One of the great things I did for myself last year was to enroll in an Italian language class. I was writing my new book, Wherever You Go, which has an Italian grandpa, so I really wanted to know more about the language and culture - and I thought it would be a romantic, fun experience with my then boyfriend.
The boyfriend didn't last, unfortunately, but the Italian did.
One of the hardest and best decisions I made was to keep going, even though he had decided not to go anymore with me. And now, I'm working on plans to visit Italy sometime this spring - a trip I've always wanted to take.
It's very tempting to give up when plans fall through, when life presents you with a challenge you didn't expect, when things get difficult. But when you decide to do things that you want to do for yourself - that can be a game changer.
I love the sound of Italian. I love doing the homework assignments, word geek that I am. I love the people that I'm learning the language with and see each week. But most of all, I love that I didn't give up.
Have you studied a new language recently? What tips can you share to make it easier for a girl like me?
Wherever You Go - Harcourt Fall 2011
The Clearing - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen