During most part of my life, hard work and successful seasons were represented by a new trophy on the shelf.
Time has past, priorities have changed and tonight I am going home proudly carrying a simple piece of paper.
It might sound a bit rude and sloppy, but while my medals are all in a special wall, my academic diplomas are somewhere in a old drawer.
This one, however, has a special meaning. It represents all I went through since, exactly 9 months ago, I arrived in the Netherlands:
All the uncountable times I tried some words and expressions before I could finally properly pronounce them, the thousands of nonsense grammatical rules I learned, the despair of not being capable to say exactly what I wanted, or the many occasions I took more than 5 minutes to say something I could probably say in less than 1.
I am sure there is still a loooooooong way to go, but I feel I just reached a point in which giving up is no longer an option.
Nobody speaks dutch in a B1 level forever: just like in a marathon, as soon as you reached the km 25, you better run until the end - after all, the way back is longer than the way until the end!!!