Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Shifting my life in Paris

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Last Saturday morning the sky was blue and the air was cool when I left Florence for Paris. I peered out the window of the airplane as it soared above Italy and France. As we hovered the airport, the airplane pierced a thick blanket of clouds, leaving the sun behind. When I arrived at the airport, the skies were grey and the temperatures were low. Even though I left behind my beloved city, I arrived in Paris where my beau greeted me with open arms. Before, I would’ve felt a great sense of loss upon leaving Florence, but now I am able to take my beloved city with me.

Another big change for me is that I will be staying in France for the feste (holidays). For the last five years, I have celebrated Natale (Christmas) in Florence. I enjoyed all the traditions, meals, and the city itself, but I am ready for new experiences in Paris with my beau.

Before I left Florence last Friday, I was feeling melancholic. I saw a few of my friends to say goodbye and wish them happy holidays. My heart sank as I walked back to my apartment and shut the door behind me. I looked out at the Arno below my windows and admired the streetlights shimmering on the water. The view that I dearly love and enjoy will now only be a memory while I am in Paris.

Now that I am in France with my beau, I am happy. Memories of my beloved city come to me throughout the day and fill me with joy and not sadness. I often look at photos of Florence because they make me smile. I wonder how my life will balance out between Florence and Paris. I love my time in Florence because it is where my heart feels safe; however, I love my time in Paris because it is where my heart is constantly being filled with love. There is no way to pick one or the other for me. I will just have to learn to not miss either city when I am away, enjoy each one as much as possible, and keep my heart full of love.

I am still getting used to my daily routine in France as it has shifted now that I am living with my beau when I am here. I am now living an entirely different life that I embrace wholeheartedly. It still amazes me that my life has changed as much as it has. It’s almost as though the happiness I thought was mine before was only an illusion and now I am finally living it, holding it softly in my hands.

Florence is never far away from me and hopefully my roots will remain firmly there while I grow and prosper in Paris.

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