Learning and Forgetting

I started learning Spanish when I was about 10 years old.  I only learned a little, but because I learned at that age, I believe it allowed me to roll my r's, which I can still do to this day.  But then some time when by, and I didn't study or practice.  It was hard.  There was no one to practice with.  Then I took Spanish for 4 years in high school.  I"m sure I learned a lot of grammar, but it was merely a task to complete, and I was mostly learning Spanish in high school so that I wouldn't have to take it in college.  This is a terrible reason to learn something.  So, I probably didn't really learn much.

I went to Mexico when I was 22, and in preparing for this trip I studied with a friend and learned some words and phrases.  Then when I was 24 I decided to go to Ecuador.  I again learned some language skills in preparation, and I learned a whole lot while I was there.  But then I came back and didn't have anyone to practice with and years when by without using the language.  Sure, I listened to podcasts and tried to read textbooks and children's books, but it was boring and I would only hold up for a few months.  Still, I'm glad that I did it as I believe it kept the information "fresher" in my mind.

A few months ago I meet a language partner on a language exchange, and we meet several times a week.  My spanish skills really blossomed during this time.  But, alas, my partner stopped being able to meet and now weeks are going by and I'm not using my language skills, again.