Forgetting and learning are just two sides of the same coin: change.
Forgetting is just a form of change. If you can forget, you can change. If you can change, you can learn. I guess this must be what them experts call “neuroplasticity“. Or not. I don’t know. Not an expert here.
All I know is, forgetting means that you’re not static. You’re not set it stone. You’re in flux, in motion, constantly in motion, until you die — and even after that. Your mind, your body, your skills are fluid and mutable. While you’re alive, it’s up to you what you flow and mutate (?) them into; you have the power to choose. If you can forget Japanese, you can un-forget it, too. It cuts both ways. The trick is to simply run the process in reverse: do the opposite of whatever it is that makes you forget it.
So don’t think of forgetting as your enemy. Don’t think of it as the opposite of learning but as merely a different form of learning. You don’t forget Japanese, you simply learn not-Japanese. You’re always learning. The only question is what.
- I know, rocket science, right? Next I’ll be telling you that the best way to get dry is not get wet. Wonders will never cease. Clearly, I’m not just Captain Obvious any more: I’m the Commander-in-Chief of the entire Obvious Armed Forces. ↩