be a beginner. I forgot how exhausting it is to think in a new way. I also forgot how I love to be challenged and how I’ve looked for opportunities to learn new things in my personal life and throughout my nursing career.
I’m sure we can all remember nurses who were content to just work their shifts and go home. However, I’m sure you can also name nurses who asked questions and searched out answers; who pushed themselves to practice in new and innovative, evidence-based ways. I always wanted to be a nurse in the latter group. Yes, challenging yourself to new levels in your nursing practice is scary, but it’s also extremely rewarding.
Hopefully, the momentum of this week will keep me motivated to become better in French and will energize me to continue to push myself. As the old year draws to an end, it’s a good time to think about the potential within all of us.