Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Me, My Heart, and I :: Coming full circle to be a writer in Florence

I initially came to Florence to learn Italian and find my inspiration to write. I thought of going to Venice, Rome, or Siena, but the woman at the Italian Consulate in London convinced me that Florence was a better choice. I had visited Florence only once in July and never thought I could live here, but Iím happy I listened to her because Florence has ended up being the perfect city for me.

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Me, My Heart, and I :: Running and writing practices as habits

After consistently running every other day for the last few weeks, running has become a habit for me once again. It was a habit for many years and then after skipping one day that led to one month, the habit was broken. Whatís great about a habit is that even broken, you can mend it back by continually practicing. I noticed this not only with my running, but also with my writing. I found that the key to creating a habit was keeping a scheduled practice and not listening to fears or worries when they tap me on the shoulder.

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Me, My Heart, and I :: Shifting gears or shifting focus

My run up to Piazzale Michelangiolo the other day was a bit challenging because I hadnít done it in a few weeks, but today it ended up being even more challenging. The other day, I had to prepare myself mentally yet today I had to push my body more. My run was going well until I reached the long stretch of stone sidewalk in the middle of the incline. It was warmer this morning and the sun was shining on the right side of my body. I looked out at the valley for a split second and thought about walking instead to take in the view. was an excuse for me because I just didnít think I was going to make it to the curve in the road much less up to the piazzale (large piazza). But, thereís one thing I learned from running and that is when the going gets tough, you either shift gears or shift focus.

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Me, My Heart, and I :: Running and writing my way to confidence

Lately I havenít been able to focus on my writing projects. I even started a few blog posts that I gave up on. I wasnít exactly sure why I was feeling so distracted and disconnected to my writing, but this morning I had an idea. Running affects my writing a lot. Itís almost as if they are intertwined. I didnít realize it until last year when I took a six-month break from running. I hadnít planned on taking a break, but after skipping one running day, then a week, and then a month, it was easier to not go out than it was to go for a run. I didnít think the break would affect me that much, but it did. I not only felt disconnected from my body, but also from my writing.

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Me, My Heart, and I :: Adapting to a new rhythm

It has taken me over a month to get used to not working for someone else. The shift for me was to make my writing a priority and for it to become my new "job." Adjusting my daily routine was quite simple, but I had to create a new rhythm for myself. All these years I worked as a freelancer prepared me in understanding how best to organize my time and my priorities.

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Me, My Heart, and I :: What I learned as an expat benefits my writing life

Living overseas as an expat for most of my adult life has definitely shaped me. Not only has it affected who I am as a person and how I see the world, but it has also taught me many life lessons that I apply to everything I do. As I embark on this new chapter in my life, navigating my life as a full-time writer, I am fortunate that my experience as an expat will be helping me tremendously. While living abroad, I have learned to follow my heart, listen to my intuition, have faith that everything will work out in perfect timing, and be confident that I can handle whatever comes my way.

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Me, My Heart, and I :: A new chapter in my life

This blog entry marks the end of my previous blog ďMy Heart in Two PlacesĒ in which I wrote about my life as a double expat and the beginning of my new blog ďMe, My Heart, and IĒ where I will be writing about this new chapter in my life. I have always been a true believer in the expression ďQuando si chiude una porta, si apre un portone. (When one door closes, another one opens.)Ē I have been through a lot of deaths and rebirths in my life and even if I feel some trepidation today, I am extremely excited about this new door that has opened up to me.

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Me, My Heart, and I :: Paris: from sorrow to hope

When I went to my company's office just outside Paris on Monday, everybody brought up Fridayís tragic events. One colleague recounted anecdotes of friends who were at the Bataclan and miraculously escaped while another colleague told us that he often ate at one of the restaurants that was targeted. I suddenly felt as if the world was incredibly small. Almost too small for my comfort. I donít personally know anyone who was affected, but in the end we were all affected no matter where we were. The attacks hurt us all. Some people were physically hurt, but the rest of us were emotionally and psychologically hurt.

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Me, My Heart, and I :: Paris: City of Light, City of Peace

Along with millions all over the world, I looked at the photos from Friday nightís horrific attacks in Paris and was stunned. In my mind, it was inconceivable to have such a thing happen in a city that I not only live in, but also know and love. Because I had been away from Paris for two months, I made plans with my beau to enjoy a day in Paris. I never imagined that it might not happen. When I was on the plane just a few days ago, I had visions of me traipsing all over town and going to all my favorite spots. Unfortunately, Friday nightís events in Paris shook us to our core and our plans to visit Paris didnít sound reasonable.

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