Maintenant je parles ...
First I had to fill out a form, then go and speak to the Director who would assess my proficiency in the language and decide which class I would go into (beginners, intermediate or advanced). I had only done French up to Form 3 in school, but over the years I've had friends who studied French and I would often speak with them.
The Director was a French man with a Polish-sounding name. I sat in his office and he asked me to tell him about myself in French. Surprising even myself, I began to prattle. In French I told him my name, spoke about the things that I do and mentioned that I had learnt French for a while in school but over the years had spoken with friends who studied French, etc.
When I was 'finis', he said to me: "Oh, you are wayyyyy too advanced for the beginners' class. I will put you in 2A." He told me that at times it may be challenging, but: "I think you have it all stored within and now is the time to bring it back out."
As I left the building, after having paid my fees, I felt excited ... as if life was suddenly ablaze with colours and possibilities which I could not yet see, but could feel. Not just because of 'French' per se, but because of the deeper purpose behind it all.