“It’s easy to quit smoking; I’ve done it a thousand times.”

Mark Twain (actually probably not)

That’s kind of how it is with me and Chinese. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve walked away – and then come back.

A year ago, it was a little more final. The political situation has made a return to China questionable at the very least, and my embarking on the coding bootcamp journey completely consumed my attention. I cancelled my ChinesePod subscription, more or less shut down my iTalki account, and quit watching Chinese TV shows.

Then, suddenly, all that changed.

Event #1

Two days ago after speaking in Chinese at a group event, a young American woman approached me, asking for tips on learning Chinese.

Honestly, I felt surprised. She’s a first-year college student, with Chinese as one of the courses she’s serious about. After all that has happened the last few years, are there Americans still signing up for this? Apparently so.

I had to concentrate to dust off my thoughts on learning Chinese, and sent her some resources. At the top of my list was of course the You Can Learn Chinese podcast. Actually, there is so much good information there, I probably didn’t need to even mention anything else.

Event #2

Yesterday, I got a message from an old friend who is (one of the few) still in China. She’s looking at a return to the U.S., and is thinking about teaching Chinese. She asked me about preparing for the ACTFL, which led into a long discussion about learning materials. Before I knew it, I was discovering that my iTalki account still had quite a bit of money in it, and almost unconsciously found myself pulling out my mostly-but-not-quite completed advanced Chinese books.

This morning at 6 a.m., I inexplicably found myself in the middle of an iTalki lesson. Looks like I’m a lifer after all.