For anyone who wants to write in and tell me there’s still time to learn to program or to speak Spanish fluently, that’s not really the point. I do appreciate if you want to share what worked for you, truly. Right now though, I just want to put words to feelings. 😋
I never learned to program. I tried, had small fits of fantasy, but ultimately gave up short of my desires. Never learning never impeded my development. I never lost a job opportunity because I couldn’t code. My wife loves me despite my (many, Many, MANY) flaws.
I say I can’t code, but I can follow along at home; I understand logical structures and am happy to hack apart a prebuilt function or class to do my bidding. What I never did was spend time with it, to familiarise my fingers over the grains of any particular programming language. Syntax, built in functions, scope, all of it was painfully difficult to recall and search up. I never gained a level of fluency because I thought practising was hard, which I was 100% correct about, by the way; however, it's the hard part makes you better.
This pang of regret recently began to bare its teeth on vacation in Sardinia. Weird how being away from a computer makes you think so deeply about one. You can separate a dork from their digital world, but you can never separate a dork from their digital heart... or something like that.
My Romance languages are poor, at best. I understand the rhythms and can even, when feeling brave, approximate an accent. But I am running into the same problem, I never invested the time to learn. The genders, nouns, verbs and their conjugations aren't in my mind. So, I mumble, mix words together and butcher tenses. It's only gotten worse over time, even after revisiting the cities and countries I love. (Shout out to the terribly confused woman at the bakery this morning who bore the full force of my panicked Italian/Spanish/French onslaught.)
I've reached many uncanny valleys for spoken and programmatic languages alike. Each time I reach some basic level of confidence, but fail to invest the effort, to climb the true mountain ahead. Inevitably, I end up in situations where shouting, “Dans de es biblioteca!” isn’t at all helpful—a phrase I may, or may not dryly recommend to my partner whenever she's in search for a better phrase in her writing.
Will I learn a language, computer or human based? Ya, probably. Eventually. Get off my back already! I'm sure it'll make me feel better and likely even help make me appear more handsome and attract throngs of loyal friends. Alright, probably not that last bit. It is easy to dream after you've run into numerous slivers of micro-anxiety producing situations, where knowing only a tiny bit more would have made you feel immensely better. Or so the story goes from the shadowy depths of the valley.