Finally, I’m Feeling Inspired Again

Feeling inspired

Have you ever had a hobby or a passion that you suddenly fell out of love with? What about a thing that you’d done consistently for a long time and then just stopped? 

Well, that’s what happened to me over the past six months. After adoring France and everything French for almost 15 years, one day I woke up and for the first time in a long time, my first thoughts didn’t involve France. Truth be told, I felt like my inspiration had just up and left. I didn’t have any words to write. I ignored our Distant Francophile social media accounts. I let magazine subscriptions lapse. I haven’t done a French class in forever. I gave up buying books about France. I even stopped trying French recipes. 

I’m not entirely sure why my passion for all things French vanished. Melbourne had a really tough Covid lockdown last year which could have triggered it. Maybe it was in part due to the fact that we had no hope of getting to France in the foreseeable future. I do know my grief over the passing of my darling French mentor Alisa definitely had something to do with it. And my day job and my coaching practice ( both grew dramatically last year too, which meant that I had plenty to keep me occupied. 

Anyhow, regardless of the reason behind its disappearance, I definitely felt like my inspiration was gone in a heartbeat. 

Pleasingly though, when it finally returned, it arrived as quickly as it had left. An I’m so excited to be feeling inspired again. 

So How Did I Get Back To Feeling Inspired?

Well, I had to dig through some photos recently. Pictures that had left me feeling a bit ‘meh’ the last time I had looked at them. But as I sat down to search for a certain shot, ironically in the middle of Melbourne’s fourth Covid lockdown, it was as if I was seeing all of the photographs in a new light. Memories came flooding in and so did my long, lost enthusiasm for all things French. 

I’m back on Instagram and croissants have returned to our breakfast menu. Australia Post are back delivering books and magazines. And I’m very pleased to be back here writing this post for you.

We still can’t visit France – Australia’s borders basically remain closed. But I have a series of updates and reviews ready to share with you. And I know that many of you are keen to hear more stories from our travels. I’ve always said that I wanted to save those stories for a book that I don’t have any concrete plans to write. But if the last year has taught me anything, it’s that we should follow our inspiration while it’s there. So that’s what I’m going to do. 

I’d love to know – have you ever lost your inspiration for a long-term passion, only to have it suddenly return? Or has there been something you’ve let go of during the pandemic? Have you been feeling inspired recently? Please feel free to share in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.

About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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21 thoughts on “Finally, I’m Feeling Inspired Again

  • jacklyn edwards

    so glad to hear from you again. These are certainly interesting times as they say and they affect all of us in so many different ways. Perhaps all of
    us francophiles should cook a french style meal and be very grateful for the life that we have as COVID has devastated so many families around the world. Thank you for reinvigorating Distant Francophile.

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks so much for this Jacklyn – I really do appreciate your comment. While this year has been challenging for more than a few of us, you are right in saying that many of us still have a lot to be grateful for. And I love your idea of cooking French meals!!! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts xx

  • Virginia

    I too felt such grief last year at not being able to go to France for our holiday that I couldn’t watch the French news. I didn’t read any books but I did stay in touch with a couple of English people who had fled to France because of Brexit. Through their endeavours at tackling the rather mind boggling task of renovations french style, I got my mojo back and started to write out various wish lists of places to go and what could we combine together to see something new as well as visit friends and family. No idea when this will happen but my list are now down to the short variety, medium and long visit. Glad your back Janelle and you know you can write that book don’t you?

    • Janelle Post author

      Thank you for the kind words Virginia. We’ve all had our own experiences and reactions to last year haven’t we. I’m so happy that you got your mojo back too – your lists sound fabulous. And you’ll be ready to go when the time is right. As for that book, it’s an idea that won’t lie down but I’m not entirely sure when it’ll happen xx

  • Denise Linkson

    Inspiration is all around us Janelle, I was diagnosed with MS about 10 years ago & I have been thankful & grateful for every day since. We still travel as much as we can as this thing won’t stop me! Every trip to France & beyond is a blessing & I’m constantly inspired by everything beautiful which in turn inspires my artwork. Love & live life is my motto! FYI I’m one of the lucky ones who continues to do well & I’m grateful every single day!!

