Practical verbs: 7/12

They say time slows down when you’re not happy and speeds up when you are, but it’s harder to talk about what you’re doing and who you’re with thinking everyone’s on the same page: if reading makes you feel good, someone else might have a different kind of leisure activity; if I like going to concerts, that doesn’t mean everyone who listens to the same music wants to spend time together, because it’s natural that they agree on everything and love each other. You might also hear that it’s never too late to start something new: invest in education, think about a different area of work, get married or have kids. You’ll hear that you should seize the day cause you only live once, or maybe someone will talk about being in a good relationship saying you only miss it when it’s gone. Time takes its toll on people, perceptions and attitudes change and we can’t help looking back on how we saw things and ourselves. In the process, we’ll remember the challenges but also the rewards; the consistent routine and the sporadic getaways; we’ll want to go back, but realize it’s probably better to learn with what happened, which made way for better things in the future. Here’s a few practical examples:

“Remember that girl from school?”

On a different angle, we could talk about that guy. Today, it’s easier to find someone online instead of just wondering what they’re doing with their lives, but of course some people prefer to keep a distance from social media presence and maintain their privacy. When people meet again after a long time, the memories keep coming back. Maybe you have a friend who hasn’t talked to you in years, but it feels the same, even after you went on completely different paths. Then you’ll start talking about stuff from when you were younger. It’s great when two people share good memories. My dad has stories about fishing and picking fruit up the trees at the front yard of his old home; I’ll stick with the old pictures, TV shows and games from when I was in highschool. The generations after me might be talking about apps and people they’ve never met, ocasionally sharing the meme of how grandma met grandpa, posing on Instagram with a duck face. Not necessarily, of course, cause that’s really just a meme.

“I forgot my appointment”

Our memory is a beautiful thing, but also a mystery. Sometimes, we forget critical things, like a the time of a test or an important medical exam date, but in general, our brains make room for better stuff to replace old disappointments, or things we want to leave behind. In daily life, it’s more about the alarm clock, doing the laundry, buying shampoo or sending a message to a friend. At work, we keep stuff on our calendars and we have goals to reach and procedures to follow, which should always be on our minds. Maybe you’ll forget someone’s name, and you’re embarrassed to ask; maybe it’s something they’ve told you. You’ll forget how something got more expensive or what someone said years ago when they asked them: it happens a lot with public people. But most of the time you can work your way around that stuff, apologize for being late at work cause you forgot to set the clock, ask someone again about what you discussed, including teachers and students, and it’s easier than ever to check for information you forgot as long as you have internet access, but also checking your own notes on complex issues that took you some time to organize your thoughts on.

“I miss the way it used to be”

Maybe you’re not happy with your new home, cause everything was in place since you were little where you used to live. Maybe it’s a relationship that got complicated after one part got a promotion, lost a job, had to start something new. It might be a kind of leadership you’re not excited about or a habit you had to let go of because you couldn’t live life the same way. Or it could be a special person who doesn’t have the same presence in your life anymore. It could be a feeling, a place, something you used to see, to hear or to do. But one of the best things in the world is to finally meet someone again and tell them how much you missed them. They’ll feel loved and appreciated, and letting it out shows that you care about them and the moments you spent together, sharing the good things in life.

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Understanding these verbs requires looking at the past, but contextualizing them is not as simple as memorizing the ways language works. Remembering stuff is a skill a lot of students have to develop over time, so talking about stuff you remember in a foreign language might be harder, as well as what you wanna forget or what you miss. But being able to have these conversations will surely make you feel better about the moments we build together with other people, who might be distant, but feel the same way as you do.

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