Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Anonymity and sociability

Monday, September 17, 2012

My time in Paris is intense. A week goes by rather quickly and at the end of it I am surprised. It痴 almost as if I知 in a vacuum: work pulls me in on Monday morning and spits me back out on Friday night. My life is completely different in Paris than when I知 in Florence. In Paris, I wake up early so that I can write and go running before my workday begins. In Florence, I rarely set my alarm and let myself wake up naturally. Even though I still write and go for a run most mornings when I知 in Florence, my time is not as condensed as it is in Paris.

I also take the m騁ro to work every day in Paris while in Florence, I just walk to my desk. I actually enjoy my time on the m騁ro because I get to read and remain engrossed in my thoughts. Unfortunately, the minute I arrive at the office all the words that were dancing around in my head disappear. My work takes over and my writing life fades into the background.

In Florence, I don稚 have as much time with my thoughts except when I am alone in my apartment or running. Once I begin to work on my computer, all the writing that I was pondering dissipates. I can sometimes come back to the words that float in my head when I知 walking around downtown in Florence until I bump into friends. In Paris, I am much more anonymous and rarely encounter someone else I know.

I like both modes: my anonymity in Paris and my sociability in Florence. Neither one appeals to me more. I love it when I can be alone with my thoughts no matter where I am, but I realize that I have to balance my quiet time (when I should be writing more) and my workday. The drastic differences between the two cities makes it a little more challenging, but not insurmountable. I am learning that if I want to keep my writing life more alive, I have to dedicate more time to it.

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