It has been a long while since I last wrote a proper entry. It is easy to blame real life but it is not the reason. I still update lj everyday and catch up with all of Arashi's stuff.
I am in this place which people call 'near-the-top'. I am not an English native speaker but I have been learning it for about twelve years and now I am capable of listening to BBC, reading proper online newspaper with 'real' news (not just magazines), speaking in good British accent and communicating through e-mails. I am even tutoring English for a payment now, actually. However, since I passed the university entrance examination, I literally don't have to study English any more because my major is in Japanese and I am really afraid of losing my English ability.
You who can speak (a) language(s) other than your mother tongue all know the hardship when studying a foreign language. When you first start, it is really frustrating. It seems like an impossible feat because there is just too much to learn and you get discouraged really easily. But after you pass the beginner phase (without giving up), the way from Elementary to Intermediate gets smoother. Intermediate to Advanced level is a little bit tougher but joyful all the same. However, but what do you do after reaching that Advanced goal?
I remember watching a study English on television program when I was young. The teacher was a man who had studied abroad and had a Ph.D in English. He said that he used to talk to his teacher that he felt like he kept staying at the same place, that he couldn't move on, couldn't advance. The teacher said that he had reached a place called 'near-the-top'. Learning a language was like climbing a mountain. After the initial obstacle, the inclined slope made you move forward faster. You felt strong, interested and inspired and it was like you could keep climbing forever. As you got nearer and nearer to the top, the slope became more and more upright and you started to feel the gravity held back your step. You couldn't go on for long without struggle and the frustrating feeling from the start went back to haunt you.
I couldn't put myself in his shoes at that time but now I find myself in the exact same situation.
I started translating Arashi's stuff because obviously I love them and I want to improve my Japanese. But more than that, I want to keep my English from getting rusty. One day, I went back to a concrit meme in lj. There was a comment said my English sucked so much that she didn't bother to join the community to download whatever there. At first I was angry, then I got upset, then I felt really discouraged and frustrated at myself. I am a perfectionist but sometimes I get really lazy and just rush through things. I know she is right and I am thankful to her for pointing that out thus waking me up but I am clueless for a way to improve all the same.
Now I want to move up my ladder and become more fluent in English. Unfortunately, my environment at the moment isn't an ideal one. Since college started, I have started to surround myself with Japanese books and Japanese friends. The only connection between me and English is through fandom but, as sad as it sounds, I don't have any Arashi's fan friend.
I am really social awkward and bad at making (much as keeping) connection and really suck at keeping in touch. In real life, I only stuck with my old friends and even in the rare cases where people talk to me first, I am barely a talkative person with strangers simply because I don't know what to say and I am afraid of putting them off for saying unnecessary/silly things. Therefore, most people just conclude that I am aloof or don't like them while actually I don't mean it at all.
I am aware of my lacking and have been trying to fix it for years now but I just don't know how. I am a really private person but like Jun, I like hanging out with friends and am quite a party person if with people I know well. It's not like I don't like to make new friends, it's just that I don't know how to thus, come back to the topic, I don't have any fandom friend. And it makes me sometimes really sad because all my friends in real life are only interested in K-Pop. I have no one to fangirl with.
So it may sound weird, I know it does, and I may appear to be super creepy and desperate for saying such a thing but if you are, well, interested, please talk to me. I am soon-to-be 19, a Jun's fan, like Sho/Jun pairing (actually I like all Arashi pairing now) and people often say that I am nice. If you has taken the time to read until here, you must know now that I am awkward but if you want to fangirl with me, please fangirl with me. I believe I am not a super unreasonably insane and crazy fan so you don't have to worry about that (hehe).