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  • Writer's pictureCath @MyMarketingToolbox

Back to France - 1 year later…

One year ago, I came back to France after 14 years abroad, 7 in Moscow and 7 in Istanbul. In September last year, I wrote a post about how I felt in my readaptation journey and the readaptation spleen I had. One year later, where do I stand?

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash
Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Anxiety for the future

Many things have happened since July 2021. Lockdowns and quarantines have been lifted and it’s as if Covid 19 never existed. It seems that life is about to start as before. 2022 started full of hopes on that matter. And then, as soon as Covid 19 has been destroyed by governments, the Ukrainian conflict started end of February. Followed a very hot Summer which made us, at least me, realise that climate change is not just words on newspapers but a reality. And, imaging the future from an angle of uncertainties due to climate changes and conflicts makes me really anxious.

I don’t know about you but I am still trying to figure out what I can do or change in my lifestyle and at my level to adapt to this new era where abundance will be a thing from the past.

I don’t drive as I don’t have a driving licence. I use as much as possible public transportations, always favouring trains, bus, metros. I try to buy 2nd hand and reconditioned items. I consume local when it comes to vegetables and try to diminish the amount of meat. I try to buy 2nd hand fashion and reconditionned equipments. I don’t know what I could do more… So yes, I feel a bit depressed about this new world which is starting…

And I didn’t mention the situation in Afghanistan and especially how women are treated or the fact that American women have more and more restrictions over the control over their own bodies and choice to have, or not, children. For the first time in my life, I signed an online petition to make the French government put the right to abortion as part of the French Constitution.

Not only do I feel insecure as a human being, but even more as a woman.

Stepping out of one’s victim zone…

In this kind of context which is not what we could say a positive one, I stopped victimize myself and my readaptation to the French lifestyle. Compared to other people I am indeed very lucky and part of an elite. And, to be honest, I am not a victim and I have been quite lucky in how my life turned out after my last year post.

Few days after I published that post, I had an interview at the Paris campus of the fashion school I was teaching in in Istanbul. They offered me to take on their Fall Intensive short course starting in October for 1 month.

I taught luxury concepts and fashion marketing while organising trips for the students in Paris. And it was the best thing that could happened to me, to be honest.

I was working from 9:00 till 18:00 from Monday to Friday, not having time to think about my poor little life. I was enjoying Paris, exhibitions, movies, drinks with friends. It put me back into a sort of routine and this was exactly what I needed.

I went on teaching online for the Istanbul campus. And for the Paris campus, I started teaching Fashion History and Digital Marketing.

Not to mention, I felt really welcomed by the Paris campus team and they became now a kind of family. I can’t wait my Back to School with them beginning of October with Fashion History classes and the Fashion and Luxury Business intensive short course!

This experience gave me stability and financial security that I lost when I moved back. And I am really grateful for that.

And then, I only had to follow the road…

Once in this active dynamic, it started to be easier for me to project myself. I came back playing the flute in the musical ensemble of my town and I had my first concert in 15 years this June.

I enrolled in the history association of my town and we played a short piece in July (so back to theatre in a sense).

I became a volunteer at the Red Cross division of my region to help them to promote their 2nd hand shop and then, if needed, to translate for Ukrainian refugees.

I officially registered My Marketing Toolbox in France, did a rebranding, took a training in podcast management and reviewed my offers (podcast launching, podcast management and individual coaching “Make your voice heard and tell your story”). My Fashion Stories Box Podcast restarted in February 2022.

My cats Popeye and Swee’Pea are fully integrated to their new countryside life.

And now?

Now, I am trying to take it slow and to live by the day. Carpe diem.

I have to focus more on my health as this Summer I had to undergo an operation. And this means a small review of my time and priorities.

Thus, My Fashion Stories Box Podcast will have a change in episodes’ frequency. Indeed, officially, it should be 1 episode per week. However, as you could notice, I haven’t been that regular. And regularity and consistency and the two things I want to improve during the last months of this year… Call it the September resolutions or the Back to School resolutions if you want.

My Fashion Stories Box Podcast will have now 2 episodes per month. It will help me to ensure quality in my researches and regularity in my publishing.

I am reviewing the way I want to communicate and interact with you. I will still be on Instagram and Facebook. However, this month, on September 5 I am launching “In the BOX”, my monthly newsletter in which I will talk about communication, marketing, podcast and fashion. The newsletter will be available in French and in English. So make sure you subscribe to it 🤓

I am also thinking about the kind of impact and role I want to have in the society. Big goals I know. And one of my main missions is to share my knowledge. Teaching will still have an important place in my life and I hope I will be able to teach in fashion schools for a long time.

And I am contemplating an academic career and focusing more on fashion studies in the coming decade. Doing a Master in Fashion Studies and then a Phd is my ultimate goal. I already have a topic of research. I’ll talk about that another day but that’s one of the reasons why I did a week-long lacemaking workshop this Summer…

Main takeaways…

This year in France taught me many things. And here are the main lessons I learnt:

  • It’s okay to feel low and inappropriate. Take your time, trust the Universe, or your lucky star, and this shall pass too.

  • Once you touch the bottom, the only way is going up. Don’t spend too much time victimize yourself.

  • Your health, physical and mental, is important. When possible, take some “me” time and do things that uplift your mood.

  • Don’t take what you have for granted and always requisition what you read or hear.

  • You just have one life and one planet. There is no Plan B, neither for your life nor for the planet.

I hope this article lifted your mood a bit. And, feel free to share if you feel in the same situation regarding our current world.

See you soon!

Cath @MyMarketingToolbox

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