French and Arabic challenged my mind in a way nothing else has. I had to turn on a certain mode, focus on nothing but the language, and struggle to express myself in a tongue unnatural yet beautiful. I used to text in French, and have small phrases get lodged in my brain, repeating like a broken tape because of the ease at which French flows from consonant to vowel to consonant.
I scrawled Arabic in my shaky script that can barely write legible Latin letters, and learned the unique curves and shortcuts my teachers used on the whiteboard. I spent intimate time with my flashcards, having to make multiple copies for how to write / how to say and how to write / what it means. I sang alongside popular singers, trying to copy the characteristic male wave of sound that makes up a Middle Eastern song. Though my hips never swang so easily, I still tried to copy the graceful moves of our bellydance-skilled teacher.
Still, when an interviewee on the news speaks Arabic, where others would feel the obvious stress and fear which comes from war, I can only feel peace and love. It is relaxing to be on the university campus, and hear a conversation in Arabic as I walk by. I often wonder the point of knowing a different language, and why should I not just focus on knowing more instead of knowing more ways to say what I already know. For now, both options are irrevocably fun.