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My English – How I started a blog to improve my English skills

This month I got a chance to go to a conference in Colorado and attend classes in leadership to improve my part-time job at the ski resort Kenny and I met.

(the nerd inside me loooves classes!)

So I was beyond happy!

And one of the best parts is that in order to get there we took a little road trip, my good friend ( and boss Bonnie) drove and we made it a family/friends trip.

Getting to stop in different towns along the way was the highlight of the trip!

balloon festival

But this post is actually not about our trip but my experience with some classes I took while being there =]

And this is the background story:

When Ken and I got engaged, I realize that I was going to move to California, way far from my home country Chile.

I was going to face one of my biggest fears, speak and communicate in English.

I had practice under my belt but not any formal knowledge, I pretty much tough myself through music and movies.

So even though I was comfortable enough to talk to Ken and his family I did not feel capable to write or speak in a more formal way (or with random people, because I was always scared that they might not understand me).

I, of course, wanted to get a job here, so the pressure to plan our wedding and get better in English was on.

While searching for wedding inspiration is how I got introduced to the blogging world.

I fell into a black-hole of inspiration and brides sharing their experiences online, something I had never thought about.

To me starting a blog was a great way to hit two birds with one stone.

Organize our wedding planning ideas and at the same time practice the language I was going to be immersed in just a few more months.

And that same day I created a blog in Blogger and published my first post. (If you are curious, the blog is still up, you can find it here)

It was the begging of my blogging journey and the beginning of my -blog-to-learn- experience.

And while it might have been brave to just go ahead and do it right away, I was so scared every time I saw a person in my blog.

Sometimes I would catch myself saying things incorrectly BUT many times I didn't even notice.

I still just hit the publish button because I know I am not perfect and if the spelling check didn't catch it, many times you all still understand what I mean.

But I've had to work with myself to accept the fact that I will make MANY mistakes and that even now, almost 2 years later, I am leaning all the time.

I am a perfectionist by nature, I always push myself to give the best at whatever I'm doing.

But that also plays against me, and my confidence when it comes to my communication skills in English (I think I'm pretty good in Spanish :P ).

Now to what I really wanted to share =]

As mentioned, this past week I attended a conference with my boss and good friend Bonnie.

grand canyon

And it was my very first experience with classes in English and most importantly my very first public speaking class in English.

I started really scared but ended the class SO happy and confident that even though my accent will always give me away, I've reached a point where I no longer have the fear of not being able to communicate because of my native tong and that makes me feel really good and confident for the first time in a really (I mean REALLY) long time.

So even though, it will take me a long while until I get confident about my writing, at least one of my deepest fears is finally off my shoulders, and it feels AWESOME!

That was what I wanted to share with all of you =]

If you are facing something scary, get out of your comfort zone!

Kenny and i in colorado
hot air balloons

Facing your fears is by far the fastest and most efficient way to get over them <3

It took me a little outside-my-comfort-zone experience to realize it, and I am so happy I did!

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Paulina

Monday 29th of August 2011

Yo tambien soy chilena y de casualidad encontre tu blog, la verdad es que te entiendo completamente el cambio es gigante yo tambien lo estoy viviendo, pero si no tratamos nunca lograremos nada ;) Sigue adelante lo estas haciendo muy bien. Me encantan las cosas que haces eres muy talentosa (:

audrielle

Thursday 4th of August 2011

your doing amzaing! i would have never guessed english wasnt your native laungage. i just came across your blog through your wedding dress on burdastyle. im lovin thhe blog! i have a great friend from brazil and when she came here she knew none! now she speaks it beautifully and even now knows spanish. your doing great! i had a taste of what you feel i went to panama as a teenager for two months, its hard but great learning tool to just be emmersed. good job

audrielle for Pins, Needles, & Kids

Anna

Thursday 19th of May 2011

Oh! I forgot, those balloon pictures are gorgeous

Anna

Thursday 19th of May 2011

Joy: You are doing such a great job, don't worry about those mistakes because as far I've notice you are better than me LOL

Katie

Wednesday 18th of May 2011

Oh Joy - you are doing great! I honestly think you are fabulous for being able to take on a second language like you are! I took French classes for years, and for one school year we had a French foreign exchange student living with us. When her parents traveled to the US to pick her up, I remember being terrified to speak French with them, even though I was 100% competent enough to carry on conversations. It is so intimidating: I applaud you for continuing to learn...of course you are going to make mistakes along the way...but that is how you learn! :)

P.S. - those hot air balloon photos are so cool!