I'm finally at the point where I feel comfortable taking the plunge and doing things where I need to completely rely on my German language skills in non-English-speaking environments. Not just ordering a coffee at a restaurant or passively watching German TV, but really comprehending deeper kinds of discussion in real-time and being able to converse on abstract topics at length. Buddhism is a good place to start as the monks and teachers speak slow and clearly. During the portions where I need to offer my thoughts or work with others, I have found it's not really so difficult, especially when it's in an atmosphere of kindness and compassion. There is a meditation session on Thursday each week as well as a class on Mondays that I'd like to attend. My goals are twofold: I'm hoping to attain both inner peace and a perfect understanding of the German language. We'll see how it goes.
My friend Rose is starting an artist salon type thing at her place and asked me if I'd like to be a part of it. The idea would be to work on cultivating our creativity through sound therapy – something that she's been doing over the past year and found very helpful. It sounds kind of New Agey, but I'm open to that sort of thing, so I'm going to go and see if I can jump-start the right side of my brain. Besides, I think it will be fun and I might make some new artist friends while I'm at it.
Tomorrow I'm flying off to Zürich for my big presentation. I'm reluctantly going to skip my German class this evening to practice my presentation skills and get to bed at an early hour – I need to be at the airport tomorrow morning at 7:30am.