    • Janelle Post author

      As per usual, you’re right Denise. I’m grateful to you for sharing your wisdom and your perspective, and I’m very glad you’re doing so well. I love following along with your travels and your art journey. And I adore your motto – might have to borrow that one xx

    • Janelle Post author

      Oh Kate – I couldn’t love this comment more….mostly because it means you are part of both my communities xx Until next time – stay fabulous is the closing message for my coaching emails….And I don’t think I’ll ever change it because I love it too 🙂

  • Bonnie Phelan

    I have lost the desire to socialize especially in groups. Socializing was one thing I loved to do but 2020 has made me wary. I now have a new group of friends with common interests that are caring and kind that I feel comfortable with. Lower key.
    Does this count? I feel as if I have become a different person in the last year.
    Maybe now I will enjoy cooking more and get out of my self absorption stage.

    • Janelle Post author

      Bonnie, it absolutely counts. And it could be that you are a different person now. We’re always learning and growing and shifting friendship groups is probably giving you a fresh perspective. And you can always reconnect with that more social group if and when that feels right for you. Take care xx

  • Nat Lanier

    Dear Janelle,

    I am so pleased to see your blog again. I am thrilled seeing that you have gained your inspiration back. I am so sorry about the passing of your beloved mentor. I hope that time will help heal the wound from this loss.

    Regarding your question on the loss of my long term passion , I have not had one but I had stopped doing some thing that I love for a long period of time ( painting). Early this year I started learning the art of ceramic using wheel. I have been so into it ever since. My love in painting will always be there. I wish we all had extra time to do what we love more.

    Thank you Distant Francophile

    PS. Traveling internationally from Atlanta has gone quite smoothly these days. We will definitely take the boys to visit parts of Europe and France for sure next year.
    PPS. My husband and I have gained Covid 15 ( 15 pound extra) over this past year from being mostly home bound.

    Happy July 4th to all.

    • Janelle Post author

      Hello lovely Nat – thank you so much for your kind message. I’m so excited that you’ll be able to travel soonish and I’m even more excited that you’ve been able to find another creative outlet. I agree – if only we had more time for all the things that make our hearts sing. As for Covid 15 – it’s a real thing!! I just wish I knew how to fix it 🙂

  • Kristie O'Sullivan

    I’m happy your passion is back, have missed your posts. My passion for motorbike touring disappeared during the pandemic – can’t get to Europe but have found lots of excuses not to go out for a ride here. News from friends in France and UK is a bit hopeful that travel might safely resume there but our situation in Australia is way behind in terms of vaccination. In the meantime there’s French cuisine, Le Tour and French language learning. I hope your desire to pick up language learning comes back soon.

    • Janelle Post author

      Thank you so much Kristie. You’re so right – while we wait for the vaccination situation to improve here, we do have lots of French goodness to keep us going. And I want to mirror your lovely sentiment about my language learning back to you – I hope your desire to pick up motorbike touring comes back soon – life is too short to deny what lights us up xx

  • Jan Leishman

    Sometimes we need a rest period, where we take time out to reassess. We have been forced to do that with the various lockdowns and curbs on what we can and can’t do. I don’t see it as a bad thing. What we love will always come back – reappear maybe in a new form or version – but it does, and the inspiration with it. Inspire = breathing in. I felt a sense of loss when everything shut down; I didn’t want to know anymore about places I couldn’t visit, but like bulbs that return in spring, I’ve finally started looking at my photos of France and thinking about France again. I don’t know when I’ll ever get back, but there is joy in opening up my heart to the rest of the world and living it vicariously, even if not in person. I’m glad you’re back, Janelle, with your inspiration.

    • Janelle Post author

      My goodness Jan, you have the most beautiful way with words. Thank you so much. Your comment bought tears to my eyes – you so perfectly captured much of the underlying emotion I’d been feeling. I’m so pleased what I love has returned, just like a bulb in the spring. And even though I feel like it might be a while before I travel again, I’ll follow your lead and find joy in the joy of others. I’ll also be crossing my fingers that we both get to return to France again soon xx

  • Cherryl

    I think it’s hard to say, but it’s definitely the case that over the course of the pandemic there has been a shift in some areas of life, which has affected a reduced interest in some things and newer interests in other things, rather than a lack of inspiration per se 🔆😊