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Creating a Life You Love

By Erika Marcus

Erica Markus In ParisDedicating my time to learning French was always a decision made out of love for the language and maintained by a life goal of being bilingual. The persistence in studying and practicing French has proven to not only be intrinsically valuable but has played a significant role in many facets of my life. Learning French has deepened my sense of connection to the world and has lent itself to opening many opportunities where communicating in a second language has been my most satisfying reward.

Upon graduating University of Florida with a French minor, I was accepted to teach English as a Language Assistant in the Teach Abroad Program in France (TAPIF) for eight months. This was the first time I was able to afford traveling abroad, and I owe it all to learning French. Not only did I have a work visa to obtain a job though the French government, I was able to experience life in France, something that was only ever an idea in my mind. I became more comfortable and confident in speaking French and understanding native French speakers. I understood life in France is lived in many ways the same, but in many ways very differently. It was one of the most life-changing experiences that still influences my life and worldview today.

I currently live in Los Angeles, California, and I work for a global French language television network as a Bilingual Client Relations Coordinator. I love my position and I love being able to use my written and spoken French daily with people from all over the country. Before the pandemic, I was able to attend International Film Festivals throughout Los Angeles and I have been able to keep current with French-language films and series. I am fortunate that during the pandemic I have been able to work remotely, and my team has been amazing through this process.

While learning to navigate working from home, I have been able to dedicate time to other creative passions. France was the perfect place to learn about quality food and delicious ingredients, so it was only natural that I fell in love with cooking while abroad. Since I haven’t been able to travel during COVID-19, I decided I would travel through food. I have made everything from Moroccan and Lebanese meals to Indian and Ukrainian dishes. I even tried my hand at traditional Boeuf Bourguignon! Erica Markus Niort

The extra time has also allowed me to invest in my next venture: learning hypnotherapy. I have been attending the Hypnosis Motivation Institute for the past year and am currently in my internship, where I will be launching my own practice, Erika Marcus Centered Hypnosis, and will begin seeing clients Sept. 1. I have always been interested in ways to empower others to reach their highest potential, and I have seen hypnotherapy change so many people’s lives. My goal is to incorporate the French language in my business as an entrepreneur so I can reach a larger audience and blend both passions.

Learning French has opened and continues to open many doors in terms of personal growth and professional opportunities. If you are passionate about French but unsure of how it fits into your career goals, I hope my story shows how French has not only been innately valuable but has created real opportunities at varying stages of my life. You can turn your passion and love of language into an advantage and create a life that you love.